Park Ranger Ken Hay Retires
Crater Lake NP, Oregon
January 28, 2008
After 29 years in fire management and law enforcement, Ken Hay is leaving the National Park Service. He has accepted a position as park superintendent for programming and development with the city of Klamath Falls, Oregon.Ken’s Park career began as a researcher with Yale School of Forestry at Isle Royale during the summers of 1972 and 1973. Later, while working his way through graduate school, Ken worked as a park police officer with a metropolitan park district and later as a park ranger with Ohio state parks.After graduate school, Ken worked numerous seasons as a park technician, volunteer and forestry technician in Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest. It was during one of these seasons that he met and married his wife, Bonnie Peterson, a singer/guitarist working for the Grand Teton Lodge Company.Ken and Bonnie have two children, Katie and Tristan, who were a part of their roller coaster tour-of-duty through Death Valley, Lava Beds, Pacific West Regional Office, the National Interagency Fire Center, and finally Crater Lake. Ken’s park work and family were interrupted twice for active duty in the United States Coast Guard for support of both Iraq conflicts. The first was in 1991 and the second was in 2003.
Ken still plans to continue his Coast Guard reserve work as a pollution investigator and environmental education specialist. He also plans to continue volunteering as a violin and viola instructor in the Klamath Falls city schools at Mills Elementary, where his wife works as a music teacher.
During Ken’s “retirement”, he will be working with his daughter on a book of short stories about his family’s many experiences in parks and forests. Although he will miss his NPS family and all the beautiful and sometimes remote work sites, he is ready for a change, a chance to be closer to home, and the new challenges of helping manage a municipal park program.
Name: Marsha McCabe
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