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Thoughts from an angry park ranger

Matthew Chatfield
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Sometimes people online confuse The Ranger with a US Park Ranger – although he’s very far from it. In real life there’s no such confusion: he really doesn’t look or sound like such a person. But it’s amazing how similar the experiences of his American counterparts can be, and yet how different.

Shelton Johnson, a park ranger in Yosemite
Shelton Johnson, a park ranger in Yosemite (not the author of the article, as far as we know!)

Have a look at the thoughts of an anonymous ranger who posted on craigslist. S/he strikes some very familiar chords with this ranger, even though s/he’s a very long way from the environment that British countryside managers work in. They don’t often have to deal with

…tweekers and gun toting survivalists who hate the government or want to use the wilderness as a place to stash sh*t for the Armageddon

…but more than a few UK rangers will recognise this cry from the heart:

Being a park ranger used to mean a lot of PR, giving directions, occasional search and rescue, first aid, and a periodic encounter with some idiot who drank too much. But now it means responding to the same calls any department handles in an urban area… domestics, more of what we classify as “disorderly conduct” offenses, and generally more people being rude and obnoxious…

Read the article to see some of the strange things this poor officer has to deal with. We hope their next season is more peaceful – it sounds as though they need the rest!

Via Bufords Essays. First published here in 2006: now revised with updated links.

Matthew Chatfield

Uncooperative crusty. Unofficial Isle of Wight cultural ambassador. Conservation, countryside and the environment, with extra stuff about spiders.

2 thoughts on “Thoughts from an angry park ranger

  • The Virtual Ranger

    Thanks for the correction, Gord – and greetings from a colleague across the pond. I got the posting via your worthy blog too, so I’ll correct the attribution. I did wonder what a ranger in a 270 acre canal park was doing spending all day recovering a body from a 500 foot cliff!


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