North Cascades National Park Ranger Kelly Bush is the winner of the 2010 Pacific West Region , The award honors outstanding national park rangers.
Bush 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, said a news release announcing the award. 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 Yount award winner 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.
“Kelly is a field-oriented leader in charge of a district where people from around the country actively seek to work, volunteer, or train,” said Superintendent Chip Jenkins in the release. “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, Bush 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,” North Cascades Chief Ranger Kinsey Shilling said in the release. “During such operations, she provides critical leadership, serves as a calming influence, and offers clear and safe direction with people’s lives at stake.”