Monday, July 31, 2006

Kilt him a b'ar with only a 6 inch knife

Real men leave the pepper spray at home and just carry a big knife to protect themselves from a bear attack. The key to successfully fighting off a bear with a knife is to go on the offensive, pounce on his back, and stab like you have never stabbed before.

Canoeist stabs bear to death in Ontario (Yahoo! Canada News)

A man stabbed a black bear to death with a 15-cm hunting knife, saying he knew he would otherwise become "lunch" after it attacked him and his dog on a canoeing portage in northern Ontario. Tom Tilley, a 55-year-old from Waterloo, Ont., said his American Staffordshire dog growled a warning, then rushed to his defence as the bear came at them on a trail north of Wawa on Friday. As the dog battled with the nearly 90-kilogram bear, Tilley jumped on its back and stabbed it with his knife. "Love is a very powerful emotion and my thought right away was: 'You're not going to kill my dog,'" Tilley told the Waterloo Region Record. "I really consider my dog a hero. Without that first warning, I would have had the bear clamping down on my neck."

An avid outdoorsman, Tilley was four days into a 12-day canoe trip. He said he heard his dog growl and noticed the bear closing in on him. He waved his arms and slowly backed away. But the bear came closer, cutting off his escape route. "That's when I knew I had a serious problem.... I was lunch," he said. "The bear took a few steps down the trail and clamped its mouth on the back of my dog. It gave me the quick opportunity I needed to run around to the back of the bear, get on its back and with my knife start stabbing it."

After making sure the animal was dead, Tilley realized that both he and dog had been bitten. ''That's when I knew I had a serious problem.... I was lunch.'-Tom Tilley, a 55-year-old from Waterloo, Ont.' He dragged his canoe across a short portage and paddled for about an hour before he came across a pair of Americans who had a satellite phone. They called for help and two hours later, a cargo plane arrived to take Tilley to Wawa for medical attention. He was released from hospital shortly after.

Bears rarely attack humans, but there have been several killings and serious maulings in Canada in recent years, including:
In late April, a grizzly attacked and killed Jean-Francois Pagé, a 28-year-old man from Whitehorse who was working in the bush about 30 kilometres east of the Yukon community.

Jacqueline Perry, 30, was killed by a black bear that attacked her and her husband at a campsite in Missinaibi Lake Provincial Park in northern Ontario in September 2005.

Isabelle Dube, a 26-year-old mother of one, died in June 2005 after being mauled by a grizzly bear while she and friends were running on a hiking trail near Canmore, Alta.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Urban rangers on the frontline in gang wars

City parks are designed to be sanctuaries of peace and tranquility allowing people to escape the chaos of the city. The problems of the city, however, don't stop at the park gates. While most rangers may have to deal with gangs of cooler raiding racoons, urban rangers find themselves dealing with the criminal escapades of armed teens earger to prove to their loalty and temerity to their fellow gang members. The ruthlessness of these teen gangs is shocking. Here is the story of a 15 year old gang member who goes by the name "Hitler" that went on a shooting rampage through an urban park in Orange County.

A day in the park with Hitler (Orange County Weekly)

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department has primary jurisdiction over Mile Square Park, but it’s often county park rangers like Lorrie Zuczek who handle actual patrols, either in trucks or on horseback. On Aug. 23, 2002, Zuczek approached a large group of Vietnamese teenagers in the park. They assured her everything was cool. But minutes later, five Vietnamese males between 15 and 16 years old—Nguyen’s DFJ associates—ran to Zuczek. She’d later describe them as “frightened and agitated.” One of them said, “Those guys are going to kill us. You’ve got to call the cops! We think they have guns.” Zuczek then saw the larger group of gangsters—the Natoma Boys Junior and Young Locs—flashing gang signs. While the ranger made an emergency call to police, the DFJ members hid behind her truck. Five minutes later, everyone heard gunfire in a different section of the park. The day of the shooting, Silvia and her fiancé, David, (we’re withholding their last names) went to Mile Square Park for a picnic. The 600-plus-acre, suburban park is normally tranquil. The couple found a spot on the grass with a view of a lake and spread a blanket for a picnic. But they’d inadvertently chosen front-row seats for a shootout. Less than 50 feet away, a young Asian male with short, spiky hair, a white T-shirt and dark baggy pants climbed from the back seat of an Acura and began yelling at a crowd of Asian teenagers. Then the kid—he looked barely into his teen years—pulled a gun out of his waistband and started firing. It was mayhem, and then it got worse. “My fiancé told me to duck down and stay down,” Silvia later testified. She watched screaming people scatter. One fleeing teen took off his sneakers in hopes of running away faster. He got hit anyway, and from her spot on the picnic blanket, Silvia watched as the victim tore off his shirt, moaning, held his gunshot wound with both hands and ran at her. The angry shooter was running right behind him, still firing.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Severed Hand: A classic spooky campfire story

