Superintendent Pedro Ramos has been selected as superintendent of Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks in Florida. Ramos has been serving as superintendent of Big Cypress National Preserve since January 2009.
If his name sounds familiar, it’s because Ramos was acting Superintendent of Great Smoky Mountains National Park for a few months in 2014. He was friendly, approachable and he got things done in the short time he was in the mountains. Everyone loved him in the Smokies and hoped he would stay but that was not to be.
It’s amazing to me that I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many park officials. Rangers, park partners, and volunteers make the parks run. It’s not just about the flora and fauna or even the cabins and chimneys.
People manage the parks. Superintendent Ramos will have his hands full with the challenges of the Everglades and Dry Tortugas.
Here’s what the press release said about the two parks.
Everglades National Park is the third largest national park in the lower 48 states. At 1.5 million acres (approximately 2400 square miles), it covers much of the southern peninsula of the State of Florida. Spanning the area from Naples to Miami and south to Florida Bay, it includes many different habitats, is home to 14 federally-listed threatened and endangered species. The park is located between the highly populated (nearly 8 million people) urban areas of Miami, Naples, and the Florida Keys. It has experienced significant ecological damage from water management decisions made over the last 130 years in south Florida. The National Park Service is a partner in the regional ecosystem restoration effort undertaken to improve the health of the Greater Everglades. Everglades National Park was designated a World Heritage Site in 1979, an International Biosphere Reserve in 1976, a Wetland of International Importance in 1987, and a Specially Protected Area under the Cartagena Treaty in 2012.
Dry Tortugas National Park is one of the most remote parks in the lower 48 states. Located 68 nautical miles from Key West, the park is accessible only by boat or seaplane. A cluster of seven islands (64,700 acres), the Dry Tortugas are composed of sand, limestone, and coral reef fragments and surrounded by shoals and waters to depths of 25 meters. The primary island, Garden Key, is home to Fort Jefferson, the largest masonry coastal fort in the country. Loggerhead Key also contains a historic district consisting of a lighthouse station and 19th Century Lighthouse that is still used as an active aid to navigation.