From our Friends at the Fire Island National Seashore
News Release Date: March 22, 2018
Contact: Elizabeth Rogers, 631-687-4766
Patchogue, NY – The National Park Service (NPS) announced today that Fire Island National Seashore Superintendent Karl “Chris” Soller will retire on March 31, 2018. In his 41 years of service, Mr. Soller worked to foster collaboration and nurture partnerships which can support the long-term stewardship of our national parks.
As superintendent at Fire Island, Mr. Soller completed a new General Management Plan, Deer Management Plan, Breach Management Plan, and Visitor Experience Plan. He has been a consistent voice in the planning and execution of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Fire Island to Montauk Point (FIMP) and Fire Island to Moriches Inlet (FIMI) Beach Reformulation Studies. In addition, he led staff and partners through Hurricane Sandy and the challenge, five-year recovery.
“Fire Island is unique in that it is not only a national seashore,” said Mr. Soller, “but it is also home to thousands of people. It is only through collaborative stewardship that we can achieve our mission of balancing use and enjoyment with resource protection.” His commitment to collaboration has resulted in a strong partnership with Fire Island summer and year-round residents.
Soller’s federal career began in 1977 as a VISTA volunteer and he started with the NPS in 1978 as an outdoor recreation planner in Washington, D.C. From 1977 to 2008, he continued to serve in a variety of positions working between headquarters in Washington, D.C. and field positions in national parks in New York, including Gateway National Recreation Area. He first came to Fire Island from 1983 to 1988 as a management assistant, responsible for park planning, land use issues, and community relations. He returned in 2008 as superintendent and has served in the position longer than any superintendent before him.
A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Soller earned his BA in American Studies from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and his MA in Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. He and his partner of 25 years, Jack Curry, split their time between New York and Arlington, Virginia.
In his retirement, Soller plans to initially spend time with family and pursue his many personal interests. He hopes to continue to be engaged in landscape management and preservation through education and advocacy.