SAN FRANCISO, Ca. (KIFI/KIDK) - For the first time, the National Park Service has created the position of Superintendent of Southern Idaho Parks.
Wade Vagais was picked to jointly manage three of Idaho's National Park properties, Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument, and Minidoka National Historic Site.
Vagais has managed Craters of the Moon since October 2015. He has been interim superintendent for all three sites since May 2017.
The move to unify all three sites came after Judy Geniac, the former superintendent of Hagerman Fossil Beds and Minidoka National Historic Site.
"Wade is a proven leader with a broad experience and sound management skills," said Stan Austin, regional director for the National Park Service's Pacific West Region. "We are excited to see how, under Wade's leadership, these three dynamic parks will best serve our visitors and the southern Idaho community."
"It is an honor and privilege to be selected for this position" said Vagias. "The parks of southern Idaho represent a diverse mix of nationally significant resources and values. The staff and park partners are some of the most talented and committed individuals I've had the pleasure of working with. I look forward to our team helping enrich the national park visitor experience by preserving, protecting, and sharing the history here for generations to come."
Vagias will oversee several high profile projects, including the completion of a multi-year, $5 million project to rehabilitate a World War Two era warehouse at Minidoka into a modern visitor center. Construction of a new paleontology research building at Hagerman will begin this summer. A new wastewater system is expected to be installed at Craters of the Moon.