Posted by: rmorrisey | March 2, 2007

Park Rangers Nominated for Harry Yount Award

Recently came across this press release on the NPS Digest and thought this might give you more insight into what national park rangers are doing these days.

Congratulations to the nominees!  And this year’s winner is . . . . . (waiting with bated breath) 

The following text was adapted directly from the NPS Digest . . .

Servicewide Harry Yount Award Nominees for 2007 Announced
Excellence in “Rangering” Award Recognizes and Honors Rangers

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The National Park Service today announced the nominees for the 2007 Servicewide Harry Yount Award – the recipient of the award will be recognized for their overall impact, record of accomplishment, and excellence in traditional ranger duties. The Yount Award is one of the highest recognitions a ranger can receive. The nominees for the Servicewide Award have already achieved recognition by being awarded their Regional Harry Yount award for 2007. The Harry Yount Award is a peer award that represents the hallmark of recognition for “rangering”, and is an integral part of the Service’s employee recognition program. It was pioneered in the Midwest Region in 1992 and initiated Servicewide in 1994 by President and Mrs. Clinton at a White House ceremony.“I am very happy to announce the nominees for the 2007 Servicewide Harry Yount Award”, said Mary Bomar, Director of the National Park Service. “Recipients of this award exhibit the best of what rangers do, they are people who consistently and conscientiously go out every day and do the traditional, generalist ranger duties of protecting park resources and serving the visitor. They have been recognized by their peers as the best, and I am proud of them and all of our rangers who do so much every day to make national parks such special places for our visitors.”The Washington Office, Division of Law Enforcement, Security and Emergency Services, in partnership with the National Park Foundation, sponsor the 2007 Harry Yount Award program. Regional recipients receive a cash award of $1250 and a custom designed plaque containing a metal engraving of Harry Yount. These awards are presented to the Regional recipients at some suitable ceremony in their region. The Servicewide honoree receives an original sculptured bust of Harry Yount and a $3,000 cash award. In addition, the recipient of the Servicewide award is recognized at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The 2007 ceremony will occur on May 1, 2007 following National Park Week. Travel and per diem are also provided for the honoree and one guest to attend this ceremony by the program’s underwriter, Unilever.

The criteria used to make the selection is tough and defining the “ideal National Park Ranger”, is even harder. Nominees are expected to have an overall impact, record of accomplishments and excellence in traditional ranger duties that has created an appreciation for the park ranger profession on the part of the public and other members of the profession. They must be skilled in traditional, generalist ranger duties, show both tangible and in-tangible benefits to the Park Ranger profession. In addition, they must demonstrate outstanding leadership, exemplary contributions, notably high standards of performance, excellence in traditional ranger duties and skills, dedication to the Park Ranger profession and a record of overall excellence of selfless service.

Recipients of the Harry Yount Award should represent the heart of the Ranger Corps, reflecting its high standards and commitment to the Service’s mission. They should be 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 – should serve as a role model for all Rangers. They should represent the torch by which the highest and best traditions and values of the Service are carried and passed on.

This year’s nominees are:

  • Gary Youngblood, Alaska Region, Chief of Operations, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve
  • Matt Stoffolano, Inter-Mountain Region, District Ranger, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
  • Michael D. Pflaum, Midwest Region, Chief Ranger, Mount Rushmore National Memorial
  • Thomas J. Jones, National Capital Region, Park Ranger, Antietam National Battlefield
  • Gordon Wissinger, Northeast Region, Chief Ranger, Shenandoah National Park
  • Denny Ziemann, Pacific West Region, Chief Ranger, Mojave National Preserve
  • Ove Jensen, Southeast Region, Park Ranger, Horseshoe Bend National Military Park.



  1. I am very interested in the Harry Yount Award as I have been researching my family name, Yount, and had no idea that anyone was still be honored because of the contribution of this man to the history of Yellowstone.

    A few years ago, my family and I visited Yellowstone for the first time and were in awe of what we saw, felt and experienced during our stay. I cannot imagine anyone being able to survive a bitter winter there without todays many conveniences such as thermal clothing, etc.

    Would you be able to direct my research into Harry Yount’s life by providing other web sites that might be helpful to me?

    Also, could you tell me who received this award for 2007?

    Thank you so much for your time.

    Lela (Yount) Merrell
    801 E 15th St
    Sedalia, MO 65301

  2. Lela —

    Gordon Wissinger from Shenandoah National Park was the winner for 2007.

    The park service has selected the nominees for 2008 and a final decision will be made sometime in May.

    Harry Yount is recognized as the first National Park Ranger having served at Yellowstone

    Lela —

    Gordon Wissinger from Shenandoah National Park was the winner for 2007.

    The park service has selected the nominees for 2008 and a final decision will be made sometime in May.

    Harry Yount is recognized as the first National Park Ranger having served at Yellowstone in 1880.

    Here are few websites with more info.

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