Noel Poe, a National Park Service official who served at Capitol Reef National Park for four years, is returning to Utah as superintendent of Arches National Park.

Lorraine Mintzmyer, regional director of the Park Service in Denver, named Poe as superintendent of the 73,000-acre park, located near Moab. He replaces Paul Guraedy, who recently became superintendent at Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial in Indiana.Poe was Capitol Reef's chief of resource management and visitor protection from 1984 to 1988. Since then, he has been superintendent at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument in Colorado.

Arches is a special place to Poe. In 1968, when he was a senior at Colorado State University earning a degree in outdoor recreation, his class made a field trip to Arches.

"I had already decided on a Park Service career," he said. "Even then I imagined that it would be an exciting place to work."

On the way to heading this national park, Poe has worked for the Park Service for 22 years. He has been stationed at North Cascades National Park, Washington; Federal Hall National Memorial, New York; Isle Royale National Park, Michigan; and Padre Island National Seashore, Texas.

In 1973-74 he was a ranger at Glen Canyon National Area.

"I've enjoyed many interesting positions with the national parks, and it will be nice to be back in Utah," Poe said.

"Arches is a fascinating area, and I'm looking forward to the challenges that the superintendency there affords."