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Contact: Amy Bracewell, 605-574-3114Superintendent Gerard Baker named Don Hart the newest Chief Ranger at Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Don Hart began his new position on Monday, March 16, 2009 after seven years as one of the park’s supervisory rangers in the Law Enforcement, Security and Emergency Services Division. As Chief Ranger, Don will be leading a staff of approximately twenty people who manage emergency services, visitor and resource protection, and special use permits in thepark.
Don’s fourteen years with the National Park Service has exposed him to some of the most unique and rewarding jobs for park rangers. Don serves on the park service’s Critical Incident Stress Management Team that supported operations in Louisiana shortly after hurricane Katrina and assisted Rocky Mountain National Park after the death of Park Ranger Jeff Christensen who died in a fall in the backcountry in 2005. Don also serves on Mount Rushmore’s ropes access team that provides preservation work on the sculpture. This team is the only certified industrial ropes team in the National Park Service. Don’s outreach to the local community includes eight years of work with the Hill City school system as the city’s D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Officer. Don’s dedication to resource protection and community education will help Mount Rushmore support the National Park Service mission to “preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education and inspiration of this and future generations.”