A favorite camping activity is to sit around the campfire and tell spooky stories to scare the kids. The key element of an effective scary story is the fact that it is true and current. Here is the latest seeds of a new campfire classic:

The Severed Hand (

According to Park Ranger Greg Johnston, around four o'clock Monday afternoon, the office got a call about a man who's hand was severed, and what led to that call is even more eerie. Johnston says the man, who had parked his truck at a picnic area and walked down into the woods, suffered a severe injury that took his hand. The man then picked it up and walked back through the woods up a hill and another 50 yards to his truck, then he drove himself almost half a mile to the Rocky Knob visitor's center where workers called for help.

The only way rangers were able to figure out where he'd come from was by following the blood trail he'd left behind. But since that trail led them outside the Blue Ridge Park line, Floyd County Sheriff's Department has taken over the investigation.

Investigator Brian Craig says they believe it was a chain saw accident that caused the injury, but they're still unsure of what the man was doing in the woods.

The man was airlifted to Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
The news report ends here, but the story continues...After preparing the operating room for surgery, the nurses returned to pre-op to find the man's gurney empty except for a severed right hand. Meanwhile a deputy followed the blood trail back to its source. Hidden in the thick brush, the deputy discovered the body of a young man with a bloody stump on the end of his right arm. Laying next to the body was a chainsaw and a freshly severed left hand. The one handed chainsaw murder has never been found. Some say that at night you can hear him rummaging through these woods looking for his missing left hand.

Good night kids. Sleep tight.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Ohio ranger finds Love in an outhouse

Ohio state park ranger's seeking to discourage the use of park restrooms as places for men to meet for casual sexual activities found minister William Love in a stall "loving" himself. In an effort to protect his reputation, minister Love pleaded innocent. Apparently, Love suffers from a medical condition which requires him to massage his penis for up to ten minutes in order to urinate (not to be confused with uromysitisis, the aliment Jerry Seinfeld was afraid of contracting if he did not urinate in a public garage). Amazingly, the jury did not believe his explaination of the incident. This is one that you have to read to believe.

Minister convicted of public indecency (The Athens NEWS)

In a trial outcome Friday that apparently stunned members of an Athens church congregation, a Hocking County jury convicted the church's pastor of committing public indecency in a state park lavatory on May 15.

"Oh, no," blurted out one audience member in the packed courtroom, as the jury foreman in Hocking County Municipal Court read out the guilty verdict against 57-year-old H. Willard Love, senior minister of the Athens Church of Christ.

One young woman in the audience burst into tears, and could be seen outside the courtroom later, sobbing inconsolably.

Love was arrested after he allegedly masturbated in front of an undercover park ranger in the restroom at the spillway of Lake Logan State Park, off U.S. Rt. 33. After deliberating more than an hour and a half Friday, a four-man, four-woman jury found him guilty despite Love's having put on a vigorous defense in which he portrayed his arrest as the result of a misunderstanding by the arresting officer.

Judge Richard M. Wallar fined Love $500 and court costs (which will probably be much more than the fine), and sentenced him to serve three days in jail and 14 eight-hour days of community service.

Hocking County assistant prosecutor David Sams didn't ask for a specific sentence, though he did tell Wallar that park rangers have had a longstanding problem with sexual activity at the Lake Logan restroom, and that "they have a legitimate interest in sending a message" that such offenses will be treated seriously.

Defense attorney K. Robert Toy asked Wallar not to give his client jail time, noting that Love has no prior criminal record and is a respected clergyman. "Mr. Love is a great asset to our community," Toy argued. "There is no sense in putting him in jail."

Wallar, however, gave Love 60 days in jail, with 50 days suspended. He gave him the options of serving 10 days behind bars, or doing three days plus community service, of which Love chose the latter.

Sams said later that if Love had pled to the charge against him - a third-degree misdemeanor - he could probably have been given a small fine, as other men arrested the same day for public indecency at the restroom were. By choosing to fight the charge at trial, however, Sams said, Love opened himself up to a harsher penalty if convicted.

