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Contact: Charles Beall, 360-854-7302
North Cascades National Park Ranger Kelly Bush is the recipient of the 2010 Pacific West Region Harry Yount Award which honors and recognizes outstanding national park rangers. She has been a park ranger at North Cascades National Park since 1979 and the Wilderness District Ranger since 2002. She is known for her skilled leadership and consistent high standards for visitor service. This is the second time that she has received this prestigious award – the other being in 2000.
Each of the seven regions of the National Park Service annually selects a Regional Harry Yount Award recipient whose “overall impact, record of accomplishments, and excellence in traditional ranger duties have created an appreciation for the park ranger profession on the part of the public and other members of the profession.” The Pacific West Region includes 58 national parks in Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Hawaii, and the Pacific Islands.
Recipients of the Harry Yount Award form the heart of the ranger corps, reflecting its high standards and commitment to the mission of the National Park Service. They are knowledgeable of, and sensitive to, the natural, cultural, and recreational resources that make up the National Park System, placing them foremost in their priorities. Their leadership in being able and willing to do the tough jobs well – with style, grace, appreciation, and humor – serves as a role model for all rangers. Through them, the highest and best traditions and values of the National Park Service are carried on as they accept opportunities for, and meet challenges to, excellence.
“Kelly is a field-oriented leader in charge of a district where people from around the country actively seek to work, volunteer, or train,” explained North Cascades National Park Superintendent Chip Jenkins. “She enthusiastically helps visitors, from world-renowned mountaineering guides – to groups of excited Boy Scouts – to families on their first trip to the park, plan for safe and memorable trips into the backcountry of the North Cascades.”
In addition to managing the park’s Wilderness Information Center, backcountry permit system, and Leave No Trace education program, Kelly is responsible for the park’s wilderness patrols and search and rescue operation, including one of only seven authorized short-haul helicopter operations in the entire National Park Service.
“Kelly has participated or led over 200 ‘major’ Search and Rescues in her career,” added North Cascades National Park Chief Ranger Kinsey Shilling. “During such operations, she provides critical leadership, serves as a calming influence, and offers clear and safe direction with people’s lives at stake.”
A photograph of Kelly Bush is available for download and use at:
A photograph and short biography of Harry Yount are available at: