LAKE MEAD NATIONAL RECREATION AREA
Gordon Olson To Retire
Gordon Olson, chief of the Division of Resource Management at Lake Mead National Recreation Area, will retire on December 15th after more than 35 years with the National Park Service.
Olson began his dedication to America’s parks in 1975 as a volunteer for Rocky Mountain National Park. The following year, he was a student intern at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area while attending Colorado State University.
In the ’70s and ’80s, Olson was a park technician at President’s Park, the Kennedy Center, Antietam National Battlefield and Wolf Trap Farm Park. He also served as a park ranger at Colvin Run Mill Park.
In 1982, Olson was able to follow his passion for resource management and became a resource management specialist at Antietam National Battlefield. During that time, he graduated from the first NPS resource management trainee program and completed his master’s degree at Slippery Rock University.
He became the chief of resource management at Assateague National Seashore in 1988 and continued to lead resource management divisions for 25 years at Denali National Park and Preserve, Shenandoah National Park, and, finally, at Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
Olson’s service and dedication have been recognized throughout NPS. Among his many accomplishments, he was detailed to complete a Natural Resource Challenge annual report for Washington in 2000 and he was named Northeast Region’s Natural Resource Manager of the Year in 2004.
Upon retirement, Olson plans to return home to Virginia with his wife, Karen, who has also contributed greatly to NPS at Kennedy Center, Denali National Park and Lake Mead NRA.
Together, they hope to see all of the units in the system. So far, he has seen 280. Along with home remodeling, volunteering and continuing his hobbies of stamp collecting and model railroading, Olson said he may consider teaching.