"It's rather common that if someone goes through a trial and testifies, and the jury comes back and says they didn't believe the testimony, that (the defendant gets) some jail time," he explained.

Love said he must confer with Toy as to whether he wants to appeal the verdict, but continued to insist he did nothing illegal in the park restroom on the morning of May 15.

"I know I'm innocent, (but) I respect the court," he declared. "And I appreciate all the support that the community has given me. We did our best to go to trial to try to prove our innocence."

IN THE TRIAL, the state relied on the testimony of two rangers from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and a tape made of a brief exchange in the restroom between Love and one of the rangers, who was in plainclothes and wearing a hidden microphone.

The defense called as witnesses Love, his wife, and his doctor.

The rangers told a story in which Love entered the empty restroom, and when officer Jeremy T. Davis entered behind him in plainclothes, found Love "massaging his penis back and forth very, very rapidly with his right hand." When Davis struck up a conversation with Love, he testified, Love continued to masturbate in front of him, and made statements suggesting he might want to leave with the officer and go to the second man's residence.

Love offered a wholly different explanation for what was heard on the surveillance tape. He readily admitted that when Davis entered the lavatory, he, Love, was massaging his genitals, but said he often has to do this in order to urinate, because of a medical condition he has suffered for many years. (Love's wife confirmed this in her testimony.)

The minister explained the suspicious-sounding comments he made to Davis by saying he became frightened that Davis planned to do him harm. He noted that the undercover officer struck up a conversation while standing behind him, out of plain view and blocking his exit from the restroom, then let about 30 seconds go by without saying anything. After this, he said, Davis made the observation that he didn't see anyone else around, which made Love even more uneasy.

At this point, Love testified, he looked around to locate the officer, initially couldn't find him, and then was shocked to see Davis bent over, peering around a low dividing wall at Love's crotch with a "weird grin" on his face.

"I look around and he is bent over with his hands on his knees and his head is crooked around like this," he demonstrated. "I freaked out... I had never experienced anything in a public restroom like that."

Many of his comments to Davis, according to Love, such as asking him if he were married or if he had "a place" to go to nearby, were designed to keep the other man relaxed, with the aim of Love's getting out of the restroom and to his car. Love noted that he has experience as a counselor in dealing with people in tense situations, and has learned to speak calmly and parrot what the other person says.

"I'm just trying to get him to back off, so I just repeated what he said to me to get him to back off," he claimed. "I know if I can get to my car, I can get away from him... I just want to get away from this guy."

The prosecution, however, hammered on Love's comments to Davis such as "what are you looking for," "too bad you're not in Columbus," and "you got a place?" Love at one point on the tape also tells Davis that he doesn't like to meet people in public restrooms because "I just don't feel safe."

Sams also put heavy emphasis on a questionnaire Love answered for officers after his arrest in which he supposedly answered "yes" to two questions, one about whether he knew he had been engaging in a high-risk activity, and the other about whether he knew that men soliciting sexual activity in public restrooms have been assaulted and murdered.

Love admitted answering yes to both questions. However, he said, he did not hear the portion of the second question referring to sexual soliciting, and heard only the part about men being murdered in public restrooms. Having known someone in Athens this happened to, he said, he answered yes - and only found out afterwards that the question was phrased in such a way as to imply that he himself had been looking for sex in the restroom.

Love also noted that the officers never gave him the questionnaire to review, and that he never signed it to approve his answers.

ANOTHER POINT OF Sams' case was the question of why Love chose a smelly, open-pit lavatory some distance off the highway, rather than going to one of the closer businesses at the U.S. Rt. 33-Ohio Rt. 664 exit, or to a rest stop with flush toilets a little further up the highway.

Love explained that when he takes medication for a chronic sinus infection, which had flared up recently, he has a very difficult time urinating, and sometimes has to go to great lengths massaging his back, thighs or genitals to be able to pass water.

Both Love's wife, Phyllis Love, and his doctor, William Rankin, backed up Love's claim that when he takes medicine for a sinus infection - which he was suffering at the time of his arrest - he has great difficulty urinating.

Phyllis Love said her husband sometimes has to massage himself for a long time at home to urinate. "When he's in that condition, (it can take) at least 10 minutes, or even more," she said. "You would think that someone was trying to masturbate, but it's not that."

She also confirmed that the day of Love's arrest, the minister had a full and tightly scheduled agenda of pastoral visits, including trips to Nelsonville, Lancaster and Chillicothe. He was on his way to Lancaster when he stopped off to use the restroom.

