Former Mount Rushmore National Memorial superintendent Gerard Baker has retired from the National Park Service, less than three months after he was named assistant park service director for Native American relations.
Hugh Dougher, acting superintendent at Mount Rushmore, said Tuesday that Baker retired effective July 3 because of lingering health concerns. Baker suffered a stroke in November but returned to his job as Mount Rushmore superintendent in January. At that time, he said during an interview with the Journal that he was “more fired up than ever” and hoped to stay at Rushmore until he retired in 2016.
But Baker left the superintendent’s job in April to take the assistant director’s job. He had planned on splitting his time between Washington, D.C., and an office in the Black Hills. But Baker’s health concerns increased under the workload of his new job, Dougher said. He said Baker was wise to put his health first.
“I think he made the right decision,” he said.