Even though I am now retired I still find myself deeply affected by the loss of another National Park Service Ranger. My thoughts and gut are tied up in thinking about the dangers faced by Park Rangers every day and how easily things can go wrong.
The situation at Mount Rainier is acerbated by the fact that just this past January 1st Park Ranger Margaret Anderson was shot and killed in the line of duty at Mount Rainier setting up a road block to stop a vehicle that turned out to be driven by a wanted murderer.
Many Park Ranger's across the country face dangerous situations on a daily basis. Unfortunately neither Margaret or Nick were facing challenges that do not have the potential to exist every day in our National Parks.
Park Rangers are not the only employees to face hazardous working conditions. Just this past May Maintenance Worker Dana Bruce was killed when the mower he was operating rolled down the side of an overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Our National Parks are wild places that do not allow for many societal or natural controls. Both people and nature are constantly changing and unpredictable environments to work in. Today National Park staff members are taken aback with this latest loss, but they will continue to do the job they have dedicated their lives to; protecting our National Parks and the people who visit them.
On this day let our thoughts and prayers be with the family, friends, and co-workers of Nick Hall in this time of grief and loss.