Sams repeatedly questioned Love as to why he didn't choose a more convenient and modern bathroom, and Love repeatedly told him that he wanted someplace quiet and preferably empty of other people, because he knew he might have to make an extended effort to urinate. If the restroom didn't meet his requirements, he told the prosecutor, "it could be on the side of the road two feet behind the guardrail, and it wouldn't do me any good."

In his summation, Sams told the jury that he believes Love was legitimately out on church business on May 15 as the minister claimed, "but I don't doubt that he's looking for a quickie, either."

He acknowledged that nothing on the surveillance tape clearly records Love making a sexual proposal to the officer (which he wasn't charged with), but suggested that if the jury could read between the lines, it would conclude that that's what Love had in mind.

"He didn't cross that line to where he actually solicited sex from the officer, but you can see where they were headed," he said.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Introducing Ranger Gord's Rhadamanthine Citations

Part of a park ranger's job is to educate park visitors about the law. While most visitors simply need a helpful reminder to follow the rules, there are those who just won't follow the rules unless they are given the right motivation. Park ranger's typically carry motivational notes in packs of 25 in a shiny metal ticket book and will freely distribute them out to anyone who insists that the rules just don't apply to them.

Usually writing tickets is not a pleasurable experience for a park ranger. Negative reinforcement is not a pleasant experience for either the giver or the receiver. No one likes when they have to swat their dog on the nose for chewing up their shoes, but sometimes it is the only thing that will get them to stop their bad behavior.

Occasionally, however, you run into the ignoramus that wants to challenge your authority and openly tells you that they are going to continue to break the law in the future. These people don't just deserve a ticket, they have earned one. I have to admit that with these type of people, I get a certain pleasure in issuing a citation. Ranger Gord refers to these citations as Rhadamanthine Citations.

You are probably wondering, "What the hell does rhadamanthine mean?"

rhadamanthine (

Rhad·a·man·thine: adj. Strictly and uncompromisingly just.

Here we can see the word's origin:

Weird Words: Rhadamanthine (Weird Words)
We are taught less about the classics than we once were, so the name of Rhadamanthus (sometimes spelt Rhadamanthys) probably rings few bells. In Greek mythology, he was the son of Zeus and Europa, brother to King Minos of Crete and (in some versions of the tale), Prince Sarpedon of Lycia. In life he was renowned for his wisdom and justice. When he died, according to Plato, he went to Elysium, where the most favoured mortals were chosen by the gods to stay eternally, and there became ruler and judge. Together with Minos and Aeacus, he decided the fate of everyone who was brought before him —whether to live forever in Elysium, or be banished to the underworld and in judging was able to detect all the sins of one's life, no matter how well hidden. So Rhadamanthus became a byword for justice in its most severe and rigorous form.
Ranger Gord's Rhadamanthine Citations are given to people who not just broke the law, but people who knew they were breaking the law and then want to challenge the authority of a park ranger's authority to enforce that law. People who recieve Rhadamanthine Citations often believe that park rangers are assholes.

Rhadamanthine Citation #1:

fuck park rangers (FARR)
i went fishing for the first time in about 7 years the other day. somewhere around the hartwell damn, and a fucking park ranger sneaks out of the woods like fucking chuck norris in delta force. at this point it was about 9:30am and i was already half-cocked. i had tottaly forgot that you need a fishing licsence. ofcoarse i dont have one, and ofcoarse that mother-fucker asked for it. i didnt even catch any fish and this fuck bag wanted me to show him a fucking licsence. needless to say,but, i got a citation to go to court in a town i have never been to, and will never go to now i have to pay about $150 for throwing string with a hook on the end of it in the water. what the fuck has this world come to? what happened to the days where you walked around with a loin cloth on, and ate peyote?
Apparently Mr. FARR was unaware of the obscure South Carolina law that requires all fisherman aged 16 or older to purchase a fishing license. A standard resisdent fishing license in South Carolina costs a mere $10.00. South Carolina even has made accomodations for those who don't understand modern technology and simply want to throw a "string with a hook on the end" by having a $3.00 cane pole permit (anyone hear the sound of dueling banjos?). After seeing Mr. FARR's superior command of the English language, I can only assume that he was a pleasure to deal with.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

NPS seeks to end roaming in Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park is currently considering improving the wireless communication services within the park. According to the official press release, Yellowstone will investigate "current and future wireless communications that require permanent infrastructure, including two-way radios, public health and safety monitoring and alert systems, and research related data transmission systems." Conspicuously absent on this list are cell phones. I will agree that there is a critical need for two way radio coverage for rangers conducting law enforcement and emergency services in the park. Yet I would hate to see the Park Service increase the cell phone coverage with in the park.

