Refuge Manager Brian Glaspell to return to Alaska

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National Elk Refuge Manager Brian Glaspell has been named as the new Assistant Regional Director for Refuges in the State of Alaska.


June 11, 2019 (NER 19-07)

National Elk Refuge Manager Brian Glaspell has been named as the new Assistant Regional Director for Refuges in the State of Alaska. In his new position, Glaspell will serve as the Regional Chief for 16 wildlife refuges in Alaska, covering 77 million acres. He will begin his new duties in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Regional Office in Anchorage beginning in late July.

Glaspell, a 17-year veteran of federal service, began his tenure as the National Elk Refuge Manager in January of 2017. He has overseen all aspects of management of the 24,700-acre Wyoming wildlife refuge. He has also served as the Chairman of the Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee since 2018.

Glaspell has extensive experience in his home state of Alaska. Prior to his arrival at the National Elk Refuge, he served as Refuge Manager at Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, providing overall leadership and day-to-day administration for the 19.6 million acre wildlife refuge beginning in April 2013. There, he handled intense national and international media coverage and frequent Congressional communication. He led numerous visits by public officials, including members of Congress and Cabinet officials. Under Glaspell's leadership, the Refuge finalized its Comprehensive Conservation Plan, Environmental Impact Statement, and Wilderness recommendation, which received a combined 900,000 public comments.

In 2016, he accepted a 120-day work detail as Acting Deputy Regional director the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Alaska Region. During his detail, he supervised the regional leadership team and regularly coordinated with the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior officials, and the Alaska Governor's office.

He also previously worked in Alaska as a Supervisory Ranger & Visitor Services Manager at Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge and a Regional Social Scientist in the Division of Conservation Planning and Policy.

Glaspell said of his time here, "The National Elk Refuge is one of the highest profile refuges in the country. It plays an outsized role in the Refuge System because of its complexity and high visitation." He added, "It's been an incredible honor to work here and will be a valuable experience to pull from in the future. It truly is an amazing place."

Deputy Refuge Manager Cris Dippel will serve as the National Elk Refuge's Acting Refuge Manager until a new manager is named.