Chickasaw citizen Bill Wright, a Durant native and longtime veteran of the National Park Service (NPS), brought his skills back to Oklahoma in 2015 as the new superintendent of the Chickasaw National Recreation Area (CNRA) in Sulphur. He previously worked for the NPS in Texas, Pennsylvania, New York, Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina and Arkansas.
Wright says the CNRA is "all about the water" – it was about water in 1902 when the park was formed, and it's still about water today in 2015. As he describes it, people came from all across the country to drink and bathe in the water, as well as to camp and swim in the surrounding areas. For over 100 years, the CNRA has been known as a gathering place for families.
Some of his earliest memories are of spending time in CNRA; his grandfather was a park ranger, which inspired him to become a ranger as well. To come home to his roots, as well as to come full circle in his career, is an incredibly rewarding experience for him. It's phenomenal, Wright says, to be back in Chickasaw Country.
Forty years after joining, Bill Wright retired from the National Park Service in 2022.