Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Mike Gauthier heading to DC

Here's yet another ranger heading for bigger and better things! "Gator" (pictured with Director Mary Bomar after the 2007 flood) has been around forever, and he probably knows the upper mountain as well or better than anyone else in existence. He's also been a key partner to our volunteer program--always incredibly supportive, and always eager to work with volunteers to make the climbing program more effective and more responsive to the public. He's an innovator who first came up with the idea of using blogs to communicate with the public; his climbing blog is now one of the major points of contact between the park and the climbing community. He will be sorely missed in the park and on the Mountain.

This from Chief Ranger Chuck Young:

Please join me in congratulating Mike Gauthier for being selected as one of two NPS recipients nationwide of the Bevinettto Congressional Fellowship. He will be going to Washington DC in January to begin the two year program

The Bevinetto Fellowship is a two-year training and development program within the National Park Service’s Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs. During the first year, the Bevinetto Fellow works on the staff of a member, committee, or a support agency/organization of the Congress and reports to the staff director of the assigned office. During the second year of the fellowship, the Bevinetto Fellow reports to the deputy assistant director, Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs, and assists in the development, coordination, and implementation of the National Park Service legislative affairs program, including Congressional relations and controlled correspondence. Following the two year program, recipients of this Fellowship may apply for or are placed in management level positions, usually as Superintendents.

Mike has served at Mount Rainier National Park for 18 years. One might say he's "grown up" in the park's climbing program, and has served as the Climbing Program Manager for the past year and a half. Mike started his career with the Park Service at OLYM in 1985 and has worked at Mount Rainier with the climbing and SAR program since 1990. He was instrumental in establishing the Commercial Guiding Prospectus which resulted in the park successfully transitioning from one climbing guide company to three in 2007, working on the Camp Muir plan and improvements, establishing the current climbing fee program, and perhaps most importantly, establishing a safe and effective NPS mountaineering program here at Mount Rainier which protects park staff, visitors, and the mountain.

Mike's experience and outreach to climbing groups such as the Mountaineers, guides, media, and commercial guiding companies have firmly placed him in an "icon" status for Mount Rainier. When one discusses the climbing program at Mount Rainier, Mike's name inevitably comes up. He has never lost sight, however, of the overall mission of the National Park Service and how the climbing and SAR program here fits into the overall NPS vision. Most recently, Mike assisted park operations by helping formulate an avalanche plan, leading the multi-divisional effort to move out of the old JVC, serving on interdivisional committees, and coordinating parkwide training in SAR and avalanche safety. Although Mike's insight, experience, and quality work will definitely be missed here, he will provide a solid field perspective to the NPS legislative affairs office and the Directorate, and whatever future management positions he pursues.

Mike will be leaving for DC in early January, but will be back in February to move his household good. We will be planning a proper sendoff for Mike sometime when he is here in February.
R. Chuck Young
Chief Ranger

No comments: