The National Park Service has appointed a new superintendent for Mammoth Cave National Park, near Bowling Green.

Sarah Craighead has worked at Mammoth Cave National Park before…but that was in 1979. She grew up near the park, and credits it with getting her started in the park system.

Since then, she’s headed up parks in Oklahoma and Arizona. She’s currently the superintendent of Death Valley National Park, and has also worked in parks in Maine and Virginia.

Craighead says she’s excited to come back to Kentucky, but she’s waiting until she starts work to lay out a specific plan for Mammoth Cave.

“It’s hard to know exactly what the unique challenges are at Mammoth Cave,” she said. “I haven’t lived there in a very long time, and so I don’t presume to know what’s going on there or what particularly that we’ll need to work on, but I feel that my broad background will help to figure out what that is and be able to move things forward.”

Craighead will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the park, including formulating a strategic plan, managing operations and research. She will start work on November 4 and replaces Superintendent Patrick Reed, who retired in June.