Cannon was honored for her leadership and “skillful collaboration” in support of, among other things, the highly touted Moab Master Leasing Plan, which helps to protect Utah landmarks like Arches and Canyonlands national parks from the impacts of nearby oil and gas development, NPCA officials said in a news release.
She is also being recognized for her deep commitment to the protection of park viewsheds throughout Utah, with her strong advocacy for compliance with the Regional Haze Rule, the federal program designed to reduce air pollution in and near national parks, according to the news release.
“Kate has a deep commitment to protecting America’s favorite places, and should serve as a model for all those who work on behalf of our national parks,” Pierno said. “Her tenacity, creativity and resolve in dealing with issues has set a high standard that will help ensure parks in Utah and across the country thrive well into their next century. We are so proud to honor her with this well-deserved award.”
Cannon told The Times-Independent that she is “deeply honored” to receive the Stephen T. Mather award.
“Arches and Canyonlands national parks are embedded in spectacular landscapes that provide unparalleled visitor experiences and resources that reach beyond park boundaries,” she said. “To protect those landscapes, those parks, and the clear air that reveals them, we joined our partners in the Bureau of Land Management, the National Parks Conservation Association, and many others, who worked long and hard to bring the work recognized in this award to fruition. Without this team of highly dedicated and passionate individuals this great accomplishment would not have been possible.” Cannon said those cooperative relationships have played an important role in the ongoing work to protect and preserve those national parks.
“We look forward to maintaining the relationships forged through this process to continue doing the good work of caring for these amazing places that we are so fortunate to manage,” she said.
Cannon was named superintendent of the Southeast Utah Group, which includes Arches and Canyonlands national parks as well as Natural Bridges and Hovenweep national monuments in 2006. Prior to that she served as deputy superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park.
From 1990 to 1997, she served as superintendent of Jewel Cave National Monument in South Dakota. She also worked as a concessions management specialist at Glen Canyon Recreation Area, resource management specialist at Northwest Alaska Areas, concessions management assistant in the Alaska Regional Office, and as a park ranger at Yukon-Charley National Preserve in Alaska, Canyonlands National Park, Isle Royale National Park in Michigan, and North Cascades National Park in Washington.
The Stephen T. Mather Award, endowed by Booz Allen Hamilton, was presented to Cannon at the 39th annual Ranger Rendezvous, held Oct. 27-30 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. First awarded in 1984 and named after the first director of the National Park Service, the award is given to individuals who have shown steadfast leadership and persistent dedication to the country’s national parks.
Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been a leading voice in working to safeguard national parks, according to the group’s website. NPCA and its more than 1 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve the country’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information about the organization, visit the website: www.npca.org.