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Park Ranger Jack Hoeflich while working on a helicopter operation in El Capitan Meadow. NPS photo

August 28, 2018 – Yosemite National Park is proud to announce that Park Ranger Jack Hoeflich is the recipient of the 2017 Barry Hance Memorial Award. This ceremony was attended by approximately 450 National Park Service employees, volunteers, park partners, and retirees, including several past Barry Hance Award recipients.

The Barry Hance Memorial Award is a peer-nominated award that is named in honor of Barry Hance, a long-time employee of Yosemite National Park who died in an avalanche while plowing the Tioga Road in 1995. Recipients of this prestigious award are employees who exemplify the qualities and attributes of Barry Hance. These include team work, a positive attitude, concern for the public and fellow employees, public service, and a deep love for Yosemite National Park.

Jack Hoeflich exemplifies the qualities of the Barry Hance Memorial Award. According to the Rangers who nominated him, “Jack is the ranger who other rangers look at and ask “how is he so good at all that stuff?” Jack has a deep love for Yosemite and in 2001, Jack became a seasonal Protection Ranger after working several seasons as a volunteer campground host and using his advanced climbing skills to serve on the Yosemite Search and Rescue team.

Jack has helped coordinate and lead some of the most challenging and time-critical rescue incidents undertaken by the National Park Service. By 2005, he was a permanent Protection Ranger with advanced credentials as a federal law enforcement officer, park medic, structural firefighter, wild land firefighter, technical rock rescue instructor, helicopter and swift water rescue technician, horse patroller, and more. In 2007, Jack received a Department of the Interior Valor Award for his heroic actions while rescuing a gravely injured climber from the face of El Capitan.

In 2012, Jack Hoeflich became the Valley District Ranger. His peers call him a “consummate professional in that he endeavors to be the best at whatever he does.” You will find him directing traffic, patrolling the Valley via bicycle, taking ambulance calls, acting as Search and Rescue (SAR) Duty Officer, performing a rescue on Half Dome, giving directions to a lost visitor, or mentoring a new ranger. The park is proud to have Jack Hoeflich as a leader and mentor here in Yosemite Valley.