WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Glacier National Park Wilderness Specialist Kyle Johnson was recently awarded the National Park Service Director’s Wes Henry National Excellence in Wilderness Stewardship Individual Award for 2011. The award, named after celebrated National Park Service wilderness manager Wes Henry, is the first to be presented to a Glacier National Park employee in over 20 years.
Columbia Falls native and 31-year veteran of Glacier National Park, Kyle Johnson is renowned for his wilderness expertise and leadership in developing wilderness management plans, evaluation and reporting tools, interagency training, innovative backcountry volunteer and internship programs, and much more. Johnson thoughtfully contributes to park management decisions to ensure Glacier’s wilderness values are protected for future generations.
“Kyle’s dedication to preserving wilderness values and expertise in wilderness management practices make him an invaluable asset to Glacier, the region, and the agency,” said Glacier National Park Superintendent Chas Cartwright. “We are honored to have Kyle and his skills at Glacier.”
Johnson works cooperatively with interagency partners on projects such as the joint river management plan for Glacier National Park and the Flathead National Forest. He is an active collaborator for the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, establishing cross-border relationships which benefit international wilderness protection efforts. Through training and personal interaction, Johnson has instilled the importance of protecting wilderness resources and values with U.S. Border Patrol agents while appreciating the need to protect borders for the homeland security mission. Johnson is a teacher and mentor to those seeking to increase their knowledge and skills in the wild.
In response to the recognition, Johnson said, “It’s my honor to be a steward of Glacier National Park’s unique and special resources. I work with a dedicated team and together we’re able to preserve this beloved place.”
In February 2012, Johnson was awarded the National Park Service Intermountain Region Wilderness Champion Award. Johnson received a commemorative sculpture and cash award in recognition of the national award.