Paul Fishell, the Park Manager of Conchas Lake State park for the past three years, became the acting superintendent of the park on Thursday, July 8.
Byron Wilson, the former superintendent, left to become the superintendent of the recently opened Eagle Nest State Park. Fishell said he is glad to be acting superintendent and considers himself to be a candidate for the permanent superintendent position. “I am the acting superintendent until state park officials put the superintendent position up for bid,” said Fishell. “Officials will interview other candidates including myself.”
Fishell said he would welcome the opportunity to become the superintendent of the park. “I love Conchas Lake State park,’ said Fishell. “We have an excellent crew. If we can keep the present crew together we can make some significant progress and improvements in this park.”
Fishell points to his three years of experience as park manger and nine years of experience with New Mexico State Monuments. He said he also has professional business experience. “I was in the trucking industry for 15 years,” he said. “I owned my own trucks. I was responsible for maintaining a budget.”
Fishell said one factor in his favor is that he and his wife are used to living in remote areas. “Other candidates for superintendent may have significant others who would not want to live in such a remote area as Conchas,” said Fishell. “My wife, Debbie, was born and raised in Fort Sumner, so she is used to small town life. She is very active in the community of Conchas.” Fishell said the main difference between the superintendent and park manger positions is that the superintendent is more involved in long range planning for the park. “As park manager, I was more responsible for the day-to-day operation of the park,” he said. “As superintendent, I would be more involved in long term goals. I know that I can come up with ideas and plans that would dovetail with those of the State Parks Division.”
Fishell said he learned from Wilson’s tenure as superintendent.
“Mr. Wilson was very conscious of keeping me in the loop with regard to strategies, marketing plans and goals.”
Parks have made their way into the life blood of the Fishell family. Fishell said his daughter has now taken a permanent position with New Mexico State Parks.
“My daughter is an interpretive ranger at Oasis State Park. Natural resources and parks run in the family.”