Devils Postpile mourns the passing and celebrates the life of former Park Manager

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Date: July 8, 2014
Contact: Deanna Dulen, 760-924-5505

Wymond Eckhardt, former ranger and Park Manager at Devils Postpile National Monument, passed away on June 23, 2014. Eckhardt served at Devils Postpile National Monument from 1971 to 2000. His contributions spanned three decades, and were in many respects responsible for transforming Devils Postpile into one of the hidden gems of the national park system.

His commitment to connecting visitors to monument resources enhanced visitor and partner appreciation of the beauty and significance of the monument. During the monument's Centennial Celebration in July 2011, Eckhardt led his final walk to Devils Postpile, following hundreds during his long career. Christopher Johnson, NPS Historian noted, "What was most striking about his Postpile ranger walk at the centennial was that he seemed to know every tree and rock and bend in the trail, even more than a decade after his retirement. He could also talk about the science and history of the place in a way that engaged everyone from seasoned academics to small children."

Eckhardt oversaw the monument during many significant changes over his thirty year tenure including the paving of the Reds Meadow Road, the start of the shuttle bus system, and improvements to the monument's facilities and trails and resource management and interpretation programs. 

Before coming to Devils Postpile in 1971, Eckhardt worked as a backcountry horse patrol ranger and firefighter in Yosemite. He learned the ropes of the National Park Service under some of the last of the "Mather men" in Yosemite during the1960s and was a true jack-of-all-trades ranger who could, and did, do everything. 

Eckhardt's dedication to the monument and to the National Park Service helped shape the place visitors see today. His passion for science, education, and providing outstanding opportunities for park visitors remain a legacy carried on by park managers and staff today.

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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