Tom Mulder, manager of Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument since 2006, will be honored with a pair of celebrations after he retired on Jan. 2.
Mulder, 60, spent more than 34 years working in the Forest Service including stints as an administrative officer at Gifford Pinchot National Forest. He also served in various capacities at Lincoln, Umatilla and Mount Hood National Forests.
His colleagues are planning a pair of celebrations in honor of Mulder on Jan. 23 in Vancouver and Battle Ground. He and his family plan to ramain the area. His youngest son is a senior at Battle Ground High.
An email from MJ Dowell of the USFS outlined some of Mulder’s career highlights: “Tom is known for leading the largest construction projects around Mount St Helens since the last Visitor Center, Johnston Ridge, opened in 1997. At one time the US Forest Service operated three Visitor Centers along the SR 504 highway; the Mount St Helens Visitor Center in Toutle, WA, which today is operated by Washington State Parks; the Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center, which today operates as a Science and Learning Center operated by the Mount St Helens Institute, and the Johnston Ridge Observatory.
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Notable achievements while serving as Monument Manager:
September 2007 – Pine Creek Information Station closes due to lack of funds to maintain facilities and infrastructure.
October 2007-Closing the Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center due to lack of funds to maintain facilities and infrastructure.
February 2008 – Mount St Helens stops erupting. It had been extruding lava non-stop 24/7 from October 2004 – January 2008.
September 2008 – The new Monument Headquarters office in Amboy was built. The Forest Service had been operating for the previous 28 years is a collection of FEMA trailers that were “Temporaily” relocated onto the Amboy compound after the Forest Service offices were evacuated a month before the May 18, 1980 blast.
May 2009- ReOpening Pine Creek Information Station after receiving commitments from Volunteers and other community organizations to staff and maintain the operations at the Pine Creek Information Station.
2010-Large scale improvements done on the Monument after receiving funding from ARRA
May 2012- Creating (ReOpening) the Coldwater Science and Learning Center
Summer 2014 – Constructing a Visitor Information Portal at Cascade Peaks, east side of the Volcano
2015- He will return as a Visitor only to see the Grand opening of the Cascade Peaks Information Station in June 2015.”