Wender joins National Park Service staff

May 13, 2019

Bryan Wender recently joined the staff as the new chief of Natural Resource Management for the three national parks of southern West Virginia, which includes New River Gorge National River, Bluestone National Scenic River and Gauley River National Recreation Area.

Wender transferred from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in southwest Oregon, where, for the past seven years, he led programs for rare plant conservation, habitat restoration and invasive plant management, with an emphasis on regional partnerships. Wender has more than 18 years of experience in managing natural resources for the National Park Service, BLM and other agencies.

Wender previously worked for Mesa Verde National Park, the Virginia Natural Heritage Program, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, and the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station. He started his career as a seasonal biological science technician at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.

Wender grew up in Woodstock, Virginia. He received a bachelor’s degree in forestry from the University of Kentucky and a master’s of science in forestry from Virginia Tech. He and his wife, Pam, are avid cyclists, travelers and gardeners, and they look forward to exploring the mountains, rivers and trails of West Virginia.

Wender takes the place of Mark Graham, who transferred to Bryce Canyon National Park in 2016.