James Ridenour, an Indiana political associate of Vice President Dan Quayle, was named as director of the National Park Service, which manages the country’s 354 federal parks. Ridenour, 47, served for eight years as director of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources under former Republican Gov. Robert Orr. He lost the state job when Democrat Evan Bayh won the gubernatorial race last November. Ridenour becomes the 13th director of the Park Service since its creation in 1916. William Penn Mott Jr., director since 1985, last week submitted his resignation, effective April 15. Interior Secretary Manuel Lujan Jr. said Ridenour “has demonstrated superior management skills” and cited his “commitment to protecting the environment” as key assets for directing the Park Service. But some environmentalists and conservationists immediately criticized the appointment.