April 8, 2013 - During his four years as Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar has become well known for the trademark cowboy hat he frequently wears while conducting official business and on visits to national parks and other Interior sites. As he prepares to leave Washington, Salazar now has another headwear option in his wardrobe – a park ranger’s flat hat.
In recognition of Salazar’s tenure as Secretary of the Interior, during which time he was a champion of national parks and the National Park Service, Director Jarvis last Wednesday recognized him as an honorary park ranger. The presentation, which included a traditional ranger hat and honorary park ranger certificate and plaque, was made during a brief ceremony in Director Jarvis’ office.
In making the presentation, Jarvis recounted a lengthy list of accomplishments and support provided to the National Park Service by Salazar during his term, including overseeing the addition of 10 new parks to the National Park System; the removal of the Elwha Dam, allowing Pacific salmon to return to over 70 miles of habitat in Washington state, including Olympic National Park; and the completion of a one mile-bridge over the Tamiami Trail, restoring natural water flows vital to a renewed and healthy Everglades.
Jarvis then presented Salazar with the Honorary Park Ranger citation, which reads:
“Secretary Salazar has deep roots to the land. As a fifth-generation farmer and rancher, America's Great Outdoors is home. He has dedicated his career to public service, to people -listening to those whose voices were unheard, forging relationships with the belief that conservation builds communities, and helping people revive historic ties to the land and discover new places for recreation.
“With clear vision and a determined spirit, he has been a champion of America's national parks and the essential role they play in our nation's health and well-being. His appreciation for history and value of our country's diverse traditions has expanded perceptions of what it means to be inclusive ... and American.
“For his devotion to the employees of the National Park Service and their mission, for his historic achievements at the highest levels of public service, and for an abiding commitment to its future, the National Park Service is proud to name Ken Salazar an Honorary Park Ranger.”
The Honorary National Park Ranger Award was established to recognize individuals who make significant contributions to the welfare of the National Park System and the principles of conservation and preservation that are consistent with the enabling act of the National Park Service. Past recipients have included former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, photographer Ansel Adams, filmmakers Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan, and Boston Pops conductor Arthur Fiedler.Photo: Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar meets 'Buffalo Soldier' Alizy Bowman (Shelton Johnson) in Yosemite National Park. Credit: Sierra Sun Times