Life after Barbee

  • Michael Finley

    Brian Grogan, National Park Service
  Fresh from a stint as superintendent of Yosemite National Park in California, Michael Finley will take over the helm at Yellowstone in early fall. When Finley, 47, replaces Robert Barbee, who has been in charge for 11 years, he will inherit a wide range of management controversies including the proposed Noranda gold mine adjacent to the park, wolf reintroduction, rapidly expanding winter use and summer auto gridlock. "The greatest challenge for me will be to reserve judgment and withhold action until I've thoroughly listened and investigated thoroughly," Finley told the Casper Star-Tribune. At Yosemite, Finley pleased environmentalists by urging that Mono Lake, east of the park, be allowed more water. "That was the first time that the National Park Service had taken a position - very strongly - in favor of Mono Lake protection," says Martha Davis, director of the Mono Lake Committee. Finley grew up in Medford, Ore., and studied biology at Southern Oregon State College. He was superintendent at Assateague National Seashore in Maryland and at Everglades National Park in Florida. Finley says his first Park Service assignment in 1967 was on a Yellowstone fire crew.

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