Accolade: Yosemite ranger honored

Yosemite National Park ranger Aaron Smith received the Pacific West Region Harry Yount Award, given annually for excellence in rangering. Smith 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 regional award winners, for the National Harry Yount Award. This award is one of the highest recognitions a ranger can receive. The national award will be presented in Washington, D.C., in March.

“We are ecstatic that Aaron Smith has received this prestigious award and is being recognized for his high level dedication and skills,” said Kevin Killian, Yosemite’s chief ranger. “I have personally worked side-by-side with Aaron, and I am continually impressed with his level of skill and execution of his duties. Aaron is truly deserving of this award.”

Smith grew up in Redding and has worked in Yosemite National Park for 10 years. Before serving as a park ranger, he worked as a search-and-rescue technician in Tuolumne Meadows and an entrance fee ranger at Tioga Pass. Other duties Smith performs include serving as a field training officer, co-managing the Yosemite Search and Rescue Team, helicopter crew member, use of force instructor and search-and-rescue instructor. Smith and his wife, also a National Park ranger, live in Yosemite Valley.