Management

Cam Sholly, superintendent, and Kyle Stone, civil engineer, cut the ribbon
Park staff celebrating the completion of brand-new employee housing.

NPS / Jacob W. Frank

The National Park Service (NPS) preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. Yellowstone National Park, a natural wonderland and the first national park in the world, boasts a dedicated team of professionals committed to preserving and managing its unique ecosystem. The NPS team and its partners, as outlined in the "State of the Park 2023" report, play a pivotal role in safeguarding the park's natural and cultural resources, ensuring a balance between conservation and visitor experiences.

Yellowstone is one of the largest national park operations in the world spanning 2.2 million acres and receiving over 4 million visitors each year. The park has a team of nearly 1,300 employees and volunteers, an annual operating and project budget exceeding $70 million, and infrastructure investments totaling $1.549 billion since 2020. Yellowstone is led by a superintendent and deputy superintendent who both have long, distinguished careers with the NPS.
 
Superintendent Cam Sholly smiling
Cam Sholly, Superintendent

NPS / Jacob W. Frank

Cameron (Cam) Sholly, Superintendent

Cam Sholly assumed duties as the Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park in October of 2018. Yellowstone spans 2.2 million acres and receives over four million visitors each year. The park has a team of 1,000 employees and volunteers and annual budget expenditures exceeding $75 million. Cam is a third-generation park service manager and began his National Park Service (NPS) career in 1990 in Yellowstone’s backcountry.

During his tenure as Superintendent, the park has set strategic priorities that focus on supporting the Yellowstone workforce, strengthening the Yellowstone ecosystem, delivering a world-class visitor experience, investing in infrastructure, and building coalitions and partnerships.

Cam led the park through the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and the response and recovery to the historic floods of 2022, reopening 93% of the park within just 20 days and rebuilding two major road corridors within four months. He has led efforts to improve employee housing, completing over $50 million in housing projects since 2020. He has overseen the preparation of a new long-term bison management plan and expanded the park’s bison conservation transfer facilities, transferring over 400 bison to tribes across the country. During Cam’s tenure, Yellowstone has invested record amounts of funding into native fish restoration and developed a more focused approach to eradicating invasive species, improving sustainability, managing increasing visitation, and addressing future climate challenges.

Since 2020, the park has completed nearly $250 million in infrastructure improvement projects with another $250 million projects scheduled to be completed by 2026. Cam has led significant efforts to engage American Indian Tribes to better honor their important cultures and heritage in the Yellowstone area, launching the park’s first tribal heritage center in 2022 and partnering with tribes on a variety of initiatives around the park. He has served as the Lead Partner for the Interagency Bison Management Plan Team and as Chair of the Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee.

Cam has served in a variety of other senior leadership positions throughout his career. His previous assignments include Regional Director, Midwest Region (2015-2018) where he oversaw 61 national park units in 13 states and where he led efforts to complete of the largest public/private partnership in NPS history. He served as the Associate Director for Visitor and Resource Protection (2012-2015), Superintendent of the Natchez Trace Parkway (2009-2012), Deputy Associate Director/Chief of Staff for Visitor and Resource Protection (2005-2009), Chief of Ranger Operations in Yosemite National Park (2002-2005), and a variety of other field and supervisory positions.

Cam holds a master’s degree in Environmental Management from Duke University, a bachelor’s degree in Management from Saint Mary’s College of California and is a graduate of the Harvard University Senior Executive Fellows Program.

Cam was awarded the 2024 “Agency Leadership Award” by the Public Lands Alliance for his partnership work within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. He was awarded the “Forest Resilience Champion Award” by American Forests in 2023, and named “Citizen of the Year” for Jackson Hole Wyoming for his partnership work with communities during the flood recovery of 2022. Cam has also been awarded the Superintendent of the Year Award for the Southeast Region and the Department of Interior’s Meritorious Achievement Award for his wide-ranging executive leadership actions.

 
An employee in uniform standing outdoors smiling at the camera
Mike Tranel, Deputy Superintendent

NPS / Jacob W. Frank

Mike Tranel, Deputy Superintendent

Mike assumed duties as the deputy superintendent of Yellowstone National Park in February 2021. As deputy superintendent, Mike essentially serves as the chief operating officer of the park. Mike is a 35-year veteran of the NPS. Just before coming to Yellowstone, he was the superintendent of the Powder River Group in eastern Montana and Wyoming where he oversaw Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, Little Bighorn Battlefield and Devils Tower national monuments, and Fort Laramie National Historic Site.

Originally from northern Wyoming and south-central Montana, Mike has spent much of his NPS career in Alaska at Denali National Park and serving as superintendent of Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. Other NPS assignments have included acting superintendent roles at Cape Lookout National Seashore and Jewel Cave National Monument; acting associate regional director for operations in the Alaska Region; special assistant to the Alaska regional director; special assistant to the director of the NPS; and chief of planning at Denali National Park. Mike served as a park ranger early in his career at Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park and Gulf Islands National Seashore, and he was chief ranger at Timpanogos Cave National Monument before moving to Alaska.

