70+ Environment and Outdoor Recreation Groups Call on Speedy Confirmation of Charles F. Sams III for National Park Service Director

Today, The Trust for Public Land released a letter to Sen. Joe Manchin, Chairman of Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Ranking Member Sen. John Barrasso strongly supporting President Biden’s nomination of Charles F. Sams III to serve as the 19th director of the National Park Service (NPS) and urging them to favorably report his nomination to the full Senate for timely action. The letter has been signed by over 70 national, community, and business organizations from across the country. 

“This letter makes clear the environment and outdoor recreation community stand firmly behind President Biden’s pick to run the National Park Service,” said Jordan Schreiber, Sr. Director of Policy, Advocacy and Government at The Trust for Public Land. “Charles F. Sams III is a visionary conservation leader with a deep demonstrated commitment to natural and cultural resources and the communities that depend on them. We hope his nomination gets swift and unanimous confirmation.”   

Text of the letter is below: 


September 2, 2021 


The Honorable Joe Manchin 

Chairman, Committee on Energy and    Natural Resources 

304 Dirksen Senate Office Building 

Washington, DC 20510                                                     


The Honorable John Barrasso 

Ranking Member, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources 

304 Dirksen Senate Office Building 

Washington, DC 20510                               


RE: Support for Charles F. Sams III, nominee for National Park Service Director 

Dear Chairman Manchin and Ranking Member Barrasso, 

The undersigned groups strongly support President Biden’s nomination of Charles F. Sams III to serve as the 19th director of the National Park Service (NPS). We hope you will consider his impressive qualifications without delay and favorably report this important nomination to the full Senate for timely action.   

Mr. Sams is a visionary conservation leader with a deep demonstrated commitment to natural and cultural resources and the communities that depend on them. His long career has been dedicated to the protection of, and equitable access to, irreplaceable resource lands; to sound management of treasured landscapes; and to careful balancing of complex equities to meet essential responsibilities to diverse interests.  His unique, invaluable perspective and deep experience regarding land and water management, law enforcement, facilities and infrastructure, youth programs, fish and wildlife resources, and cultural sites make him an ideal candidate for this most critical leadership position.   

Given the range of threats and challenges NPS and our national parks face – including record-breaking visitation and overcrowding, degradation of park resources, effects of climate change, park police issues, ongoing gender discrimination and sexual harassment, and more – we need a NPS director who is ready and able to provide steady leadership and develop and implement solutions to address persistent problems.   These issues have only amplified in the more than four years since the Service has had a Senate-confirmed director, taking a toll on the Park Service’s  20,000 dedicated employees and the 423 irreplaceable national sites they manage, from national parks and monuments to national battlefields, military parks, historical parks, historic sites, lakeshores, seashores, recreation areas, rivers, and trails. 

We urgently need a director capable of navigating these challenges. Mr. Sams’s possesses the demonstrated executive and organizational management skills for that role, proven in his current and former leadership at the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation,   the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, the Columbia Slough Watershed Council, the Community Energy Project, the Indian Country Conservancy, the Trust for Public Land’s Tribal Lands Program, and beyond. 

Beyond his sterling credentials, Mr. Sams will be the first Native American to lead the agency in its 105-year history. The unique perspective he would bring as an enrolled member, Cayuse and Walla Walla, of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation offers an invaluable opportunity to enrich the organizational strength, culture, programs, perspective, and reach of the National Park Service. With his commitment to diverse partnerships and to inspiring the next generation of conservation and land management leaders, Mr.  Sams will help ensure that everyone sees themselves reflected in our public lands. 

Charles Sams is very highly qualified to provide the leadership we all need at the National Park Service.  We look forward to his expeditious confirmation and to the tremendous contributions he will make to our national parks, to the agency’s programs and staff, and to the American people. 


Alaska Wilderness League 

American Forests 

American Rivers 

American YouthWorks 

Appalachian Mountain Club 

Arizona Faith Network 

Arizona Trail Association 

American Society of Landscape Architects 

Atomic Heritage Foundation 


California League of Conservation Voters 

California Wilderness Coalition 

Chesapeake Conservancy 

City Parks Alliance 

Clean Energy Action 

Continental Divide Trail Coalition 

Corazon Latino 

Defenders of Wildlife 


East Bay Regional Park District 

Empower our Future – Colorado 

Endangered Species Coalition 

Friends of Acadia 

Grand Canyon Trust 

Great Old Broads for Wilderness 

Hispanic Access Foundation 

International Inbound Travel Association 


Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce 

Latino Outdoors 

League of Conservation Voters 

National Audubon Society 

National Ocean Protection Coalition 

National Park Partners 

National Parks Conservation Association 

National Recreation and Park Association 

National Tour Association 

National Wildlife Federation 

Natural Resources Defense Council 

Nature for All 

New Mexico Wildlife Federation 


Open Space Institute 

Outdoor Equity Coalition 

Outdoor Industry Association 

Partnership for Responsible Business 

Partnership for the National Trails System 



Public Land Solutions 

REI Co-op 

Rocky Mountain Conservancy 

Scenic America 

Sierra Club 

Southeast Tourism Society 

Student Conservation Association 

The Evangelical Environmental Network 

The Mountain Pact 

The Trust for Public Land 

The Wilderness Society 

Umpqua Watersheds 

United States Tour Operators Association 

VetVoice Foundation 

Voyageurs Conservancy 

Washington Tourism Alliance 

Washington’s National Park Fund 

Western States Tourism Policy 

Wild Rivers Conservancy of the St. Croix & Namekagon 

Winter Wildlands Alliance 


About the Trust for Public Land 

The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live within a 10-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.