Former Great Smoky Mountains National Park Superintendent Merrill D. (Dave) Beal, 84, died on Sept. 21, at his home in Eugene, Ore.
Beal’s final National Park Service (NPS) assignment was as Smokies superintendent from December 1978 to 1983. He also served as assistant superintendent from 1969-1972.
“One of Dave’s major accomplishments during his tenure at the Smokies was his involvement in completing the park’s General Management Plan, a core planning document that continues to guide park managers in balancing visitor use and facility development with preservation,” said park Superintendent Dale Ditmanson. The document described the future operations of the park after the major work was done in completing construction of park’s facilities, i.e., roads, trails, picnic areas, campgrounds, for visitor use. A draft of the document was released to the public one year after Beal took the park’s top job.
“Dave will be remembered for his effective leadership skills and his positive approach in dealing with park neighbors and stakeholders,” said Ditmanson.