Life of a Ranger on IR

Questions regarding the history of the island and historical places on the island.

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Life of a Ranger on IR

Post by redduke6 »

Can anyone talk about what it is like to be a Ranger on the Island? What are their accommodations like? How do families get groceries? Do they get days off? etc. Always interested in learning how folks live, survive and thrive in these relatively remote locales. Always love reading about the lives of the old lighthouse keepers. Thanks.


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Re: Life of a Ranger on IR

Post by jrwiesz »

Try, "Paths Crossed - Protecting National Parks" by Ranger Cliff Edwards, for a good look from the law enforcement ranger perspective.
"And standing on the the crest of the Greenstone Ridge, I suddenly had this desire to retreat north to where I just come, to stay in the backcountry, to spend another day in a place where the only deadline I had was to pitch the tent before dark."
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Re: Life of a Ranger on IR

Post by johnhens »

Some of the living arrangements are communal, the Interpretive and maintanence folks, ie. The supervisory rangers (Interpretive and LEO) have their own residence. Some who have family, bring their families out for the summer. The NPS has an arrangement with grocery stores in Houghton. The rangers place food orders that are brought out to IR on the Ranger, every 2 weeks. The cabins have propane and electric. The Ben East cabin (first cabin on the right as you walk towards the RH cg) has satelite TV. Some of the rangers bring either a canoe or kayak and some have motor boats and or sailboats for their down time. They oftern arange their schedules to have 4 days off to enjoy IR.

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Re: Life of a Ranger on IR

Post by JerryB »

A ranger was told me a funny story about another ranger. It was early August and I was commenting on how I had gorged myself on raspberries on the island. They were ripe and all over the place. This other ranger placed his order for groceries. Under "Fruit", he noted, "best available". A few days later, his food arrived and it included a very expensive half pint of raspberries!

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Re: Life of a Ranger on IR

Post by IRexpat »

IME the Rangers will share a few details about their lives on the island, but there was always a palpable 'filter'; then as we got to know a few of them they mentioned that the NPS has a pretty strong ethos of focusing on the guest experience and ensuring that the guests keep their attention on wilderness/parks/etc and not on the Rangers or other details. The Rangers really want to be in the background, not part of the attraction.

They, and the concession staff, are on the island the entire summer. The. Entire. Summer. with rare exceptions.

The pay is pretty low for beginners, and they aren't assured of returning for next season- newbies have to bid year by year and be prepared to work a different Park each year. Many are seasonal employees and have to find other jobs for the off season; bummer.
It's not Heaven, but they can see IR from there...

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Re: Life of a Ranger on IR

Post by jerry »

A few years ago, a Ranger was checking my permit at Daisy Farm. I mentioned to him, that I heard a helicopter flying over the island. He told me about being up for more then 24 hours and looking forward to gether some sleep. Apparently, a hiker/camper was injured and was medically evacuated. He and a few others hiked to the north side of the island and carried her to the shore at Todd Harbor (as I recall). I've seen them in action for a violation or two, by hikers/campers. They have a heck of a job, and I respect them and their efforts.

When I've seen them in civilian clothes and recognize them on the trail, they seem surprised. They've always been helpful!

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Re: Life of a Ranger on IR

Post by bobcat »

I wonder if that is the camper who had a tree fall on her in the Hatchet Lake campground, that was evacuated by this ranger? In 2016, as part of the NationalParks Centennial celebrations, the evening ranger programs at Rock Harbor featured occasional “Get to Know A Ranger” talks. One evening’s talk featured a summer intern who was a college student, and Mike the Law Enforcement Ranger who talked about his career starting as a seasonal and then getting an alternate seasonal job at one of the Florida parks for the “winter” so he had a year-round employment. I recall it as being very interesting story, complete with a bit about his wife and small son living on the island with him each summer.

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