Fire Management Officer Lisa Elenz Receives Award for Excellence

March 24, 2008

Lisa Elenz, fire management officer (FMO) for Grand Teton National Park, was recently recognized for her outstanding contributions to the National Park Service (NPS) fire program during a combined meeting between the NPS Pacific West and Intermountain regions held in Portland, Oregon. Intermountain Region Fire Management Officer Len Dems presented the 2007 Intermountain Region fire management awards to one national park unit and nine individuals who have demonstrated high performance in the field of fire management.

Elenz was awarded the “Excellence in Wildland Fire Management Award” for her regular and consistently exceptional work in support of area national parks and the NPS fire program at the local, regional, and national level. In addition to her responsibilities for supervising wildland fire operations for Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway, Elenz also oversees fire management for three other parks—Fossil Butte National Monument, Fort Laramie National Historic Site, and Big Horn Canyon National Recreation Area. Elenz is one of only a handful of women who work as fire management officers in large national parks.

“Lisa is an exemplary fire management officer who manages a complex and comprehensive fire program for Grand Teton and other national parks in Wyoming. We are so pleased that she was recognized for her exceptional work,” stated Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott. “Lisa’s training, expertise and dedication to her profession make her an inspiration to other fire managers across the National Park System.”

Elenz works on long-term fire behavior analysis projects and instructs national level courses on long-term risk assessment and fire behavior analyses. She coordinates local firefighting operations through an interagency fire management team, which includes fire management staff from Grand Teton National Park, Bridger-Teton National Forest and the Jackson Hole Fire/EMS.

Elenz initially came to Grand Teton in 1998 as the assistant FMO. In 1999, Elenz directed the Alder Fire initial attack operation and functioned as lead for the Teton interagency firefighting efforts, which ultimately saved the historic Jenny Lake Lodge. Elenz served on a special assignment as the acting FMO for Bandelier National Monument during the critical months immediately following the 2000 Cerro Grande wildland fire. In 2001, while serving as the acting FMO for Grand Teton, Elenz played a leadership role during the Green Knoll Fire. She coordinated interagency firefighting efforts during the initial attack phase and remained directly involved throughout the extended firefighting period.

Prior to her positions at Grand Teton, Elenz spent two years as an FMO trainee and seven years as a Fire Station Captain in the Wawona district of Yosemite National Park. While working as fire station captain, she supervised wildland and structural fire operations for the district and planned and implemented prescribed fire and hazard fuel reduction programs within the urban interface of Yosemite.

Elenz started her NPS career by working as a fee collector on Grand Canyon National Park's North Rim, after receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Northern Arizona University in 1988.