Reynold Jackson Awarded Secretary’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Aviation Safety

A smiling group of men and women stand behind a sign in front of a ranger station.
Renny Jackson, front row middle (in the dark blue jacket) received the Secretary’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Aviation Safety in 2010.


Reynold "Renny" Jackson’s National Park Service career has spanned 36 years and has come to epitomize the term “Rangering.” This is high praise indeed in an organization that is recognized around the world for the dedication and professionalism of its Rangers.

For over 25 years Renny has been involved with the Service’s short-haul program used for search and rescue (SAR). His expertise and leadership has made Renny Jackson synonymous with short-haul both nationally and internationally.

As an original member of the short-haul program at Grand Teton National Park in 1985, Renny was one of the rangers who participated in the first short-haul rescue on Mt. Moran on July 14, 1986. Ever since then Renny has been integrally involved with the NPS short-haul program.

In April 1991, Renny was one of the original climbing rangers in the Denali National Park short-haul program. A month later, on May 15, 1991, Renny participated in the first rescue using short-haul techniques at Denali. Renny also holds the distinction as the first ranger to be short-hauled to 18,000 feet.

Renny has been an active member of the Short-haul Working Group since 1989, where he helped to promote short-hauling as a safe rescue method. Renny has also participated as a member and chair of the National Short-haul Committee and has contributed extensively to the policies and procedures set forth in the Department of the Interior Short-haul Handbook.

Of the many program improvements he implemented, Renny adapted the short-haul 3-ring emergency release system to the Teton contract helicopter and initiated independent stress testing of equipment to validate manufacturer data. Renny was also one of the original proponents of the Short-haul Escape (SHAPE) Emergency Parachute System, a safety device that is currently in use in law enforcement short-haul programs.

Renny is an author of guidebooks and is an internationally recognized mountaineer and SAR specialist. He is a recipient of numerous DOI unit citations, exemplary act awards and the Department of the Interior’s Valor Award. However, the greatest praise comes from Renny’s contemporaries who have said “Renny is my pick 100 out of 100 times when a life is on the short-haul line;” and another who says, “Renny’s my hands-down pick for a SAR Incident Commander or technical mission specialist”.

For his commitment to aviation safety and his life-time of devoted service, Renny Jackson is presented the Secretary’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Aviation Safety.

Last updated: March 17, 2017