Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for October 22, 2015
John Hiscock, superintendent at Pipe Spring, retiring after 40 years in national parks
John Hiscock, superintendent of Pipe Spring National Monument since 1994, retired on October 13 after 40 years working in national parks.
Hiscock first worked seasonally for National Park Service (NPS) in 1977 as an interpretive and generalist park technician and ranger at Jewel Cave National Monument. He next worked at Lehman Caves National Monument (now Great Basin National Park), Death Valley National Monument (now national park) and Great Sand Dunes National Monument (now national park and preserve).
He was involved in cave exploration at Jewel Cave, and was on the discovery and exploration team for Little Muddy Cave at Lehman Caves. He also worked seasonally for the U.S. Forest Service in Bridger-Teton National Forest as an interpretive specialist in Wyoming’s Wind River Range.
Hiscock got his first permanent NPS position in 1982 at Mammoth Cave National Park as a “split” park technician in interpretation, resource management and law enforcement. He pursued and received a Juris Doctor degree at the University of Utah, and served as a law clerk for Department of the Interior’s regional solicitor’s office in Salt Lake City. He wrote journal legal articles on protection of BLM Wilderness Study Areas and protection of national parks from external threats.
In 1985, he returned to the NPS as concessions management specialist at Zion National Park, where he also offered management support on legal and resource management issues and oversaw restoration of Zion Lodge.
Next, in the Alaska Regional Office, he was subsistence specialist and then promoted to branch chief and manager of subsistence regulations and policy. He wrote commercial and subsistence fishing regulations for Glacier Bay National Park, land-and-shoot wolf hunting prohibitions for all Alaska national preserves, and annual interagency federal lands subsistence regulations.
He also served on regional and national policy and regulation teams on ownership of navigable waters and submerged lands, RS-2477 road claims, and other Alaska-specific issues.
In his 21 years at Pipe Spring, Hiscock has forged numerous partnership agreements with the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians, whose reservation surrounds the monument. Those unique pacts covered a partnership visitor center and interpretive media, partnership curatorial storage facility, cooperative seed collection and re-vegetation efforts, and continuation of a critical partnership community water system.
He has led the park through fundamental research and resource documentation, including an administrative history from Stephen Mather’s “pet” 1923 monument, a historic resource study, historic structures report, archeological overview, historic furnishings report, Southern Paiute ethnographic overview, a survey and report on the park’s historic inscriptions and prehistoric rock art, comprehensive arthropod and bat inventories, and numerous geo-hydrological groundwater studies in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey and the tribe.
Hiscock also served on many regional and national management and advisory teams, including as a trainer with Operation Future, four years as chair and member of the Colorado Plateau Cluster Leadership Council, four years as chair and member of the IMR Tri-Cluster Consultation Committee on American Indian relations, six years as a member, vice-chair and chair of the analytical budgetary Scorecard Advisory Group, and two terms on the board of the Northern Colorado Plateau I&M Network.
For four months in 2013, he was acting Utah state coordinator for NPS in Salt Lake City.
Hiscock’s son Adam is a hazards geologist for the Utah Geological Survey in Salt Lake City, and his son Ian works in marketing and is a successful electronic dance music disc jockey in Salt Lake City as well. Hiscock and his wife, Tracy, bid a fond farewell – but not goodbye – to the NPS. They will continue to live in Kanab. Hiscock invites friends and colleagues to stay in touch via his personal e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.