Longtime Mesa Verde maintenance chief set to retire

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Longtime Mesa Verde maintenance chief set to retire

Longtime Mesa Verde maintenance man Frank Cope set to retire
Frank Cope is retiring from the chief of maintenance job at Mesa Verde National Park after 17 years.
Then-interior Secretary Ken Salazar speaks at the Mesa Verde Visitors Center before its opening in 2012. Frank Cope says the center was one of the park’s greatest achievements.
The High Hut, which overlooks Mount Rainer. Frank Cope remembers Mount Rainier National Park for its beauty, but also its dangers.
The narrows of the Virgin River in Zion National Park, Utah, which has seen an explosion in popularity. “More and more people means that the boundaries of these parks are going to be pushed to the absolute max,” Frank Cope said
The 2016 superbloom in Death Valley National Park. Frank Cope gained status as a historic preservationist while working in the park.
Associated Press

A lenticular cloud hovers over Mount Rainier National Park. Frank Cope remembers Mount Rainier National Park for its beauty, but also its dangers.
In this 2012 photo, Mesa Verde chief of maintenance Frank Cope, left, shows then-Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, right, the future location for the new Visitor’s Center at the park. Cope is retiring at the end of February after 17 years in the job.

Longtime Mesa Verde maintenance chief set to retire

Frank Cope is retiring from the chief of maintenance job at Mesa Verde National Park after 17 years.
Then-interior Secretary Ken Salazar speaks at the Mesa Verde Visitors Center before its opening in 2012. Frank Cope says the center was one of the park’s greatest achievements.
The High Hut, which overlooks Mount Rainer. Frank Cope remembers Mount Rainier National Park for its beauty, but also its dangers.
The narrows of the Virgin River in Zion National Park, Utah, which has seen an explosion in popularity. “More and more people means that the boundaries of these parks are going to be pushed to the absolute max,” Frank Cope said
The 2016 superbloom in Death Valley National Park. Frank Cope gained status as a historic preservationist while working in the park.
Associated Press

A lenticular cloud hovers over Mount Rainier National Park. Frank Cope remembers Mount Rainier National Park for its beauty, but also its dangers.
In this 2012 photo, Mesa Verde chief of maintenance Frank Cope, left, shows then-Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, right, the future location for the new Visitor’s Center at the park. Cope is retiring at the end of February after 17 years in the job.
A career in the parks

Frank Cope has worked for more than 30 years in various roles in the National Park Service. Following is a summary of the jobs he had over the years.
1984: Tour guide near Everglades National Park, Florida
1985-1987: First National Park Service job, maintenance worker at Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah
1988: Historic Preservationist at Scotty’s Castle, Death Valley National Park, California
1989: Electrician at Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
1990-1995: Buildings and Utilities Supervisor at Zion National Park, Utah
1995-1999: Chief of Maintenance at Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
1999-2017: Chief of Maintenance at Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

If you go

A farewell gathering and dinner to honor Frank Cope will be held on March 4 at 6 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, 320 N. Harrison St. in Cortez.

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