Darlene M. Koontz, Lassen Volcanic National Park superintendent since 2007, announced Wednesday that she will retire on Oct 31.
Koontz, who has worked for the National Park Service since 1983, called her 31 years of service “the best adventure I could ask for.”
At Lassen Park she led the effort to construct the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center at the park’s southwest entrance. She also oversaw rehabilitation of the trail to Lassen Peak and Lassen’s first Wilderness and Backcountry Stewardship Plan.
Among other projects, she managed the Volcano Adventure Camp, a permanent facility for youth at the park slated to open in 2016.
Koontz was at Lassen’s helm during the lightning-sparked Reading fire, which burned over 28,000 acres of federal and private lands. A team reviewing the 2012 blaze found fault with the planning, management and coordination of handling the fire as well as the way information about it was made available to the public.
In retiring from her third position as a national park superintendent, Koontz said she plans to continue exploring the country with her husband, Chip Davis, also a retired NPS employee.