One of the problems is that cell phones require a virtual forest of metal towers to work. Cell towers in the city are barely noticeable, but cell towers in the pristine landscapes of our national parks are absolutely disgusting. They immediately jerk you out of the serenity created by the natural beauty of the wilderness.

The other problem is cell phone users. It appears that radio waves emanating from cell phones have a detrimental effect on the courtesy centers of the human brain. When a cell phone is held near the head for an extended period of time, it can render the brain's courtesy center useless. Frequent cell phone users have been know to use their phone in inappropriate place such as movie theaters and churches. If the cell phone network is increased in Yellowstone, then don't be surprised to have the calming sound of a waterfall interrupted by the annoying ringtone of some oblivious cell phone addict. When I travel to a national park, I am hoping to get away from these kinds of rude interruptions of modern society.

I was originally alerted to this project by the blog Yellowstone Park News. YPN's author mentions how difficult the National Park Service makes it to comment on this project.

YELLOWSTONE WIRELESS (Yellowstone Park News)

Of course you cannot comment by email, phone, or fax. You must take the time to visit in person, write a snail mail letter or wend your way through the PEPC site to discover the
other ways that the NPS has made it hard to comment.

Ranger Gord doesn't want you to get lost on an epic trip through the PEPC (which is government speak for Planning, Environment and Public Comment) website in search of the mysterious and elusive public comment form, so here are a few short cuts:

Yellowstone Wireless Communication Plan Links
Plan Homepage

Scoping Newsletter
Public Comment Form <

Personally, I am going to ask the NPS to leave the cell phone service out of their wireless communication upgrades. Besides, it probably won't be that long before satellite phone service is so affordable that there won't be a place on earth that annoying people can use their phones.

Comments must be submitted by August 31, 2006.

Monday, July 17, 2006

CA park rangers' landlord seeks to raise the rent

If a bill currently under consideration in the California State Assembly passes, California State park rangers could see a huge rent increase for their state owned park housing. The bill seeks to raise the rent on nearly 500 ranger residences to current “market-value”.

Put park ranger presence first (Whittier Daily News)

A recent audit found the Department of Parks and Recreation provided about 480 housing units, the largest amount of any state department. Assembly Bill 1708, in a noble cause, tries to save the state some money by raising the rents on these and about 1,300 other units to so-called market value. But charging whatever the market will bear for this housing seems penny wise and pound foolish. Any lost revenue is compensated by these workers being onsite and ostensibly on-call at all hours.
The bill’s primary opponent, the California State Park Rangers Association, believes that the increase will make park housing unaffordable for rangers. This may cause rangers to seek cheaper housing away from the park or even quit their positions. The ranger association names numerous benefits for providing sub-market value park housing.

State Park Housing for Employees Under Attack in Assembly (California State Park Rangers Association)
Currently, and over the last 70+ years, employee residential units have been provided at less-than-market rates due to a number of factors:

o The inability of local law enforcement jurisdictions to respond to emergencies, especially in remote park locations;
o To make up for disruptions to off-duty life-residency in these "fish-bowl" homes comes with high levels of inconvenience and lack of privacy;
o To offset the fact that because of constant budgetary shortfalls maintenance levels for these aging residences are often well below community standards;
o To compensate for historically low wages-in most cases employees cannot afford to live in the communities surrounding their parks; as such, housing is a critical tool in recruiting and retaining employees.

Obviously, many highly trained and competent employees who would suddenly have to pay between 45%-80% of their income toward housing their families at AB 1708's "market rates" would be forced to leave employment with state parks to seek better-paying work in the private
sector. The unintended consequences of this bill would more than eliminate any fiscal savings it might generate for state government.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Man sues to lift dog ban...stranger than fiction

No one would be surprised to hear that a dog lover would sue to lift a dog ban, even if it was in a National Park. What is surprising is that the beach in question is a nude beach. What is even more surprising is that the man, Mark DelCore, a former bodybuilder,
claims that nude sunbathing is a medical treatment used to treat a
strange skin condition which was caused by the collapse of the World Trade Center on 9/11. If that wasn't enough, DelCore states that he needs to bring his dog, which he claims is a service animal, with him to his nude sunbathing treatments for "emotional support and comfort" due to his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which was also caused by 9/11.

