YOSEMITE – Yosemite National Park Ranger Robert “Rob” Lewis received the Pacific West Region Harry Yount Award, given annually for excellence in “rangering.”
Lewis was recognized for his overall impact, record of accomplishments, and excellence in traditional ranger duties. He will be considered, along with six other National Park Service (NPS) regional award winners, for the National Harry Yount Award. This prestigious award is one of the highest recognitions a ranger can receive.
Ranger Rob Lewis was recognized for consistently performing at a high level in a multitude of duties of a National Park Ranger. These include performing technical high angle rescues, swiftwater rescues, and structural and wildland firefighting.
Lewis is also a park medic, crisis negotiator, firearms instructor, and coroner. Due to his extensive technical training, he also has the knowledge and skills to patrol NPS lands via horseback, helicopter, motorboat, snowmobile, motorcycle, ski, raft, and canoe.
Lewis’ leadership skills have allowed him to participate in numerous rescue missions, in Yosemite and other national parks, such as negotiating individuals out of committing suicide, high angle technical rescues off of El Capitan, swiftwater rescues and many others.
Additionally, he has helped return stolen cultural artifacts to Sequoia National Park, restored underwater resources at Virgin Islands National Park, returned healthy sea turtles to the Caribbean Sea that were captured by poachers, and helped dart and capture goats at Glacier National Park to further scientific research.
“We are thrilled that Rob Lewis has received the Pacific West Regional Harry Yount Award,” says Kevin Killian, Yosemite’s Chief Ranger. “Rob has a rich history in Yosemite National Park, having worked here from 2007 to 2011, and then returning to Yosemite in 2015. He is respected for his leadership skills and all-around ability.”
Lewis grew up in Akron, Ohio, and has worked in multiple national parks across the country. He started his law enforcement career in Sequoia National Park in 2000, and has since worked at Glacier National Park, Virgin Islands National Park, returned to Sequoia National Park, Yosemite National Park, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and is currently back in Yosemite.
Prior to serving as a Park Ranger, Lewis worked as a rafting guide, in sales, and as a volunteer in Yosemite in 1999. Currently, Lewis serves as the Yosemite Valley Shift Supervisor. His wife is also a Law Enforcement Ranger and lives in Mount Rainier National Park.
Lewis, along with the other six Regional Harry Yount Award winners, is one of the finalists for the National Harry Yount Award. The national award will be presented in Washington, D.C., later this month.
Harry Yount: Yellowstone’s first and only gamekeeper
“After building a winter cabin in the park in 1880, he became one of the first white men known to spend time on a year-round basis in Yellowstone. Independent and resourceful, able to subsist on his own without close supervision, and having a familiarity and knowledge of the natural processes surrounding him, Harry Yount has become an archetypal model for the National Park Ranger.”