After decades roving the backcountry of some of the largest parks in the Western United States, Lisa Hendy is returning to her home state of Tennessee to serve as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s first female chief ranger.
At least, that’s the headline picked up by news outlets across the country, and it’s true. Hendy will start her new job April 8, and it will be the first time a woman has served that role in the Smokies. But to Hendy, it’s not about gender. It’s about her ability to do the job, and do it well.