Jeff McCusker- NPS Manager for the NCT (photo from Andrea Ketchmark)
based on a news article in the Grand Rapids Press
Jeff McCusker joined the North Country Trail family quietly. I've had the chance to spend some time with him on several occasions, and he's a quiet guy. But don't equate that with ineffectual. Jeff is the National Park Service Manager for the North Country Trail (the past two people in that post have been Fred Szarka and Bill Menke).
With McCusker came a big change that highly benefits the NCT. Instead of being based in Madison, Wisconsin, McCusker's office is in Lowell, Michigan, where the headquarters for the North Country Trail Association are located. This arrangement should save lots of money for both the agency and the association, since they need to spend so much time working together.
Today, the Grand Rapids Press featured McCusker. He's quite the world traveler, and hard worker. Two years were spent in Morocco working for the Peace Corps. Mongolia's first national park, under the United Nations, benefited from his efforts. He's worked on trails in Gombe National Park in Tanzania, and has an upcoming trip to Mozambique to help train locals for trail building in the Gorongosa National Park.
If you've had a chance to meet Jeff, you know that he's been watching and analyzing what needs to happen to complete the NCT. He told Howard Meyerson, of the Press, "“I am optimistic. We are in the phase of trail construction where we have miles and miles of suburban and agricultural lands to get across. It’s private land, and some of it isn’t the most endearing. The big thing that has hit me since I’ve come to Michigan is the dedication of the volunteers who are building this trail. They aren’t getting paid to do it. They do it because they love the trail,”
See North Country Trail Association