Mickey
How do you become a ranger?
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Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Bears, Bird Watching, Deer, Guided Tours, Elk, Gear, Ranger-led Programs, Moose, Wolves, Camping, Kids Activities, Safety, Volcanology
8 years ago
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Your question is a popular one! For more about becoming a National Park ranger, check out this answer from our partners at the Association of National Park Rangers.

 For more about becoming at sate park ranger, check out this answer.

8 years ago
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This answer come to you from our partners at the Association of National Park Rangers. We hope you find it helpful:

The National Park Service (NPS) employs people in all kinds of job titles (20,000 year-round and another 7,000 - 10,000 during the summer) even though the general public often thinks that everyone that works for the NPS is a "park ranger."  Of these 30,000 employees, perhaps 7,000 are in positions that are titled park ranger.  I'll concentrate on those for now, but folks interested in maintenance jobs, or administrative jobs, or research and science related jobs should know that those jobs are there too.
 
Park ranger jobs are divided into 2 groups.  First, there are park rangers that primarily perform park interpretation.  These employees work in the park visitors' center, lead guided walks and talks, give off-site programs at local schools, establish and/or modify the park's website, write site-specific brochures and other materials, and design visitor center displays or movies, etc.  In short, this group of park rangers is the parks' primary link between the park resources and park visitors and neighbors.  By explaining the national significance of the individual park and the resources it preserves, interpretive park rangers hope to establish or strengthen visitors' understanding and support for parks, the environment, history, etc.
 
The second group of park rangers are those that primarily perform park protection.  These employees perform law enforcement, search and rescue, emergency medical services, fire management, etc.  They are more likely to be working outside, in all kinds of weather conditions, and they might be doing this in all kinds of modes of transportation, i.e. on foot, on horseback, in vehicles, in boats, on skis, in small planes, etc.  Like interpretive rangers, protection rangers have a great responsibility to be knowledgeable about the parks' resources and threats (from human behavior) to them.  While they have many friendly, informational contacts with visitors, they also have visitor contacts that are sometimes confrontational and can be stressful.
 
For either type of ranger job, a bachelor's degree from a 4-year college or university with a heavy emphasis in the natural sciences or U.S. history is generally required to be competitive.  Any public speaking experience one can gain is also very helpful.  First aid training is available in most communities and having some level of certification in first aid and CPR is helpful.  There is also free online training to anyone at the Eppley Institute for Parks & Public Lands at Indiana University. Such training helps one understand the NPS mission and culture and shows prospective hiring officials that you are truly interested in becoming an NPS employee.
 
Many folks that hope to be interpretive park rangers often start out working as park volunteers while they are in school or are in some other full-time career.  These opportunities are available at all NPS sites including Lake Mead National Recreation Area just outside Las Vegas.
 
For protection rangers there are a few additional requirements.  You must be at least 21 years old.  You also must be a graduate of one of the NPS-approved Seasonal Law Enforcement Training Academies.  A list of these schools and more information is available online. One can also pursue similar opportunities in your home community to gain experience that might make you more competitive.  Become an ambulance attendant in your community, become a volunteer firefighter with your local fire department or your state forestry department, or become a member of your local community search and rescue squad.
 
Finally, the Association of National Park Rangers (ANPR) is a membership organization open to anyone.  One does not have to be a park ranger or an NPS employee to become an ANPR member.  There are networking and informational opportunities within ANPR that can help one be competitive for NPS jobs, and it is important to understand that it is not just what you know, but also who you know that will help one get their foot in the door with the NPS.  ANPR also offers a publication for sale titled, "Live the Adventure: Join the National Park Service" that can be helpful in understanding the requirements for park ranger jobs.  

For more information about ANPR visit their website.

7 years ago
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NancyGla@...
How many miles around Olympic National Park driving on Rt.101?
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Olympic National Park, Washington, Auto/Motorcycle, Canoeing, Road Biking, Trail Running, Bird Watching, Elk, Ranger-led Programs, Marine Life, Picnicking
8 years ago
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Route 101 circles Olympic National Park for about 200 miles. Enjoy your trip!
8 years ago
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Park Love...
Can we motorcycle yellowstone
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Yellowstone National Park, Auto/Motorcycle, Bears, Native American History, Deer, Elk, Moose, Wildflowers
8 years ago
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Absolutely!  I've gone through the park on a bike myself and I'll never forget the experience. If you have the chance, I recommend approaching from the east and taking the Chief Joseph Highway.  Be prepared for significant temperature changes to go along with the major elevation changes.  It seems to change from from summer to winter in a matter of minutes. On my last ride through Yellowstone (in June 2007), there was still snow at the higher elevations.  I recommend dressing in layers and investing in a highly compressible, lightweight down jacket for the trip.  I found myself pulling off to the side of the road on a number of occasions to throw one on under my padded jacket at places like Yellowstone, Crater Lake (in Oregon), Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks to name a few. (Who would think you could get year-round use from a down jacket.)  I have one that I really like from Patagonia that balls up into an inner pocket. You can find many other brands at places like REI, EMS, Dick's, etc. Also, check out the gear store at OhRanger.com for some options using the following link: 

http://www.ohranger.com/gear/search.html?q=down+jacket#http://www.altrec.com/down+jacket/search.htm?...