Man Sues Over Naked Beach Beef (The Smoking Gun)

A New York man who says that he suffers from a debilitating skin condition and post-traumatic stress disorder caused by the September 11 attacks is suing for the right to have his rat terrier accompany him to a naked beach on Fire Island.

The lawsuit, a copy of which you'll find below, contends that while Fire Island National Seashore
officials will allow seeing eye dogs to accompany beachgoers, service dogs are not allowed on the beach.
Note to self: cancel my transfer request to Fire Island National Seashore.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Newsflash: U.S. Park Police understaffed

Wow...Anyone else having that weird deja vu feeling? Maybe that's because the NPS told congress that the Park Police were under staffed by 20% in 2000. Perhaps it's because U.S. Park Police Chief Teresa Chambers told The Washington Post in 2003 that her agency was under staffed and subsequently fired for her outrageous comments.

National Mall Crimes Expose U.S. Park Police Officer Shortage (

The recent series of crimes on the National Mall underscore warnings raised in December 2003 by then-Chief Teresa Chambers about the effects of staff shortages in the U.S. Park Police, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Chambers, who contended that the Park Police was not adequately staffed to meet its law enforcement obligations in the nation's capital, was fired for confirming those conditions in an interview with The Washington Post, a termination she is still seeking to overturn.
Will the current U.S. Park Police Chief Dwight E. Pettiford face the same fate as Teresa Chambers? No, of course not, because Pettiford has not stated that the park police are under staffed. Pettiford believes they simply need to shift their hours and patrol locations.

Park Police Shift Duties To Increase Mall Patrols (Washington Post)

U.S. Park Police shifted their hours and their patrol duties to swarm the Mall yesterday, declaring the nation's back yard "safe for everyone, day and night," despite a recent string of robberies.

"The Mall is safe," U.S. Park Police Chief Dwight E. Pettiford said. "It is safe, but just like anywhere we go in the world, we have to take our own precautions."
Looks like someone has a bright political career in his future.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Why park rangers are assholes

You don’t have to work for a long time as a park ranger before you are called as asshole. It seems these days that I am having to deal with more and more people who think I am an asshole. This got me to wonder…am I really an asshole?

After looking through some blogs, I noticed that a lot of people have the opinion that park rangers are assholes. Here is a common posting:

beenah: w00t college!

seriously. twenty fucking minutes for two parking tickets all so some asshole ranger could have a power trip by trying to scare a group of college kids. lauren was seriously freaking out cuz this guy actually made it seem like he was going to take us in... what an asshole.

Now obviously not everyone thinks that park rangers are assholes, but there are enough that it made me wonder why this was such a popular opinion.

Ranger Gord Explains Why Park Rangers are Assholes

1. Just as many assholes as any other profession

Current research indicates that 10% of the U.S. population is made up of assholes. That makes over 29 million assholes! There are approximately 12,000 park rangers currently employed in the US, of those 874 are assholes, which is slightly less than the rest of the population. Future trends see the asshole population on the rise, so expect a similar rise within the ranks of park rangers.

2. Police Bravado

This is always cited by the public as the reason that park rangers are assholes, but this is rarely the case. When you strap on a gun and pin on a badge there is an undeniable feeling of power. Most law enforcement agencies are able to screen out most of these loose cannons during the hiring process, but a few always slip through. All law enforcement agencies have to deal with this issue and most of these bad cops eventually get caught and fired.

3. The Mirror Effect

This is the most common cause of a park ranger appearing to be an asshole. When dealing with the public, park rangers often reflect the attitude of the person they are dealing with. If a person is nice and friendly, then the park ranger is nice and friendly. If the person is an asshole, then the park ranger is an asshole. The mirror effect is a result of the park ranger’s need to win. As a law enforcement officer, a park ranger is charged with making sure people abide by the law. Those that purposefully do not abide by the law often challenge authority (these people are assholes). When a park ranger has someone who is challenging his authority he must assert himself as the authority in control. This is often interpreted as being a bigger asshole than the asshole you are dealing with.

