September 28, 2017

Park Service Superintendent Donahue to retire


BUSHKILL - Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Superintendent John Donahue will retire from the National Park Service on December 3, 2017, capping off a 38-year federal career that took him to numerous national park units in several different roles. 

Donahue started his career as a permanent employee with the United States as a gardener, first at Cape Cod National Seashore and later at John Muir National Historic Site. He has also served as a Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Fish Wildlife and Parks in the Department of Interior and as an Environmental Specialist in the Washington Office of the NPS.  He also held positions as the Chief of Resource Management and Visitor Services at Cape Cod National Seashore and as a Resource Manager at Morristown National Historical Park.   

In recent years, John led the United States and an international delegation to China on behalf of the National Park Service and attended the World Parks Conference in Australia.   In 1999, he was part of a delegation that visited national parks in Haiti to spur tourism and economic development.  During his tenure, he has written legislation, regulations, policies, and numerous articles.  His areas of expertise include wildlife, cultural landscapes and landscape scale connectivity and restoration.

Donahue takes great pride in the relationships he has established with the local elected officials and in leading the park’s efforts to cooperate with partners and neighbors to improve the local area.  Through his leadership, the recent stewardship land acquisition program resulting from the Susquehanna – Roseland Transmission Line settlements has essentially connected national recreation area lands to state forests and privately-owned but preserved hunting clubs in PA and across the river to connect with New Jersey state parks and forests creating a large landscape of hundreds of thousands of acres of connected open space only 85 miles from Manhattan and 100 miles from Philadelphia.  Another issue of pride for Donahue has been the great relationship established with the Native American Tribes whose homeland includes Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.  The Native American youth camps and regular consultation and cooperation with the Tribes bring him great joy.

For more information on Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area visit

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