Utah State Parks Blog

Utah State Parks Director Retires After 31 Years

Jeff Rasmussen, Utah Division of State Parks Director Ret.

SALT LAKE CITY — After an illustrious 31-year career with the Utah Division of State Parks, Division Director Jeff Rasmussen has announced his well-deserved retirement.

“The time has come for me to start my next great adventure,” Rasmussen said. “My time with Utah State Parks has been something that I’ll cherish forever, and I’m thankful for all those who I’ve met along the way.”

Jeff Rasmussen’s retirement, scheduled for December 16, marks the end of an era at the Utah Division of State Parks. 

Having assumed the role of the division’s director in 2018, Rasmussen leaves behind a legacy marked by unwavering commitment and transformational leadership. Under his guidance, Utah’s state park system has seen unprecedented investments and expansions with the end goal of enhancing the visitor experience. 

“Jeff has been a valued member of our team,” Utah Department of Natural Resources Executive Director Joel Ferry said. “His dedication and leadership have elevated our state parks to new heights and left a lasting legacy. We wish him the best with this next chapter.” 

Rasmussen’s career with Utah State Parks began in 1992 as a park ranger at Antelope Island State Park. He later transferred to Palisade State Park where he continued his work as a park ranger. In 1998, Rasmussen was promoted to assistant park manager of Yuba State Park and again to park manager in 2002. His journey continued, culminating in his role as the north region manager before assuming the position of deputy director in 2012.

Jeff Rasmussen, Utah Division of State Parks Director Ret.

Known for his passion for the outdoors as an avid mountain biker and off-highway vehicle enthusiast, Rasmussen plans to immerse himself in the very environments he has devoted his professional life to preserving and enhancing. 

“I’ve seen some of the most beautiful areas imaginable while working here,” Rasmussen said. “Now I get to spend even more time exploring and sharing them with my family and friends.”

As the Division of State Parks embarks on the search for a new director, Scott Strong, deputy director of business management, will serve as interim director. Ferry is expected to appoint the new director in early 2024. 

“I feel so blessed to have worked in my dream job as a park ranger and, later, in management and administration at Utah State Parks,” Rasmussen said. “I am deeply thankful for our state parks team. They exhibit incredible passion and dedication in providing the best service possible, putting their heart and soul into their work. Hats off to our exceptional employees; I will miss all of you.”

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