Here is a perfect example of the mirror effect (go check out the photos also):

The Boy Who Destroyed The World: Park Ranger/Asshole
First of all, you should know that "alcoholic beverages" were prohibited because we were camping at a state park. But, needless to say, we found a way around that little dilemma by drinking out of plastic cups rather than bottles and cans. So, we get up there on a Friday night, get our tents up, and start drinking. About an hour and a half after we got everything set up Mr. Dickhead Park Ranger man pulls up and tells us that we are only allowed to have two tents at one campsite (We had four set up). Whatever, we're fine with that, not a big deal. We take the two smaller tents down and start drinking heavily. Things are going well, we were chilling with out neighbors at our campsite who, by the way, were very cool people. Then, about 11:30 Captain "I got a badge and mase so I'm gonna be a prick" comes running up on our campsite and starts yelling at us. What he said is in red and what we replied with is in blue.

"Why are there one, two, three, four, five, six, seven people here? When I came by the first time you said you only had five people."
"They are from the campsite right over there, they are just hanging out."
"Well they need to be over there then. What's in all the red cups?"
"Well, when I was here earlier I told you you had to turn the music down at 11:15!" He then proceeded to rip my boombox all to shit and carry it away.

Here is yet another example of the mirror effect:

the_sound_of: its a beautiful day....

lets see, how was the weekend...
went camping at Bass Lake Provincial Park, went there last year with no problems. This year there were 13 of us, spread out on 3 different sites. Within 2 hours of getting there, one lovely boy named Duncan lit a firecracker, no light effect, strictly a bang that sounded like a gunshot. Park ranger comes over, we deny deny deny. Things are ok.

Around midnight we took a trip to the beach with mayb 10 cans of beer. Sneaky little park ranger who we willcall Occifer Brad shows up. Threatens to fine us unless we pour all our beer out and return to our we comply and literally are all in bed within in a hour.

Next morning, the drinking and doobs start early. We head to the beach for about 3 hours before racing back in a rain storm. Spend 45 minutes rain proofing our sites and chill till about 5 or so. At that point most ppl retreated to their tents to 'siesta' or hotbox...whatever you prefer. "holy fucking hot box"

Kyle and I head to town to pick up smokes for everyone to get us through our final but most excitign night there.............

not really..

we get back, are starting dinner when occifer brad and his fucking sidekick which we will call Dewy came to EVICT US~~~~~~ that is right...we were evicted from a provincial park. He claims there were complaints about us from the night before...
so the fucker waits until 6pm the next day after we are all smashed and ready to start the night to tell us this news..because why?! everyone else was too busy!

he told us we had 30 minutes to pack our shit...that quicly turned into 2 hours of slooooooowwww moving & heckling at these two retards. They got every line in the book from us...i will give you a sample of some of my favorites:

"so what do you make,6...7 bucks an hour?"
"you know i can arrest you for drinking after eviction"....."NO YOU CAN'T"
"dewy, do you have your G2 yet?"
"occifer brad, why don't you tell dewy to remove the magna light from your ass"

So remember, if you think a park ranger is an asshole, the truth is he is probably nice and you are the asshole.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Video killed the park ranger

Scientists blame TV, movies and the internet for a 25% drop in visitation to National Parks. Crazy scientists! Before you know it they will start saying Americans are getting fatter because of TV and the internet.

'Videophilia' Keeps Americans Indoors (The Washington Post)

The growing popularity of electronic media could be the death knell for tourism at U.S. national parks, according to a study in this month's edition of the Journal of Environmental Management.

Park visits by Americans grew steadily from the 1930s until 1987, when they peaked at an average of 1.2 visits a person a year. But visitation dropped by 25 percent over the next 16 years, prompting Oliver R.W. Pergams, a biology professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Patricia A. Zaradic, a research associate at Stroud Water Research Center, to explore what accounts for the decline.

Yellowstone's Old Faithful geyser and other national park attractions are frequented less.
Yellowstone's Old Faithful geyser and other national park attractions are frequented less. The two scientists determined that 97.5 percent of the drop could be attributed to increased time Americans spend watching movies at home and in the theater, surfing the Internet and playing video games, as well the cost of gas. In 2003, the average American devoted 327 more hours than in 1987 watching movies, playing video games and using the Internet.

Pennsylvannia Ranger's Retirement Plan: Sell Meth, Move to Florida

What's a poor ranger to do? This ranger was getting close to retirement age when he noticed that his 401k was not as large as he had hoped it would be, so he started a new home based business...selling meth.

State nabs suspected drug dealing park ranger (Altoona Mirror)

A state park ranger was arrested Friday for selling methamphetamine in Roaring Spring, the state Attorney General's office said.

