California State Park Rangers
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The first park ranger in the world was appointed in California in 1866. Galen Clark was chosen as "Guardian of Yosemite," at what was then Yosemite State Park, and the concept of rangers to protect and administer America's great nature parks was born. The tradition continued in 1872 with the establishment of the first national park at Yellowstone. From the earliest days, park rangers have been romanticized; they are explorers, outdoorsmen, tree lovers, animal protectors, police officers, nature guides, and park administrators. The park ranger has become an American icon, whose revered image has maintained itself to this very day.
and residence is the building to the left of the California Redwood Park entrance sign. This was the south entrance to the park. Many parks still have rangers living in them to provide visitor services and protection on a 24-hour basis. The Big Basin warden’s office was the center of park operations. Two of the men sitting on the platform are thought to be an early warden and assistant warden. Most likely, it would have been William H. Dool, who served as warden from 1911 to 1931, and assistant
ranger Sharon Gillian, who was shot and wounded on December 10, 2002, while citing an illegal camper at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. This was the first shooting of a state park ranger on record. The suspect was apprehended. State parks director Ruth Coleman said, “This is a startling reminder of the dangers faced by our rangers on a daily basis in patrolling the largest state park system in America.” (Courtesy of CSP.) Eight RANGERS, CELEBRITIES, AND NOTABLES RUBBING ELBOWS WITH THE STARS
Douglas (left) is a famous professional wrestler who has starred in several films, including The Mummy Returns and The Scorpion King. Luckily for ranger Danny Duarte, The Rock seems friendly enough, and Duarte apparently did not have to “go to the mat” with the star. (Courtesy of CSP.) Cycling super star Lance Armstrong poses with a group of rangers at Russian Gulch State Park in the spring of 2006. Pictured are, from left to right, Patrick Freeling, Lance Armstrong, Mike Gleckler, Natalie Lohi,
the park movement, both in California and the nation. In 1919, he became the first executive director of the Save-the-Redwoods League, responsible for the establishment of many of the early redwood parks. Drury would later serve as director of the National Park Service and chief of the California Division of Beaches and Parks from 1951 to 1959. (Courtesy of CSP.) Another outstanding figure in the park movement was Joseph R. Knowland (left). In 1921, Knowland was appointed to the Mount Diablo
lifeguards (who are full state peace officers) oversee rescue, medical aid, law enforcement, and other visitor services operations at many state beaches. Robert J. “Bob” Isenor was hired as the first state park lifeguard in 1950. He is considered the father of the state park lifeguard service. Isenor was responsible for building the lifeguard program. He was instrumental in many improvements, including covered lifeguard towers, rescue boats, and dispatch services. Isenor passed away on June 6,