(May 5, 2009 - Phoenix, AZ) - The Arizona State Parks Board has announced the new Executive Director of the State Parks department as Renee Bahl.
"The State Parks Board is extremely pleased to have been able to hire a natural resources professional at this top level," said Board Chair Reese Woodling. "We needed to find someone of this caliber to find solutions to our recent budget crisis and with the high level of education and experience that combines natural resources, economics and public policy."
Most recently, Bahl served as Director of San Diego County Parks and Recreation, where she directed the rebuild and stabilization of 15,000 acres of parkland and 21 facilities after the 2003 Cedar and Paradise wildfires. During her time in this position, she acquired more than 8,000 acres with 60% funded through grants since fiscal year 2003. She also expanded the department and services to the public through completion and opening of a number of new parks. She currently serves as board member of the California Association of Regional Park and Open Space Administrators and has been Southern Regional Director since 2007, and is board member of the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials, serving as Treasurer and Legislative Affairs Committee Chair since 2008. She is also a member of California Park and Recreation Society and National Recreation and Park Association.
Prior to her time with San Diego County Parks and Recreation, Bahl served as Assistant Director of Arizona State Parks from March 1996-May 2002. She led $32 million in annual grant awards and more than $60 million in annual preservation, recreation and acquisition projects with state and federal dollars. She managed the statewide non-motorized trail and off-highway vehicle programs, land conservation program, State Historic Preservation Office and statewide planning. She was instrumental in the design of the Land Conservation Acquisition program. Before that, she was a fiscal analyst with the Joint Legislative Budget Committee for the Arizona State Legislature. While at the JLBC, Bahl prepared, presented and defended budget recommendations to the Arizona Legislature for six environmental and natural resource agencies with operating budgets totaling more than $150 million.
Bahl received her Master of Public Administration in Policy Analysis/Environmental Policy and Natural Resource Management from Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs and received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Emory University in Atlanta.
For more information about Arizona State Parks call (602) 542-4174 (outside of the Phoenix metro area call toll-free (800) 285-3703) or visit azstateparks.com.
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