Scotts Bluff and Agate Fossil Beds National Monument Superintendent Dan Morford to Retire

Nov 29, 2023 | Featured, Regional News

Gering, NE (RELEASE) November 29th, 2023 — After over 30 years with the National Park Service, Dan Morford, Superintendent of both Scotts Bluff National Monument and Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, will retire on December 30, 2023. Dan has been the Superintendent of Scotts Bluff since 2016 and took on the added responsibility of Superintendent of Agate Fossil Beds starting in September 2019.

A native of Colorado, Morford started his working years in his family’s residential construction business. For 7 years, he and his father built several homes and completed numerous remodel jobs. At the same time, Morford attended Adams State College (now University) where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Teaching and a minor in Computer Science. After graduation in 1986, Morford moved to Ash Fork, Arizona to start his teaching career. He taught Industrial Arts, Computer Science and Coaching. Morford transferred to Grand Canyon Schools in 1990 continuing his teaching.

Morford, realizing he had three months off each summer was invited by a neighbor to apply for a wildland firefighting position with the US Forest Service. Dan found he really loved the outdoor work and firefighting during the summers and made a career change. In June 1993 Morford moved to Rapid City, SD and started work with the National Park Service (NPS) Hazard Fuels Program at Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Three years later, he accepted a permanent firefighting position with the US Forest Service in Sundance, Wyoming. In 2001, he returned to the NPS as a Prescribed Fire Specialist for the Northern Great Plains Fire Management Office stationed at Wind Cave National Park. In 2008 he accepted a Fire Management Officer position at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore where he and his staff coordinated fire operations at three parks in three different states.

Some of Dan’s biggest accomplishments at Scotts Bluff National Monument were leading the monument through its centennial celebration in 2019 and through the Visitor Center renovation project from 2018 through 2020. He was also instrumental in forging a new partnership with Black Hills Parks and Forests Association, the non-profit, cooperating association of both Scotts Bluff and Agate Fossil Beds National Monuments.

When asked about why he chose a career with the National Park Service, Morford responded “Family. The National Park Service felt like family. It was not so big that you were just a number, yet large enough to have a variety of opportunities. I believe over my career I have taken advantage of that and hopefully, through it all, have made a difference along the way. My heart and life are full above all belief from all the experiences, assignments, and friendships along the way.”  

Further information about Scotts Bluff National Monument programs and schedules are available at the visitor center, by calling 308-436-9700 or by visiting our website at or Facebook at