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Big Changes at GGNRA

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area lost two longtime leaders this month, both of whom were instrumental in the development of the Ocean Beach Master Plan.

Frank Dean, GGNRA Superintendent since 2009, will be heading up the Yosemite Conservancy, that park’s nonprofit partner. He has more than 30 years experience with the National Park Service, including stints at Sequoyah/King’s Canyon, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and Point Reyes, and he served as Superintendent of Saratoga National Historical Park in NY and the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.

Frank emphasized park partnerships, strengthening GGNRA’s ties with the Presidio Trust, the Golden Gate Bridge District, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and the City of San Francisco, among many others. He tackled the kinds of challenges faced by a multi-faceted urban park heavily used by a diverse and passionate public – historic preservation, transportation, and balancing access with environmental stewardship.

This approach made him a tremendous partner for SPUR’s work at Ocean Beach. He understood the delicate balance required to work with a variety of agencies and stakeholders in a constrained environment, while keeping sight of park stewardship. He also became a member of SPUR’s board, lending his perspective to a broader range of policy issues. Our loss will be Yosemite’s gain.

Nancy Hornor has been at GGNRA since 1980, and served as Planning Division Chief since 2000. She was instrumental in the planning processes for Crissy Field and Fort Baker, and was SPUR’s main point of contact for the Ocean Beach Master Plan. She has begun a well-deserved retirement and will be spending time with her young granddaughter.

Frank and Nancy both embody the best of public service. Both have a steady professionalism deeply leavened with warmth, humor, and quiet equanimity. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with new leadership, but they will have big shoes to fill.

Next up: getting to know Chris Lehnertz, the new GGNRA Superintendent.