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Nita Settina Named Maryland Park Service Superintendent
Respected Natural Resource Veteran Is First Woman To Hold Position
ANNAPOLIS, MD — Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary John R. Griffin announces the selection of Nita Settina, a respected15-year natural resource veteran, to serve as superintendent of the Maryland Park Service, effective immediately.
“The Park Superintendent is a critical leadership position within DNR,” said Griffin. “Nita possesses the right combination of skills and experience to lead us forward in addressing the natural resource management, stewardship and sustainability challenges that are central to our mission.“
An integral part of the state’s natural resource agency, the Maryland Park Service manages natural and cultural resources on 134,000 acres of public lands and provides outdoor recreation opportunities for more than 11 million visitors annually.
“Nita’s contributions to the Park Service have resulted in nationally recognized innovations, improved visitor and interpretive services, increased youth conservation service and trail management practices that have become models of sustainability,” said Kristin Saunders Evans, Assistant Secretary for Land Resources. ”At a time when our public lands are facing unique challenges and exciting opportunities, Nita has the vision and experience to revitalize our State Parks.”
Settina began her tenure with DNR in 1995 as the agency’s intergovernmental affairs director. In 1999, she moved to the Park Service to lead development of the Nature Tourism Program, which created and fostered key economic partnerships between State Parks and the tourism industry. Since 2004 she has served as executive director of the Maryland Conservation Corps, an award-winning and nationally recognized AmeriCorps program that employs youth in conservation and environmental education service throughout Maryland state parks.
“I am honored to have been asked to serve the O’Malley-Brown Administration and the people of Maryland,” said Settina. “The opportunity to support the staff and volunteers of the Maryland Park Service is the opportunity of a lifetime. Together, we look forward to providing the programs, services and outstanding natural areas that allow our citizens to reconnect with nature and one another, while also inspiring stewardship and appreciation of the Bay and our natural and cultural heritage.”
Well known and respected in conservation circles for her dedication, commitment to partnerships and fiscal responsibility, Settina was recommended after a national search by a panel of DNR staff and external partners.
Settina, an Annapolis resident, holds a Masters of Science, Parks, Recreation and Resource Management from Frostburg State University and Bachelor of Arts and Film from Penn State University. Prior to her service with DNR, Nita worked as the Grassroots Coordinator for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Her selection comes after outgoing Superintendent Paul “Rusty” Ruszin retirement from state service on October 31, 2007.
Settina immediately named Major Chris Bushman Deputy Superintendent. Bushman, a Sykesville resident and Park Service veteran, has been serving as MPS Acting Assistant Superintendent for Operations since January 2007. He began his career with the Park Service in 1980, and has served in numerous capacities with the agency, including Ranger, Park Manager and Regional Park Manager.
“I am grateful for the opportunity and continued confidence in my ability to serve the visitors to our State Parks, and I look forward to working with Superintendent Settina in moving the Maryland Park Service forward,” Bushman said.
January 10, 2008
Contact: Olivia Campbell
410-260-8016 office I 410-507-7525 cell
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov