Robert E. Stinson, district ranger at Saguaro National Park, will retire on December 31st after more than 35 years with the National Park Service.
Robert, a second generation park ranger, began his career as a volunteer at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park in 1975 and continued working in the area with the Youth Conservation Corps. He then went on to Young Adult Conservation Corps at Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park.
In 1979, Robert worked the first of two seasons for the United States Park Police in the Washington, D.C., metro area in a variety of parks including the White House, Washington Monument, George Washington Memorial Parkway, and Wolf Trap Farm Park as a U.S. Park Police Aide.
Upon completing seasonal law enforcement training at Southwest Technical College in Sylva, North Carolina, in 1980, Robert secured his first seasonal law enforcement position at Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area in 1981. The following summer, Robert moved out west and worked three seasons at Curecanti National Recreation Area, followed by two seasons at Big Thicket National Preserve. In 1985, he started the first of three extended seasons at Grand Teton National Park, followed by a winter season at Everglades National Park.
In 1988 Robert was hired into his first permanent ranger position at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, and worked six years combating border crimes including drug smuggling and resource poaching.
In 1994, Robert accepted a promotion and transfer to Saguaro National Park as the district ranger for the Tucson Mountain District and continued working there in a complex and diverse district operation with an abundance of visitor and resource protection challenges.
Robert's service and dedication have been recognized throughout the NPS. He has received numerous special achievement awards and honors, including the Department of the Interior Meritorious Achievement commendation award for distinguished service as NPS liaison to the U. S. Marshals Service after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
Throughout his career Robert has made countless contributions for the betterment of the service and is highly respected across the NPS. He has participated in or led just about every facet of traditional rangering, has built valuable and enduring interagency partnerships, and has been a mentor to many young rangers. His professionalism, depth of knowledge and commitment to the NPS mission will be sorely missed, but his unique brand of humor and friendship will continue on.
In retirement, Robert plans to remain in Tucson, and looks forward to a new chapter in life travelling and writing. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A retirement celebration will be held in Robert's honor on January 12th at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson. Anyone interested in attending should contact Michelle Torok (by email at email@example.com or by phone at 520-733-5104) or Emily Devereaux (by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 520-733-5103) before January 2nd. Cards, stories or photos can also be sent via email to Michelle or Emily, or by mail to Saguaro National Park, 3693 South Old Spanish Trail, Tucson, AZ 85730.