Sunday, August 21, 2011

More On Risk Takers And The Risks in the NY Times

Check out this article in the New York Times about the increase in deaths this year at Yosemite National Park.  So far sixteen people have died in the park since January.

I am confident that  this increase in injuries and deaths is in part due to visitors’ false sense of security that someone, in most cases a park ranger, will bail them out before a situation becomes too dangerous.  As we can see that does not always work and people need to realize, as we used to teach in Wildland fire training, the individual is ultimately responsible for their own safety.  The challenge is how to get this message to take hold in the populace that visits our parks from all over the world.


  1. I think it's more that folks don't think at all--they come to these areas, not understanding the risks and believing accidents happen to the other guy, not them. Most visitors don't anticipate, therefore don't plan, for things to go wrong, so the expectation that a ranger or bystander will bail them out is rarely in their thought process. People ignore warning signs, speed limits, seat belt laws, cell phone warnings b/c they don't think anything bad will happen to them, not b/c someone will bail them out.

  2. All good points that I have seen time and again. I used to tell new employees that the one thing that most visitors forget to pack for their vacation is common sense.