LANDER, WYO—On Friday, Oct. 9, the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) awarded its 2015 Stewardship Award to Bob Ratcliffe, Chief of the National Park Service’s (NPS) Division of Conservation and Outdoor Recreation in Washington, D.C. The NOLS Stewardship Award, presented annually since 1990, recognizes individuals who have demonstrated exceptional stewardship of public lands and the environment.
“NOLS chose to honor Mr. Ratcliffe for his decades of public service to promote stewardship, engage youth, enhance outdoor recreation, and conserve our public lands. In addition, his collaborative style and partnership work with a wide range of organizations has greatly improved public enjoyment of recreation opportunities on NPS and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands,” Aaron Bannon, director of NOLS Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability, stated.
Ratcliffe has served as a key advisor to national groups working to advance safety and risk management practices among public lands visitors. He has also worked to resolve long-standing management challenges, especially for improving public access information and permitting processes on federal lands. Ratcliffe has played an instrumental role in engaging federal agencies with the Wilderness Risk Management Conference slated for Oct. 14-16 in Portland, Ore.
Through his leadership, outreach and other national policy work, Ratcliffe has helped improve the visitor and user experiences and safety. He has helped bring recreation on the public lands to the forefront among federal agencies, and his career-long efforts have helped establish the foundation for recreation management best practices for public lands users in the future.
“I am deeply honored to be recognized by NOLS,” said Ratcliffe, “an organization that has been one of the premier leaders in outdoor education for half a century and one that has inspired so many to be the next generation of citizen stewards.”
From time as an outdoor instructor and backcountry ranger, a Congressional Fellow, conservation consultant, and over 28 years in varied field and leadership positions with the BLM and NPS, Ratcliffe has shown a lifelong dedication to the stewardship of the public lands. In his role as division chief, Ratcliffe also oversees the National Trails Program, the National Rivers Program and the Recreation, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program. He currently chairs the National Federal Interagency Council on Outdoor Recreation. An outdoor enthusiast himself, Ratcliffe enjoys time with his family hiking, rafting, telemark skiing and mountain biking.
Since legendary mountaineer Paul Petzoldt founded the school in 1965, more than 254,000 students have graduated from the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), the leader in wilderness education. Whether through field-based courses offered in some of the most awe-inspiring locations in the world or classroom-based courses, the school provides transformative educational experiences to students of all ages. Graduates emerge as active leaders with lifelong environmental ethics and outdoor skills. To discover the NOLS experience or to bring a course to your business or organization, call (800) 710-NOLS (6657) or visit www.nols.edu.