Lott takes helm at Bandelier National Monument

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By Carol A. Clark

Already on the job for 10 days, Jason Lott is now officially recognized as Bandelier National Monument’s new superintendent.

“Superintendents are charged with a public trust responsibility to faithfully protect, preserve and most certainly provide for the public’s access and enjoyment of their parks,” Acting Regional Director Laura Joss of the Intermountain Region of the Park Service told the crowd gathered at Bandelier for the installation ceremony Wednesday morning.

“Jason has done that elsewhere at many different positions within the National Park System and will continue to do that here.”

Joss mentioned Terry Tempest Williams’ writing, “The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time. They are kneeling with clasped hands that we might act with restraint, leaving room for the life that is destined to come.

“We are the beneficiaries of our predecessor’s vision to establish these parks and we are also the benefactors for so many to come who will enjoy them as we do,” Joss said. “Jason is now the caretaker for this park and the National Park Service ambassador to and for the American people.”

Lott comes to Bandelier from Arizona where he served as superintendent of Casa Grande Ruins National Monument.

During his three years there, Lott was responsible for helping establish the park’s “friends” group, implementing the annual Native American Music Fest and creating a new division for Resources Management.

Lott also planned and prepared for expansion of the monument’s visitor center, upgraded park infrastructure to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and opened an international, park-to-park relationship with Pacquime in Casas Grandes, Mexico, for joint research and consultation in ruins preservation.

He also has been an active member of the Central Incident Command Team and the Vanishing Treasures Leadership Committee.

Lott previously worked at Lyndon B. Johnson Historical Park in Texas.

The 39-year-old father of two is a veteran of the Army National Guard, where he commanded the 1086th Transportation Company in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq.

“Jason brings to his new job a passion for heritage preservation and protection and a commitment to connect with the people of Los Alamos and surrounding communities,” said Regional Director Mike Snyder when he heard of Lott’s selection for Bandelier. “He has a wealth of experience and a deep appreciation for the parks.”

Wednesday’s installation event drew County, Pueblo and business leaders including Council Chair Michael Wheeler, Acting Lt. Gov. Vernon Garcia of Cochiti Pueblo and Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kevin Holsapple among many others.

“My family and I are going to love it here … we plan to buy a home in Los Alamos or White Rock,” Lott said, adding that he intends to become involved with the Boy Scout Council.

“It’s going to take me a couple of months to get up to speed and then I plan to get very involved in the community,” he said.

Lott and wife Wendy have two children, Sarah, 11, and Jimmy, 8, Yazzy, a 3-year-old white cat and Bandit, an 8-month-old Jack Russell Terrier and Shitz Tsu mix.

Lott holds a master’s degree in history with an emphasis in cultural resource management from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La.

Contact Carol A. Clark at lanews@lamonitor.com or (505) 662-4185 ext. 25. Read her blog at www.newsextras.wordpress.com.