One note of caution, keep your speed down as you go through the parks, especially at Yellowstone, as there are animals looming around every corner.  There are also a number of construction zones, so be extra careful on the gravel sections that are being reconstructed. If you're lucky, you'll round a corner and see a moose and calf crossing the road, just far enough to be safe (ideally 100 yards minimum distance from bears and wolves, and at least 25 yards from other wildlife).  I had this experience on the pass coming into the park. If you do encounter an animal, drive slowly and give it a wide-berth, as the one constant about wildlife is that wild animals are unpredictable.  Finally, I recommend against driving at night, as the roads are dark and many animals find it easier to walk on the pavement than in the dirt.  Bison are especially dangerous, as they sometimes lay down in the middle of the road and there's nothing reflective about their anatomy, so you may not see the until the last-minute.  Numerous animals die every year due to collisions in our parks.  A little precaution will keep your rubber side down and ensure you a fantastic time in the park.  

I welcome you to come back often to OhRanger.com to share your experiences, ask more questions and apply your own knowledge to answer the questions of your fellow park-lovers!  

Happy riding...

8 years ago
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quarterpa...
What kind of plant varities are there in Waterton National Park?
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Backpacking, Leaf Peeping, Trail Running, Bird Watching, Deer, Guided Tours, Elk, Ranger-led Programs, Moose, Wildflowers, Photography
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Hi quarterpaints1,

Waterton Lakes National Park has a huge variety of vegetation, much of which is unique. (The park is a biosphere reserve, which means the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) set it aside specifically because of its ecological uniqueness.

There are 45 vegetation types and over 1400 forms of vegetation within the park.

For a list of plants of particular concern in the park, click here.

Have fun exploring the unique ecosystem of Waterton National Park. Please come back to OhRanger.com to post photos of the interesting plants you spot during your trip!

8 years ago
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Park Love...
Where to go hiking in the Colorado Springs area
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Deer, Elk, Moose, Hiking, Photography, Touring
8 years ago
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Colorado Springs is a great place for hiking! You’re close to many Colorado State Parks, including Aiken Canyon Natural Area,  (http://parks.state.co.us/NaturalResources/CNAP/NaturalAreasInfo/AlphabeticalListing/AikenCanyon.htm) Mueller State Park and Wildlife Area (http://www.ohranger.com/co/mueller) and Pike National Forest (http://www.ohranger.com/comanche-cimarron-natl-grasslands).

The wildlife preserve at Aiken Canyon is a great place to watch for animals, as it is home to bear, mountain lion, elk, mule deer, bobcat, fox, squirrels and rattlesnakes.

The Dome Rock Trail at Mueller State Park and Wildlife Area is another great place to see wildlife, especially bighorn sheep!

Steve Garufi, a Colorado resident, has made a great list of local Colorado Springs hikes, which is available at http://www.stevegarufi.com/colorado-springs-hikes.htm.

Also check http://www.cospringstrails.com/ and http://www.localhikes.com/msa/msa_1720.asp for more listings.

Come back to let us know which ones you choose!
8 years ago
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Park Love...
How many days do we need to see most of Yellowstone National Park?
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Yellowstone National Park, Bears, Guided Tours, Elk, Ranger-led Programs, Moose, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Photography
8 years ago
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Besides being the oldest National Park in the world, Yellowstone is also among the largest at 2+ million acres. And while it is technically possible to drive through the park in a single day, I wouldn't recommend spending less than 2 or 3 days in this park. There is really so much to do and see; fly fishing the Madison River, hiking among the travertine terraces of Mammoth Hot Springs, photographing the many, many geysers near Old Faithful, watching the wildlife in Lamar Valley and Hayden Valley, viewing the water falls in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. This list could go on and on. If you are going to travel all the way to Yellowstone, it's worth spending as much time there as you can. It is truly a magical place. On your return, let us know how your trip went!
8 years ago
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Cooper
12 Answers
You should try to see Yellowstone in the winter. 5 days (on snowcoach or snowmobile) will give you an appreciation of the park's unique beauty and power unmatched by any summer visit! I'm sure this site can give you some ideas as to how to plan that trip, but you can always call Xanterra Parks and Resorts at the park and they'll tell you what you need to know.
8 years ago
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hopesfren...
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I would leave at least four days. There are four/five major areas of the park, and each area could easily take a day, especially if you want to hike around and do programs. The areas would include: Old Faithful Area, Lake Area, Canyon Area, and Mammoth Area. Old Faithful: waterfalls, lots of geothermal features, be sure to go to the Inn and check it out (it's an amazing building) Yellowstone Lake: boating, hiking, some cool little towns, and some geothermal stuff Canyon: prime wildlife viewing at Hayden Valley and Lamar Valley (we got caught in the middle of a buffalo herd at the beautiful lamar valley!), waterfalls (mostly drive-up). Mammoth: I didn't really do much here except go to the hot springs (which you MUST see, especially at sunset), but there were some neat-sounding hikes like Beaver Ponds. Yellowstone is SUCH an adventure! have a blast! Four days will be a whirlwind, so I would recommend five or more. morethanaweekend.com
8 years ago
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Some great suggestions for things to do at Yellowstone are available here: http://www.ohranger.com/yellowstone/news/2009/yellowstone-adventures
8 years ago
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Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park

Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park is located in the northern edge of the Daniel Boone National Forest. Year-round accommodations include Buckhorn Lodge and three cottages. The park itself encompasses 856 acres (3.5 km), while Buckhorn Lake, a mountain reservoir lake which serves as its major feature, covers approximately 1,230 ...

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