William "Gene" Ickes, 61, sold meth while on the job at Blue Knob State Park, Attorney General Tom Corbett said. The charges filed Thursday, however, were for drug sales in Ickes' home and at the Spring Dam park in Roaring Spring.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Celebrating Independance Day the American Way...with a campground brawl

For many American's Independence Day (that's the 4th of July for you regular folks) means 3 days of camping and drinking beer. Lucky for us rangers, this year we get 4 days of camping and drinking beer. Everyone knows what happens when you get too many liquored up campers crammed into one spot...Fights!

Glendo brawl breaks out (Jackson Hole Star Tribune)

One man was stabbed in the arm and a park ranger fired his weapon during a large fight at Glendo State Park Saturday evening, officials say.

Agent Don Farmer of the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation said a rather large brawl” broke out at Sandy Beach, one of the most popular -- and often rowdiest --
Glendo locations.
Campers tried to break up the fight and a young man was cut on the arm with a knife, Farmer said. The victim was taken to Memorial Hospital of Converse County in Douglas and treated for minor injuries.

A park ranger drew and fired his sidearm. No other details were released, and no one is in custody as a result of the incident, Farmer said. DCI was called in by state park officials to
investigate the ranger discharging his weapon. The park ranger who fired his weapon, whose name was not released Monday, is on paid administrative leave pending the investigation.

Sandy Beach is a popular location where partying and wild crowds have long plagued park rangers, especially on holiday weekends. Last year the state Department
of State Parks and Cultural Resources unveiled improvements intended to create a more family-like atmosphere and ward off troublemakers. They installed a barrier between the cottonwood-canopied campground and the beach to thwart four-wheeling on the sand and increased law enforcement levels. Several volleyball courts with covered picnic shelters were
added near the campgrounds for larger groups.

It seemed to work last year, state parks public information officer Gary Shoene said. We a’re hoping that this was just an isolated incident.

He estimated between 13,000 and 15,000 people are visiting Glendo for the holiday weekend, and said about 1,500 to 2,500 were at Sandy Beach Saturday night.

Anticipating large crowds, the park added seven law enforcement officers to its standard two for the Fourth of July. Also, Wyoming Game and Fish Department contributed at least three wardens, with the Platte County Sheriff's Office and Wyoming Highway Patrol keeping a visible presence in the area. Typically, problems center on underage drinking, isolated drug use and a few fights, Shoene

During the whole weekend we did have increased patrols, he said. When the initial fight started, our people were not far away.

Officials didn't vacate Sandy Beach after Saturday night'’s incident, and most
campers carried on with their holiday festivities, he said.

Shoene is hopeful this year's problem isn't a harbinger of trouble to come, he
said. State parks officials will discuss the season this fall.

“There's not going to be a knee-jerk reaction to this, but if it looks like a
problem that persists, we will address it, ” he said.

He noted an apparent influx of Colorado visitors this holiday, and in particular
people who appeared to be either affiliated with gangs or “wannabees,” exhibiting dress and behavior that could portend more trouble.

This "campground" located 100 miles north of Cheyenne appears to be nothing more than two miles of sandy beach with a parking area - not individual campsites. This type of campground that allows as many idiots as possible to cram into one area just invites this kind of trouble. The Wyoming State Parks website even states this about the Sandy Beach Campground:
Room enough here for hundreds, sometimes crowds in the thousands.
We support these giant drunk fests as a legitimate form of receation by creating campgrounds that do not have designated campsites.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

UPDATE: Tennesse rangers may now exit the park

Tennesse park rangers may now safely exit their parks without fear of being mistaken for a man who stole a park ranger's uniform, sidearm, and truck.

Man suspected of stealing in Tennessee arrested in Alabama (

A man suspected of breaking into a Tennessee state park ranger's home and stealing his uniform, gun and truck was arrested in northwest Alabama after leading local police on a lengthy chase, officials said Friday.

Assistant Russellville Police Chief Robert Pace said Jerry Rowland was arrested at 12:05 a.m. Friday and charged with receiving stolen property, stalking and bringing stolen property into Alabama.

"I look for more charges to be pressed, plus Tennessee is going to have charges," Pace said, adding that Rowland refused to sign papers for his extradition to Tennessee.

Pace said Rowland led police on a 30-40 minute chase that ended when he crashed after driving across spike strips.

"He was pretty well armed, but his wreck kind of unarmed him," Pace said. "The only damage done was to a storm drain and to that forester vehicle. No one was injured."