Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Begining

My first job with the National Park Service was in June 1975 when I was hired as a seasonal Park Aid at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. Although my main job was providing interpretive service such as guided tours, research, living history, school talks, roving informal talks, and working the information desk, I was also exposed to major event planning, law enforcement, safety, and administrative procedures. I was able to work my way up to a seasonal Park Technician position and eventually a permanent job with more emphasis on protection functions in 1977.

Although I had these bureaucratic job titles, in the public eye we were all Park Rangers.

In my book "A Park Ranger's Life: True Stories from Thirty Two Years Protecting Our National Parks." you will learn about some of the interesting people we had to deal with, a supervisor that almost drove me from my desire to be a Park Ranger, and a ghost or ghosts that tried to chase me from Hampton House which was under the protection of the National Park Service.

The book is in the publishing process now and should be available through and as well as many other distributors within the next few months. Stay tuned for more information and the date when the book will be available to the public.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


“Pride, Integrity, Service” is the motto of the United States Park Rangers and Bruce Bytnar is regard as one of the finest examples of the competence and commitment for which the men and women of the ranger force are famous.

Highly skilled in a variety of disciplines his career took him from assignments as varied as firefighting across the western mountains to VIP protection details in eastern cities to rescue mission in the rugged Appalachians to tracking criminals through forests and fields and finally to the response in the nation’s capital after the attacks of September 11.

Bytnar captures the many facets of rangering with the humor and insight of a master storyteller and paints the picture of life inside “the best idea we ever had” our national parks.

- John Garrison, Former Chief Ranger of the Blue Ridge Parkway

A Park Ranger's Life

A wild bear who favors Kentucky Fried Chicken

A fugitive wanted in eight states

A dog that saved his owner’s life

Wildland firefighters battling nature and fire

A ghost haunting a colonial mansion

Hikers who stayed lost because they thought the searchers calling their names were wild animals

National Park Rangers who risk their lives to make our parks safe and preserve them for the future.

These are just a few of the characters you will meet in these stories drawn from the 32 year career of a National Park Ranger. You will learn what it takes to be a Park Ranger, what threats to visitors and resources they deal with on a daily basis, and what you can do to help protect and preserve our national heritage showcased in these preserves honored and envied the world over. These are tales of humor, drama, and tragedy set in our National Parks.

I am currently working on the final edits for this book based on true stories from my career as a National Park Ranger. The title is "A Park Ranger's Life: True Stories from Thirty Two Years Protecting Our National Parks." Final publication and availability should be ready in approximately two months. I will keep you posted.