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Many Commendations Given to Frank Padilla, Jr.
By Ed Stauss
March 18, 2006

When Frank Padilla, Jr., began working for California State Parks as a seasonal wilderness aid in 1973 he could not have predicted the outpouring of respect and gratitude he received at his retirement party on March 18, 2006, at Calamigos Ranch. During his 34-year career, he worked at Anza-Borrego, Malibu Creek and Point Mugu state parks and other locations throughout the Santa Monica Mountains. His last rank at retirement was Superintendent I, Fire Management and Trails.

Commendations came from L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, State Senator Sheila Kuehl, Assemblymember Fran Pavley, and many others.

State Parks Sierra District Superintendent Hayden Sohm said, "You have improved State Parks standing with local fire agencies by developing a fire crew that has provided an immediate response to local fires and established a productive prescribed fire program."

Ruth Gerson, President of Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council, said, "You truly cared about trails and with your deeds you touched our hearts."

Reflecting the multi-agency aspect of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, he was praised by Woody Smeck of National Parks and Ron Schafer of State Parks. Shafer awarded him a plaque from the State Parks Rangers Association.

As Padilla retired, he said he was considering several opportunities for further employment and that he would maintain contact with the Trails Council.

Ron Shafer, Superintendent, Angeles District, presents an award from the California State Park Rangers Association.

Padilla is congratulated by Woody Smeck, Superintendent of Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

Ruth Gerson, President of Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council, presents Padilla with a certificate of appreciation.

Hayden Sohm, State Parks Sierra District Superintendent, presented a plaque from the California State Parks Sierra District.

Frank Padilla, Jr., holds a State Parks Smokey Bear commemorating his 34 years with California State Parks.