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Public Open Houses to Welcome New Park Superintendent

Posted by | 12.04.2014

UPDATE: The public is invited to four open house opportunities to meet and welcome new GSMNP Superintendent Cassius Cash to the Smokies. The open houses will be held in late February from 4-6 p.m. at each location.

- Tuesday, Feb. 17 - Oconaluftee Administration Building adjacent to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, Cherokee, NC

- Thursday, Feb. 19 - Barn Event Center, Townsend, TN

- Tuesday, Feb. 24 - Historic Calhoun House, Bryson City, NC

- Thursday, Feb. 26 - Calhoun’s Banquet Room, Gatlinburg, TN

Cash most recently served as Superintendent of Boston African American National Historic Site and Boston National Historical Park where he developed many partnerships with the surrounding community. This will be the first opportunity for the public to meet the superintendent, who begins working at the Smokies on Feb. 9.

“Great Smoky Mountains National Park is surrounded by incredible communities with a long tradition of supporting the park,” said Superintendent Cash. “I look forward to meeting and working with park neighbors as we continue building relationships and partnerships that enable us to protect this special place together.”

The open house events are hosted by Friends of the Smokies, Great Smoky Mountains Association, the Townsend-Walland Business Alliance, the City of Townsend, and the Historic Calhoun House. Light refreshments will be served.

Cash named GSMNP Superintendent

ATLANTA -- National Park Service Southeast Regional Director Stan Austin named Cassius Cash, a native of Memphis, Tenn., as the new superintendent of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Cash, currently superintendent for Boston National Historical Park and Boston African American National Historic Site, will assume his new post in February.

Cash has served as superintendent at the Boston parks since 2010.  While there, he worked with the City of Boston to open a new visitor center in historic Faneuil Hall.  That facility now welcomes more than 5 million visitors a year.  Cash also worked with several park partners to secure $4 million to reopen the African Meeting House, the oldest black church still in its original location in the country.

Cash began his federal career in 1991with the U.S. Forest Service as a wildlife biologist at the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington State.  He went on to work with that agency for 18 years in various leadership positions.

He served as an administrative officer in Nebraska, district ranger in Georgia, and a civil rights officer in Mississippi.  Cash was the deputy forest supervisor at the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in southern Oregon before transferring to Boston.  Earlier this year, Cash served as the deputy regional director and chief of staff in the Northeast Regional Office.

Cash holds a bachelor of science degree in biology from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, and later attended Oregon State University to study wildlife management.  

Cash, his wife, Vonda and their youngest daughter plan to reside in the Gatlinburg area. Their oldest daughter is attending school in Colorado.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the largest protected land areas east of the Rocky Mountains, with more than 500,000 acres of forests and more than 2,000 miles of streams.  It spans eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina along the high peaks of the Appalachian Mountains.  It is the nation's most visited national park, with more than nine million visitors a year.

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