While chief of planning at Denali, Mike published several articles on protected area management in national and international journals and served on three international assignments in Sweden, South Africa, and China, in which he provided advice to other national park systems on sustainable tourism. Mike has a bachelor’s degree in American studies/earth science from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree in geography from the University of Iowa. He graduated from Billings Central High School in Billings, Montana, and grew up one of 10 siblings near Big Horn, Wyoming, and Ashland and Broadview, Montana.
 

Yellowstone Offices

These offices are integral contributors to the park's management, offering valuable insights into the roles, responsibilities, and collaborative spirit that define Yellowstone's stewardship.

The Office of the Superintendent has the ultimate responsibility for managing the resources and infrastructure within Yellowstone, a staff of nearly 1,300 NPS employees and volunteers, and an operating budget of approximately $70 million. The office promotes clear, consistent, accurate, timely, and engaging communication about the park and its Strategic Priorities through collaboration and alignment of staff and its many partners, including the gateway communities where visitors from the park spend an estimated $600 million in 2023.

This division oversees operations that support staff, including technology services, central warehouse operations, and the mail and copy room. Technology services maintain a highly complex network to support all forms of data and voice communication in Yellowstone’s remote environment. The warehouse and copy room ensure the delivery of critical supplies, property, and materials needed to operate the park. Youth Program staff provide multi-day in-park and outreach education programs to over 40,000 students and teachers each year and serve as liaisons with Yellowstone Forever Institute, the park's official education partner.

This division ensures that commercial operations do not have adverse effects on park resources and that visitors have access to high-quality services. It oversees 68 concessions contracts that include nine hotels with over 2,100 rooms, 36 food services establishments, 12 general stores and gift shops totaling over 12,000 square feet of retail space, camping with over 1,400 campsites and 358 RV sites, 80 marina slips, eight gas stations, 23 oversnow operators, 40 guided saddle and pack stock outfitters, and bear spray rentals. In addition, the division issued 411 commercial use authorizations to approximately 290 businesses providing a variety of approved guided visitor services.

This division oversees the operation and maintenance of Yellowstone’s $4.1 billion asset portfolio, including 1,735 buildings, 1,113 miles of trails, 469 housing units, 453 miles of roads, 61 road bridges, 23 wastewater systems, 21 water systems, 12 campgrounds, and an additional 217 assets. Daily operations ensure that park facilities can support the 4 million+ visitors that Yellowstone receives each year. In addition to daily operations, the division also coordinates with national NPS offices, additional government agencies, and contractors to oversee major infrastructure improvement projects in the park.

This division protects and preserves park resources through inspiration, education, and dialogue. It operates 13 visitor centers, museums, contact stations, and warming huts; offers a variety of ranger programs and manages the popular Junior Ranger program; produces short films and informational videos; manages the park website and mobile app; and produces publications, exhibits, and waysides to help visitors plan their trip and learn more about park resources and issues. This division also oversees Yellowstone's volunteer program and more than 500 volunteers.

This division oversees the safety and security for the park's visitors and its resources. Core functions include managing the Yellowstone’s Interagency Communications Center, emergency medical services, search and rescue operations, wildland and structural fire, and law enforcement. The division dispatches for nine agencies outside the park, operates a combined 22 ambulances and fire engines stationed across eight developed areas of the park, handles complex technical rescues of visitors, and coordinates with Yellowstone’s own U.S. Magistrate Judge and full-time Assistant U.S. Attorney.

This division centralizes the park’s efforts in natural and cultural resource conservation, research, and environmental compliance. Areas of interest include native species and the habitats and ecosystem processes that sustain them; the Yellowstone caldera and its geothermal features; climate change and its effect on visitor experience and infrastructure; air and water quality; natural soundscapes; vegetation communities; aquatic and terrestrial invasive plants; archeological sites; historic structures and cultural landscapes; museum collections, archives, and library collections; consultations with Native American nations; and visitation trends and their impacts to park resources, staffing and infrastructure, visitor experience, and gateway communities.
 

Priority Issues

 
Row of teepees and stone arch at sunset
Strategic Priorities

Learn about the five major priorities set by park managers in 2019, each critical to the success of Yellowstone.

Two rangers on horseback salute during a ceremony.
Laws and Policies

Learn about the laws and policies that guide the National Park Service in protecting and preserving Yellowstone.

A lone bison exits from a trailer
Bison Management

Learn how the park maintains a wild, migratory bison population in a modern landscape.

A biologist holds a net full of Yellowstone cutthroat trout
Fish Management

Learn how the Native Fish Conservation Program works to preserve Yellowstone Lake cutthroat trout and to restore fluvial trout populations.

A biologist sets up a game camera in front of a culvert trap
Bear Management

Learn how the park manages bears and the people who come to see them.

A park ranger with a ponytail inspects a boat on a trailer.
Aquatic Invasive Species Management

Help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species; clean, drain, and dry your boat before arriving in the park for inspection.

A wildland fire fighter performs a prescribed burn
Fire Management

Learn how the park balances the benefits and threats of fire on the landscape.

Handing a GPS unit to a person in a vehicle
Visitor Use Management

Learn how the park is studying and responding to an increase of visitors in the last decade.

A newly constructed road winds along a hillside
Flood Recovery and Operations

Learn about the substantial improvements to park infrastructure damaged in the 2022 flood event.

Last updated: April 5, 2024

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168

Phone:

307-344-7381

Contact Us