First woman chosen to lead New Mexico State Parks

Christy Tafoya
Christy Tafoya

SANTA FE (AP) – For the first time in the more than 80-year history of the New Mexico State Parks Division, a woman has been selected to run its operations.

The state Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, which oversees the parks division, announced Tuesday that Christy Tafoya will take over immediately.

She replaces Tommy Mutz, who retired after three decades with the parks division.

Tafoya is an archaeologist by training. She began her career with State Parks when she was selected as the division’s first archaeologist nearly 17 years ago.

Since 2007, she has managed the statewide Outdoor Classroom Program, which has provided hundreds of thousands of students with hands-on experiences in state parks.

The State Parks Division manages nearly three dozen parks encompassing more than 307 square miles of land and water.

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