SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Department of Natural Resources Executive Director Joel Ferry has appointed Scott Strong as the new Utah Division of State Parks director.

The Utah State Parks Board announced its support on Thursday. Strong has served as interim director since Jeff Rasmussen retired in December after working for Utah State Parks for 31 years, according to a news release issued by the division.

“We are excited to welcome Scott in this new role and expect a seamless transition,” Ferry said. “He brings a wealth of experience, which will have a positive impact as we continue to enhance and expand Utah State Parks.”

Strong served the past six years as Utah State Parks’ deputy director of business management and eight years as the division’s financial manager and accounting officer. According to the release, he’s “demonstrated unwavering dedication to the success and sustainability of the organization.”

“I’m both grateful and humbled by this appointment,” Strong said. “While our state parks are some of the most beautiful in the world, the dedication of our incredible staff is what makes our parks so special. I’m committed to leading with passion, innovating with purpose and looking to the future.”

Scott Strong poses with a dog, date and location not specified | Photo courtesy of the Utah Division of State Parks, St. George News

From serene hikes up Frary Peak at Antelope Island State Park to exhilarating wakeboarding sessions at Sand Hollow State Park, the release states “Strong’s devotion to these amazing parks is more than professional. He wants to ensure others also enjoy them for generations to come.”

Strong said over 12 million people visited the state’s 46 parks last year.

“My priority is to create a welcoming environment for our guests so they can make memories while safely exploring the recreational and educational opportunities Utah’s parks provide,” he said.

In addition to his love for the outdoors, Strong is an avid golfer and has contributed to the management of the four Utah State Park golf courses, the release states.

“A graduate of Weber State University with a business administration and marketing degree, his comprehensive skill set positions him to lead the organization successfully,” according to the release.

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