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Reception for Fort Union Monument chief Tuesday

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The Citizens Committee for Historic Preservation is hosting a reception from 4 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday to formally welcome the new superintendent of Fort Union National Monument.

Charles Strickfaden, a 28-year veteran of the National Park Service, took over as the park’s superintendent on Dec. 30. He succeeded Marie Sauter, who is now superintendent of White Sands National Monument.

As superintendent of the 720-acre Fort Union National Monument, Strickfaden manages a staff of 13 and an annual operating budget of more than $1.2 million.

“I am thrilled at the opportunity to serve as superintendent of Fort Union, where we protect the history of the Santa Fe Trail and the Southwest,” Strickfaden said shortly after being selected for the post. “It offers visitors such wonderful opportunities to learn about life on the Great Plains and the interaction of tribal communities and early pioneers.”

Prior to his Fort Union post, Strickfaden was chief of visitor services and resources protection for the National Park Service’s Flagstaff Area National Monuments. He served in that position since August 2005, overseeing visitor services and resources protection at Wupatki, Sunset Crater Volcano and Walnut Canyon National Monuments.

Strickfaden is a native of Southern California and earned his bachelor’s degree in natural resource management at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. He is married to Heidi Strickfaden, who is also an employee of the National Park Service.