County of Marin - News Releases - Parks Director

For Immediate Release
November 03, 2016

Board to Consider Korten for Parks Director

County Administrator says acting director has earned the job

San Rafael, CA – Max Korten, who has served as  Marin County Parks’ Acting Director the past six months, will be recommended for the Director position at the November 8 Marin County Board of Supervisors meeting. The role includes the title of General Manager of the Marin County Open Space District.  

New Parks Director Max Korten poses with some hills and marshland in the backgroundMax Korten has served as Marin County Parks' Acting Director since May of this year (Shanti Wilson Photography).

If confirmed by the Board, Korten would become the replacement for former Parks Director and Open Space General Manager Linda Dahl, who retired in 2015. Prior to Korten’s temporary post, Ron Miska and Pat O’Brien held the interim director role, respectively, while the County conducted a search for Dahl’s replacement. The Board has already interviewed Korten.

Korten was appointed to the Acting Director role on May 9. Since then he led the efforts to complete the first year of the County’s first Road and Trail Management Plan, promoted transparency with integrated pest management practices, oversaw implementation of nearly $4 million in taxpayer-funded improvement projects, helped staff adapt to a new software system, and established several collaborative initiatives to promote more equitable use of parks and open spaces.

County Administrator Matthew Hymel has recommended Korten for the position. “Max has proved himself over the past six months to be a capable and thoughtful leader,” Hymel said. “We are lucky to have someone with his skills and abilities within our organization.”

Korten, a former parks ranger who grew up in the Los Angeles area, said several long-term milestone documents in the works such as the proposed Vegetation and Biodiversity Management Plan will help establish strategies for a stable future. That plan goes before the Open Space Board of Directors for review on November 8.

“Our parks and open space preserves are part of what makes Marin special,” Korten said. “Being the stewards of these unique places is not something we take lightly as a staff. I’m honored and grateful.”

Korten added, “We have an incredible team of both staff and community partners that approach their work with integrity, collaboration, thoughtfulness and passion – it is a pleasure to work with this outstanding group of people.”

Korten joined the County as a Parks and Open Space Superintendent, overseeing the operations and management of selected preserves, landscape sites, community service areas, park units, volunteer program and the vehicle fleet. Prior to his work at the County, Korten was the Director of the Natural Resources Program and Contracting at Conservation Corps North Bay and worked for both the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Korten earned an environmental studies degree from UC Santa Cruz and a master’s in natural resource science from Humboldt State University.

Marin County Parks is comprised of 34 open space preserves, four regional parks and more than 30 other parks facilities. The County has acquired hundreds of undeveloped parcels from willing sellers in recent years as Parks has grown to more than 16,000 acres. Parks has 76 full-time employees plus as many as 46 seasonal and extra-hire workers each year.

Korten’s annual salary would be $179,026 if his post is approved by the Board, and his other benefits would be consistent with those received by other department heads.


Matthew Hymel
County Administrator
County Administrator's Office

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite #325
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6358
Email: Matthew Hymel
County Administrator website