“We considered many excellent candidates,” said DNR Executive Director Mike Styler. “Fred was chosen because of his vision for the future of state parks in a market-driven world, and for his ability to inspire those he leads.”
State lawmakers have encouraged the division to think in terms of generating revenue like a business. In recent years, the amount of funding that the division receives from the general fund has dropped from more than $12 million to $4 million in FY ‘13.
There are 43 parks in the system. Those include museums, golf courses, campgrounds, scenic areas, OHV areas and reservoirs. Hayes will oversee the $28.2 million budget for the parks and direct the planning process.
“This is truly an honor,” said Hayes who has worked in the division for most of the last 30 years. “We are excited for the public to come and rediscover state parks and to see how many things there are to do with their families. With gas at $4 a gallon, the parks are a great ‘staycation’ alternative. There is something for everyone!”
Hayes has served as interim director for four months. Prior to that, he was the Deputy Director for the division. He replaces Mary Tullius who retired last December. The 52-year old Heber City resident is a native of Utah, is married and has five children and two grandchildren.