News Release Date: August 2, 2017
Contact: Kathy Kupper, National Park Service, 202-513-7263
Contact: Alanna Sobel, National Park Foundation, 202-796-2538WASHINGTON – Geoff Walker from Mount Rainier National Park is the recipient of the annual Harry Yount National Park Ranger Award, one of the National Park Service’s most prestigious honors. Walker received his award at a ceremony yesterday in Washington, D.C. sponsored by the National Park Foundation, the official charitable partner of the National Park Service.
Much like Harry Yount, who patrolled Yellowstone National Park in the 1880s and is recognized as the world’s first park ranger, Geoff Walker is well regarded for his dedication to the preservation of public lands. Walker is a skilled law enforcement officer, EMT, criminal investigator, wild land firefighter, wilderness expert, helicopter crewman, training coordinator, supervisor, mentor, and rescuer.
“Geoff exemplifies all of the personal and professional characteristics desired in a park ranger, a colleague, a supervisor, and a leader,” said acting National Park Service Director Michael T. Reynolds. “His positive attitude, calm demeanor, exceptional skills, and desire to serve others shine through everything he does.”
Walker has participated in scores of incidents, from upper mountain rescues, to wilderness searches, to roadside accidents. As an experienced EMT, he has responded to all manner of medical issues, including severe injuries and fatalities. Among his accomplishments, he initiated the longest successful CPR save in the state of Washington. Walker also manages the park’s wild land fire program, protecting the park’s 236,000 acres.
“Day in and day out, Geoff helps to ensure the safety of national park visitors and the preservation of treasured national park lands,” said National Park Foundation President Will Shafroth. “We are honored to recognize National Park Service employees like Geoff who do everything they can to make it possible for people and their families to safely enjoy America’s national parks.”
Walker began his career with the National Park Service as a seasonal park ranger at Mount Rainier National Park from 1995 to 1999. After spending time as a as a park ranger at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, MO, and as a U.S. Customs inspector, Walker returned to Mount Rainier National Park as a permanent employee in 2002 and currently serves as the park’s East District Ranger.
The peer-nominated Yount Award is bestowed on a park ranger whose overall impact and record of accomplishment have promoted a high degree of awareness and appreciation of the ranger profession. Photos and additional information about the award are available at www.nps.gov/subjects/npscelebrates/yount-award.htm.
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More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION
The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help PROTECT more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts, CONNECT all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history, and INSPIRE the next generation of park stewards. In 2016, commemorating the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, the Foundation launched The Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks, a comprehensive fundraising campaign to strengthen and enhance the future of these national treasures for the next hundred years. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org.