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Gary M. Pollock, management assistant at Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway, received the Department of the Interior's Meritorious Service Award during a recent management team assembly with retiring Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott at park headquarters in Moose, Wyoming. As the second highest honor bestowed by the Secretary of the Interior, the Meritorious Service Award is given to employees who make exceptional and continuing contributions to the Department or one of its bureaus. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell noted that Pollock earned this award, "In recognition of his significant contributions to improve protection of Grand Teton National Park's natural and cultural resources and the development of external partnerships."
Pollock has served as management assistant to the superintendent of Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway since 2002. In this capacity, Pollock has provided leadership on many of the park's most challenging and complex issues. Among the accomplishments recognized by the award, was Pollock's work on negotiating the conveyance to Grand Teton National Park of the 1,106-acre Laurance S. Rockefeller property in 2007. Pollock worked in collaboration with Mr. Rockefeller's senior associates on the development of key transfer documents, including a conservation easement and management plan related to this invaluable gift.
During his tenure at Grand Teton, Pollock has provided critical oversight of all aspects of the Jackson Hole Airport, which is located entirely within the park and operates pursuant to a 1983 Agreement between the Jackson Hole Airport Board and the Department of the Interior. From 2004 through 2010, Pollock led the development of both an environmental impact statement and the record of decision that authorized a 20-year extension to the term of the Agreement and included new measures to further reduce and mitigate the effects of the airport on the park. Among the mitigation measures that have since been implemented by the Jackson Hole Airport Board are the installation of a glycol recovery pad to prevent contaminants from entering the groundwater and the preparation of a wildlife hazard mitigation plan to reduce the risks associated with conflicts between aircraft operations and wildlife, including sage grouse.
Pollock has served an active part in the acquisition of private inholdings within the park. He played a key role in developing the agreement signed in 2010 by the Secretary of the Interior and Governor of Wyoming to purchase 1,406 acres of state-owned school trust lands within Grand Teton. In addition, Pollock was instrumental in developing the 2007 Transportation Plan/Environmental Impact Statement that resulted in construction of 14.5 miles of multi-use pathways in Grand Teton, including a pathway connection to the town of Jackson, Wyoming.
For these contributions, accomplishments and advancements of park resource protection, Pollock was granted the Department of the Interior Meritorious Service Award on November 8, 2013.