Chesterton Tribune



MaryEllen 'Mel' Whitenack new Fire Management Officer at National Lakeshore

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The National Park Service (NPS) has appointed MaryEllen “Mel” Whitenack as Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore’s new Fire Management Officer.

Whitenack was selected from a national pool of applicants and stood out as an exceptional candidate, NPS said in a statement released today.

“Mel has shown great leadership and done an outstanding job across the Midwest Region of the National Park Service to help parks develop fire programs,” said Daniel Plath, chief of resource management at the National Lakeshore. “Mel brings with her years of fire management experience and proven team building skills, including the 2015 National Wildland Fire Leadership Challenge, where Indiana Dunes fire team received the runner-up award for all fire programs across the country.”

Whitenack has been at Indiana Dunes since 2001 and since 2008 has served as the Assistant Fire Management Officer.

“I am looking forward to continue our work with the communities and cooperators that surround the park and continue building partnerships that work for the park and the community,” Whitenack said.

In her 20-year career with NPS, Whitenack has served at Wiskeytown National Recreation Area and at Grand Tetons National Park. Her duties at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore have included managing fire programs at Sleeping Bear Dunes and Lincoln Boyhood National Monument.

Whitenack has also represented NPS on the ground for disaster relief and wildfires from Florida to Alaska.

Whitenack lives in Chesterton.


Posted 2/2/2017




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