Media Statement

Charles Sams III Confirmed as Director of the National Park Service

November 23, 2021

Appalachian Trail Conservancy
November 23, 2021

In Response to the Confirmation of Charles Sams III as Director of the National Park Service

Statement from Sandra Marra, President & CEO of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Last week, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Charles Sams III as Director of the National Park Service. Mr. Sams’ history of working with public, private, and tribal partners to achieve positive conservation outcomes reflects a commitment to collaboration, a key component of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) Cooperative Management System. Director-designate Sams brings an invaluable background in multi-stakeholder conservation through his roles as National Director of the Tribal & Native Lands Program at the Trust for Public Land and Council Member of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. In addition, as tribal citizen of and former Executive Director of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Mr. Sams will bring critical Indian Country perspective into the National Park Service leadership in way unseen in its 100-year history.

“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) celebrates the nomination and confirmation of Director-designate Charles Sams III as Director of the National Park Service. Charles will bring fresh perspective into the National Park Service and, as he rebuilds the morale of the civil service, we are hopeful that he will similarly reinvest in the Cooperative Management System, which will remain as essential in the Appalachian National Scenic Trail’s second century as it was in its first,” said Sandra Marra, ATC’s President and CEO. “The ATC is committed to working with Director-designate Sams on combatting climate change, supporting cooperative management and gateway communities, and, of course, the protection and management of the incredible Appalachian Trail.”

About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. A unit of the National Park System, the A.T. ranges from Maine to Georgia and is 2,193.1 miles in length. It is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. The mission of the ATC is to protect, manage, and advocate for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. For more information, please visit

Media Contact: Jordan Bowman
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel: 304.885.0794