Dale Crane


Issaquah, WA

Founding Board Chair from 1997 – 1999

Dale grew up in a small logging town in western Washington. Recreation activities included walking the trails along the rivers and in the old-growth forests. He enjoyed fishing with his father and has vivid memories of sitting in class and looking out the window at Mt. Rainier. He was struck early in life with the devastation of natural resources that gave the region its importance and beauty. Those early years provided the segue into majoring in fish and wildlife at Oregon State University. His career was recognized by the university and Dale was awarded the “Distinguished Graduate” title in 2010. During his tenure at the university, he was employed in a range of positions from fisheries enforcement in southeastern Alaska to working at a game farm in Oregon and doing downstream migration studies of salmon in Washington.

Dale served as Assistant Curator, Curator, and Executive Director of the Sacramento Junior Museum of Natural Sciences, a small non-profit museum. His focus was directed toward educating children on the value of our natural resources and the need for their protection. He worked as a state park ranger in the California Redwoods and then was hired as a Recreation Planner for the California Department of Water Resources. The Sacramento District, Army Corps of Engineers, then initiated a park planning function and hired Dale as Chief of Recreation Planning. Later, he moved to the Ohio River Division, Corps of Engineers, as Chief of Environmental Planning and was subsequently selected as the first Chief of Recreation and Natural Resource Management for the Office of the Chief of Engineers in Washington, DC managing recreation and related resources at over 400 reservoirs.

Dale was subsequently selected for the prestigious American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship Program where he worked for Senator Dale Bumpers and on the staff of the National Parks Subcommittee chaired by Congressman Phillip Burton.  He was offered full-time employment after the fellowship, and when Bruce Vento assumed Chairmanship of the Subcommittee, he appointed Dale as Chief of Staff where Dale served an additional seven years in that capacity. 

Upon Dale’s retirement, Bruce Vento wrote in the Congressional Record:“Dale has been a leader, an innovator, a counselor, friend and educator for me and other Members of Congress and to numerous staff in both House and Senate. With his guidance, the subcommittee enacted more than 100 measures in the 100th Congress. Dale’s efforts took on special meaning during recent years in the establishment of two magnificent national parks, Great Basin National Park in Nevada and our most recent national park in American Samoa…Throughout his service in natural resources roles,…Dale Crane’s vision of our Nation’s natural resources has been forward looking to ensure these resources would be conserved and preserved today for American generations tomorrow.”

After retiring, Dale and his wife moved back to the Seattle area where he enjoys fishing, birding, and hiking in the beautiful Northwest and has served on the Advisory Committee for the National Park of American Samoa, Treasurer for the Seattle Institute for Cardiac Research, The Issaquah Park Board and as a volunteer at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery.