Director Langhorst to Retire from Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation on August 28

Wednesday August 5, 2020

David Langhorst, who has headed the department since 2014, publicly announced his retirement on Wednesday.

“I’ve had some great opportunities and responsibilities over my career, but nothing will match working with you all,” Langhorst told employees. “I am very pleased with the work we’ve accomplished.”

Langhorst said he was proud the department rebuilt its interpretive program, improved staff pay and morale, and built a Visitor’s Center at Lake Cascade State Park. Looking ahead, he said, new programs to better maintain parks and non-motorized trails and the construction of a visitor’s center and campground at Thousand Springs State Park will expand recreational opportunities in Idaho.

Last year, Langhorst accepted the Survivor Award from the National Association of State Park Directors, given to any member who stays employed for five years. The association said the average tenure runs just over four years.

Langhorst, 61, said he wants to accomplish some “bucket list” items at this stage in life.

“I suppose there could never be a perfect time to leave,” he said. “There will always be a great project in progress that I would want to see through to the end. But life, too, is a project that needs attention. I will be 62 in just a few days, and I have some dreams that I better attend to while I’m still physically able, like a kayak trip down the Missouri River from Montana to the Gulf of Mexico.”

Before coming to the department, Langhorst was a member of the Idaho Tax Commission for five years and previously a member of the Idaho Legislature, serving three terms. Earlier, he worked for state and national conservation organizations.

“I’ve been really impressed with David’s ability to recognize the needs, and his ability to work with other agencies,” said Pete Black, chairman of the Parks and Recreation Board. “He’s done a whizbang job bringing together the federal, state and local entities. IDPR will miss David because of his abilities and sincere passion for the job.”