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I met some rangers down in the Delaware Water Gap this summer, Lets just say we didnt have the best meeting. Well that is irrelevant but would you guys say you are like the forest police? Because I got that vibe off of them. I would like a job working in the national parks but yet I dont want to be a cop(studying criminal justice and whatnot drug searches etc, speeding tickets), Giving tickets for whatnots other than the protection of our enviroment and the safety the park( Even though both coincide). What kind of employment oppurtunities would you say there are in the parks . Other than hotel and gift shops./ I am very interested so any feedback would help. Thanks a bunch. -marielle
(also posted in nationalparks community)

Why are you a Park Ranger?


What would you say qualifies an individual for Rangerhood?  

Ranger positions are a combination of teacher, scientist, law enforcement, search and rescue, medical aid, cashier, and janitor.  Knowledge of the environment, of the park's natural and cultural history is not always required.  Customer service skills are probably the most important, which most people acquire through part-time retail positions.  You don’t need to have a college degree to collect user fees or even to lead nature walks, yet most Ranger positions are incredibly difficult to attain.  Is this due to high expectations on qualifications, or government bureaucracy gumming up the works?  Most positions are seasonal, only three months per year; how do these highly-qualified individuals survive during the remainder of the year?  What would make them want to leave 9 months of alternative employment for 3 months of no weekends, holidays or benefits --and low pay?

As the season comes to a close, I'm trying to remember why I took the position. Was it really just for the cool hats?

World Ranger Day!

Thanks, crayonbeam, for bringing this to my attention.

Pluses and minuses of working as a National Park Ranger


+ Plus +

+ Excellent working environment

+ Free outdoor gym

+ Meet fellow nature enthusiasts

+ Meet foreigners

+ Photographic opportunities

+ Park uniform

+ Nature talks, public education

+ Get paid to hike

+ Instant god-like knowledge in the public’s eye


- Minus -

- Park uniform

- Usually a seasonal position, 3-4 months per year

- No benefits
- No weekends or holidays off work

- Garbage patrol

- Being Mom to tourists

- Explaining the no-dogs policy

- Lack of training

- Backcountry compost toilet maintenance

- Coming across occasional dead or crazy people in the wilderness
- Dealing with wildlife (especially bears) people have fed



Other benefits or draw-backs to working as a ranger?

Day in the life

Training, zip-line across the falls.

Some people pay for this kind of entertainment.  I was paid to do this. 


After all the drama and junk regarding employment upon my graduation, I (obviously, as recent posts have indicated) ended up working as a seasonal interpreter at Redwood National Park, just as I had the previous two summers. It feels pretty good {|:)> I had bandied about the idea of doing a "day-in-the-life" or "day-in-pictures" as I've seen done elsewhere and suggested here, but held off due to pressing academic concerns and uncertainty over whether I'd actually work another typical day here.

As some certainty has set up shop for the summer, I plan to go ahead with an illustrated "Day-on-the-Job" post soon. I hope the other community members employed in the field will join me in this, and if you can beat me to it, great! I look forward to seeing what rangerly work looks like elsewhere in the world.

first timmer

Hello! I currently reside in Central Idaho - Donnelly - directly West of the Frank Church Wilderness of No Return. Which is massive (largest wilderness in lower 48)

The entire area of this mostly basalt rocked area is astounding! We frequently tour the hot springs, rivers and tiny towns. I just want to share some of the areas veiws -

Lake Cascade from West Mountain/Tamarack

North of Donnelly - Near Last Chance Camp Ground

Hot spring in dead of winter

Payette Lake view from Ponderosa Park

Saunters with Dr. Steve Sillett

Cross posted at park_rangers, nationalparks, and rantingranger. Again, apologies to those who see it in multiple places.

Having begun my third consecutive year at Redwood National Park, I won't get the full onslaught of seasonal training this spring; but I've had the good fortune to catch Humboldt State University botany professor Dr. Steve Sillett each time around. Sillett specifically studies the epiphyte communities that typically develop around and above 61 meters (200 feet), and along with Michael Taylor and Chris Atkins, seeks out the world's biggest and tallest trees.

After getting us up to speed on the life in the canopy and the specifics of the newly-measured, presently-world's-tallest trees, Sillett took us to meet two of his favorites, patiently enduring our inquiries well past his scheduled time with us. His passion for these trees and the communities that develop within each of them comes through; even after spending the better part of eleven years up in these trees, his sense of wonder has yet to lose any steam.

Sillett has coined this behemoth "Castle Tree" for its ancient and formidable architecture. Only a handful of giant sequoia and other redwoods exceed this tree in size. By virtue of its position next to a sizable stream, this tree enjoyed an unusually open setting within the redwood forest, which it has maintained in old age by dropping branches the size of eastern trees; extending virtually all of its 91 meter (300 foot) height, this tree probably has the largest crown and most leaves of any tree on the planet.

Between Monday's and Tuesday's whales and pelicans, Wednesday's sunshine and lupine bloom in the Bald Hills, and Thursday's saunter with Sillett, the summer of 2007 at Redwood National Park has started more splendidly than I could have dreamed!