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Wednesday, May 25, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesFORMER DPNR CHIEF JOINS STX PARK SERVICE TEAM

FORMER DPNR CHIEF JOINS STX PARK SERVICE TEAM

The National Park Service staff on St. Croix has a new addition, Beulah Dalmida-Smith, the former commissioner of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources in the Schneider administration.
Joel Tutein, superintendent of the Park Service’s Christiansted National Historic Site, which includes Buck Island Reef National Monument and Salt River National Park, said Thursday that an increased workload prompted him to bring Dalmida-Smith on board as special assistant for external affairs.
Dalmida-Smith, who began work last Monday, will initially focus her efforts on Salt River and coral reef issues.
On paper, the Salt River park is co-managed by the Park Service and the local government. But since the park’s inception during President Bush’s administration the V.I. government has moved slowly, especially in appointing its members to a co-management board.
"My target at this point is trying to get that commission going and land acquisition out there," Dalmida-Smith said.
Through an executive order in 1998 President Clinton launched the Coral Reef Initiative, aimed at ensuring the survival of coral reef throughout the nation. The Park Service has 10 coral reef parks, three of them in the Virgin Islands and two of the three in St. Croix, Tutein said.
"We’ve got a third of the coral reef parks," Tutein said. "The Coral Reef Initiative has really increased the workload."
And after a decade without budget increases Tutein has managed to secure more funding – from $500,000 a year to almost $1.2 million – for the St. Croix Park Service unit. That effort, however, has forced Tutein to be on the road regularly, pulling his attention away from day-to-day operations on St. Croix. Hence the hiring of Dalmida-Smith.
"He’s always after securing funding," she said. "We have a very good support in Washington and (Park Service regional headquarters) Atlanta."
Through her time at the helm of DPNR between 1995 and 1998, Dalmida-Smith said she established a long list of contacts in the world of natural resource management. That networking and experience will serve her and the Park Service well, she said.
"I’m not new. That position required constant networking with federal agencies," she said. "Really and truly it put my name out there."
After graduating from the University of the Virgin Islands with a degree in marine biology and Yale with a masters in conservation biology in 1993, Dalmida-Smith spent a year at the V.I. National Park on St. John as a environmental education specialist. She then was appointed to lead DPNR.

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The National Park Service staff on St. Croix has a new addition, Beulah Dalmida-Smith, the former commissioner of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources in the Schneider administration.
Joel Tutein, superintendent of the Park Service’s Christiansted National Historic Site, which includes Buck Island Reef National Monument and Salt River National Park, said Thursday that an increased workload prompted him to bring Dalmida-Smith on board as special assistant for external affairs.
Dalmida-Smith, who began work last Monday, will initially focus her efforts on Salt River and coral reef issues.
On paper, the Salt River park is co-managed by the Park Service and the local government. But since the park’s inception during President Bush’s administration the V.I. government has moved slowly, especially in appointing its members to a co-management board.
"My target at this point is trying to get that commission going and land acquisition out there," Dalmida-Smith said.
Through an executive order in 1998 President Clinton launched the Coral Reef Initiative, aimed at ensuring the survival of coral reef throughout the nation. The Park Service has 10 coral reef parks, three of them in the Virgin Islands and two of the three in St. Croix, Tutein said.
"We’ve got a third of the coral reef parks," Tutein said. "The Coral Reef Initiative has really increased the workload."
And after a decade without budget increases Tutein has managed to secure more funding – from $500,000 a year to almost $1.2 million – for the St. Croix Park Service unit. That effort, however, has forced Tutein to be on the road regularly, pulling his attention away from day-to-day operations on St. Croix. Hence the hiring of Dalmida-Smith.
"He’s always after securing funding," she said. "We have a very good support in Washington and (Park Service regional headquarters) Atlanta."
Through her time at the helm of DPNR between 1995 and 1998, Dalmida-Smith said she established a long list of contacts in the world of natural resource management. That networking and experience will serve her and the Park Service well, she said.
"I’m not new. That position required constant networking with federal agencies," she said. "Really and truly it put my name out there."
After graduating from the University of the Virgin Islands with a degree in marine biology and Yale with a masters in conservation biology in 1993, Dalmida-Smith spent a year at the V.I. National Park on St. John as a environmental education specialist. She then was appointed to lead DPNR.