Kenai’s Ricky Gease is new state Parks director

Ricky Gease


The executive director of the Kenai River Sportfishing Association has been named the next director of the State Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation.

Feb. 15 will be Ricky Gease’s first day with the Dunleavy Administration; he replaces Ethan Tyler, who has been transferred to the Division of Oil and Gas.

Gease started with the U.S. Park Service in Kenai Fjords National Park in 1992, where he worked as a park ranger for six years. He managed the museum of  the Kenai Visitor and Cultural Center and was executive director of the Kenai Convention and Visitors Bureau. He has led the sportfishing group since 2004.

Gease holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from Stanford University, and a Foraker Certificate in Non-Profit Management from the University of Alaska Anchorage. He also served on the Federal Subsistence Board’s Southcentral Alaska Regional Advisory Council, and was named a Salmon Fellow by the Alaska Humanities Forum in 2017.

At the Parks Division, he’ll oversee a staff of more than 100.

In other staff changes at the Department of Natural Resources, Brent Goodrum is the new deputy commissioner. He was director of the Division of Mining, Land and Water, where since 2001 he has led a team of more than 200 people responsible for managing the natural resources in the entire state.

In addition to overseeing his previous division, Goodrum will now have management responsibility for the divisions responsible for forestry, state parks, agriculture, and departmental support services. Goodrum’s top priorities will include helping DNR meet its mission of protecting resources through rigorous permitting, while operating faster and more efficiently to help build a stronger economy for Alaskans.

Goodrum, of Anchorage is a retired infantry officer in the U.s. Marine Corps. and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. He holds a master’s degree in operations research from the Naval Postgraduate School.

“I am proud to be building a team of passionate professionals at DNR who love Alaska and value its incredible cultural and natural diversity,” Feige said. “These are the folks working hard to develop, conserve and maximize the use of Alaska’s natural resources to advance the public interest.”

The personnel changes fill out the ranks of Feige’s leadership team, which includes oil and gas specialist Sara Longan as deputy commissioner and resources attorney Peter Caltagirone as special assistant.

Former state parks Director Ethan Tyler will remain with DNR, and bring his expertise in commercial and policy experience to the Division of Oil and Gas.

Marty Parsons, long-time deputy director of the Division of Mining, Land and Water, has been promoted to director of that division. Laura Ogan, an administrative assistant in the Division of Oil and Gas, has transferred to a new role the commissioner’s office: Communications and special projects assistant.

Two added to administration’s Natural Resources team