From the National Park Service:
Richard “Rick” Harris, associate regional director for natural resources, science, conservation and recreation assistance in Northeast Region, retired on October 3rd.
Rick began his federal career in 1976 working on wilderness management issues with the US Forest Service in the Pacific Northwest. From the beginning of his National Park Service career in 1983 at Mount Rainier National Park to his final assignment, Rick has been a champion for protecting and preserving resources in parks.
Rick worked in nine parks, four regions and WASO. He was a graduate of the natural resources training program, a member of the Natural Resources Challenge Council, has been a strong advocate of professionalization in natural resources, and served on the steering committee to develop and implement the Natural Resources Career Training Academy.
Rick had a distinguished career and served as division chief for resources stewardship and science at two parks, as superintendent of two parks, and as ARD. In the latter role, he led a diverse cadre of professionals in the protection and preservation of resources and wild and scenic rivers and in connecting people to parks.
“I’ve had a most rewarding career and have had the opportunity to play a role in advancing resources stewardship and park management in the NPS,” he says. ”Along the way, I’ve been fortunate to be associated with an incredible cadre of dedicated employees and to lead and mentor the next generation of stewards. Because of my career path, I’ve been able to be involved with key issues throughout the country, visit places that most would envy the opportunity to explore, and meet and work with truly great people. “
In retirement, Rick will continue working with the training academy, playing the blues, spending time with native Chihuahuan Desert landscaping at his home near Las Cruces, New Mexico, perfecting his pitmaster skills, traveling the globe (first up Ireland and Scotland), and lending his skills to protecting wilderness and large landscapes when called upon.