Ranger Preston Kroes gave notice last month that he’d be leaving the position in May or early June to take the chief ranger position in state parks at Kodiak.

State parks officials said two permanent seasonal positions with the Alaska Conservation Corps will be added to cover Kroes’ duties and keep operations running smoothly during the summer, but chances are slim for filling the position by mid-summer.

“We’re trying to replace him now (but) the reality is, it takes a long time to turn around a permanent position. The reality is we don’t know when we can fill it,” said Mike Eberhardt, superintendent for the Division of Parks in Southeast.

The Haines ranger job isn’t a “single position,” but “stretches the gamut of park operations” including managing the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve and the Chilkoot River corridor.

“It includes a lot of intricacies. It’s not something you throw a person into. We’ll be doing our due diligence to get a good person there,” Eberhardt said. Law enforcement duties handled by Kroes will be done by other agencies, he said.

Local parks will open on time, Eberhardt said. “I don’t see any hindrances to normal operations this summer.”

Kroes, 49, worked more than five years here. In Kodiak, he’ll supervise four other positions, including a ranger, plus seasonal staff. “It’s the kind of staff that really should be (in Haines),” Kroes said in a recent interview.

Kroes said he’s leaving because the Kodiak position is a promotion in pay and rank that will allow him to see a new part of the state.

He said he expects his new job will be less chaotic than working here, with no big flows of seasonal tourism. Kodiak area state parks include Shuyak Island State Park, Afognak Island State Park, Fort Abercrombie State Historic Park, Woody Island State Recreation Site, Buskin River State Recreation Site, and Pasagshak River State Recreation Site.

The best part of the ranger job here is the diversity of local parks, he said, but the challenge is the “constant hum” of activity and little down time. “There are constantly things to deal with.”

Keeping up with bear-people issues along the Chilkoot River also will likely keep his successor busy, Kroes said.

Kroes bought a house here two years ago and wasn’t looking to leave, he said. “I wasn’t planning to make (Haines) a short-time thing.”