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NPLSF Announces Appointment of Long-time Isle Royale Park Superintendent to Board of Directors

ST PAUL, MINN ─ The National Parks of Lake Superior Foundation (NPLSF) has announced the appointment of retired Isle Royale National Park Superintendent Phyllis Green to its nine-person board of directors. Green's federal service career has spanned 41 years, including 18 years at Isle Royale and 22 years in the US Forest Service. While at Isle Royale, Green oversaw a wide variety of activities and projects in the 571,790-acre maritime park with its unique wilderness environment. A long-time supporter of the NPLSF, Green was superintendent of Isle Royale when the NPLSF first formed its board of directors in 2006.

"As Isle Royale's superintendent, Phyllis strongly supported the development of the National Parks of Lake Superior," said Tom Irvine, NPLSF board chair. "Our partnership with Isle Royal National Park has been highly productive, and we're pleased to extend this partnership so the foundation may benefit from Phyllis' invaluable insights, unparalleled knowledge, and tireless support of the five national parks around Lake Superior." 

A native of Houghton, Michigan, and a graduate of Michigan Tech and Michigan State, Green began her career in the US Forest Service in 1979 on the Huron Manistee in Michigan. Her last assignment was Supervisor of the 980,000-acre Ottawa National Forest. Other work assignments were at the US Forest Service Forest Products Lab in Wisconsin, Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington, Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri, and Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont. 

As superintendent of Isle Royale, Green built a reputation as a passionate expert on its ecosystem. Working with the NPLSF and other organizations, she was instrumental in leading and supporting several far-reaching initiatives: 

  • upgrading visitor facilities, such as building a new 10-person bunkhouse on Isle Royale,

  • mitigating ecosystem issues related to a dwindling wolf population,

  • spearheading efforts to bring sustainable solar power to the remote island park, 

  • developing emergency procedures for treating ballast water in Lake Superior to control the invasion of aquatic species,

  • creating educational programming to excite and engage school-aged youth, 

  • planning projects that preserve the island's historic structures and wilderness.

During the time Green was at Isle Royale, visitation in the park rose to near-record levels. 

"Most of our bigger projects during my tenure couldn't have happened without people volunteering time and resources," Green reflected. "Helping two new nonprofits form (the NPLSF and Rock of Ages) that work for the benefit of our national parks was extremely gratifying." 

Green finds time to enjoy the parks along the Lake Superior shoreline with her husband, Jay, and her family and friends during her free time. "My favorite thing to do in a park is making time to explore it; hiking, canoeing, powerboating, or learning about its history," she said. "By taking the time to explore a park, you gain many different perspectives about what makes it special. Whether it's surrounding yourself in the cold of a mining shaft on a hot summer day, taking in the sparkle on the lake so bright, you have to blink, or catching the scent of wild roses on a hike. All these parks are awesome."


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