Santa Monica Mountains leader moves to Yosemite

Woody Smeck, left, with someone else, sometime in the first half of the 2000's

Woody Smeck, who has been the head of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area for 11 years, is leaving the post on March 30 to take another job in the National Park Service.

Smeck, 49, of Moorpark will become the deputy superintendent at Yosemite National Park.

He started at the Santa Monica Mountains 21 years ago as park landscape architect and climbed through the ranks until he became superintendent in 2001. It is relatively unusual to move up to that level all at one park.

The Santa Monica Mountains is a matrix of local, state and federal parks that create an island of nature in the middle of one of America’s most densely populated areas. Yosemite on the other hand is an island of wilderness and protected land that is all managed by the NPS.

Smeck said he’s excited about the new position and is pleased at the work he did at the Santa Monica Mountains.

“Working with all of you in conserving our treasured mountains and promoting their enjoyment and stewardship has been the greatest honor of my life — second only to my family,” he said in an email announcing his departure.

Source of this article, the Ventura County Star, December 12, 2011

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