Milward Simpson

Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources

After 10 years, Milward Simpson is leaving his post as Director of the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources. Simpson was appointed to the position in July of 2006 by former Governor Dave Freudenthal.

During his time in office, Simpson established a new electronic records management system for the state archives, created programs to get families in the outdoors, and coordinated state and federal land management agencies.

Simpson said he is particularly proud of putting on statewide conferences for things like the arts, culture, and historic preservation.

StoryCorps

This summer, StoryCorps set up a booth in Cheyenne to record Wyomingites interviewing one another and sharing their stories.

Today, we hear from two members of one of Wyoming’s most famous families.  Milward Simpson, the grandson of former Governor and U.S. Senator Milward Simpson, interviews his father Pete Simpson, a noted historian, educator, Republican nominee for Governor, and former legislator.  They begin their conversation talking about Pete’s parents.  

State parks are seeking legislative approval to use fees for general operations and maintenance. Parks generate about two million dollars per year, but right now that money can only be used for capital construction and interpretation.

Director of State Parks and Cultural Resources, Milward Simpson, says funding for his agency is like a three-legged stool that’s getting wobbly.

If Governor Matt Mead’s eight percent budget cuts go through, Wyoming’s state parks would have to make significant cuts in services and staffing. Milward Simpson is the Director of the Department of Parks, Historic Sites and Trails, and he says every state park would be affected.

"We’ll be doing less hiring if these budget cuts come to pass. We’re also going to eliminate a currently vacant position at Hotsprings State Park, and we’re going to be reducing all of our supply and operations and maintenance budgets across the board, around the state," Simpson says.