Hero of the Week: Lisa Hendy

The most visited national park in the nation will now be run by a woman for the first time in its 85-year history. As CNBC explained, Tennessee native Lisa Hendy will become the Great Smokey Mountains National Park‘s chief ranger in April and help look after the 522,419 acres of protected land that runs between Tennessee and North Carolina, reports CNN. She will make the move after finishing her stint as the chief ranger at Big Bend National Park in Texas. Before that she served at a host of other national parks such as Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone.

CNN explained that a chief ranger oversees the division of the park that performs law enforcement duties, wildland fire operations, emergency medical services, search and rescue operations, and backcountry operations, according to the National Park Service. The position also has responsibility for staffing an emergency communications center. About 240 permanent and 80-plus seasonal employees work at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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