Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fight the Reduction of Park Rangers In Our National Parks

The National Parks and Conservation Association (NPCA) is mounting an effort to fight potential budget cuts that would reduce the number of Park Rangers in our National Parks.  You can go to the link below for more information and the chance to take action by contacting your elected officials.

There is an additional point in NPCA's letter that I feel is important to make.  Cutting the number of Park Rangers is a false economy in that the damage to natural and cultural resources that are irreplaceable is the inevitable result.  During my 32 years experience working in National Parks I saw first hand that when staffing of rangers was cut the incidence of illegal hunting, resource theft, vandalism, and visitor injuries and fatalities increased.   Park Rangers have a much more important role in our Parks then just ensuring that visitors have a rewarding experience.  Should the resources our National Parks are established to protect be degraded, what is left for people to visit, enjoy, and learn from.  Would they become just like the hollow shells of closed businesses and shopping malls that dot our country.  I know that is pretty extreme, but lack of care and protection of these precious and fragile treasures can result in such a scenario very quickly.

National Parks and Conservation Association:


  1. Budget cuts aren't the problem. Managers in the park service have been cutting the number of park rangers for decades. They have replaced rangers with natural and cultural resource specialists, historians, technicians, visitor use assistants, and volunteers.

    With the exception of the largest parks, you will find more employees working at park headquarters than in the field protecting visitors and park resources.

    The US Department of the Interior Investigator General has issued three reports on park ranger staffing in 2002, 2006 and 2008. The trend which eliminates rangers continues and will only get worse as budgets are further reduced.

    Check out the IG's report at:

    1. It is indeed frustrating. I remember all those reports.

  2. Another article on the same issue.