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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Rangers: Park Defenders

Being a park ranger, for the most part, is a fairly stress free job. Interacting with park visitors, living in beautiful settings, having a low cost of living are all benefits of working for the park service. The ability to get away from it all is also a big draw for most park employees.

However, that ability to get away from it all also draws criminals. While national parks are extremely safe, they are not immune from crime. Places like Oregon Pipe National Monument on the Arizona/Mexico border is renown for crime, drug running and human trafficking in particular.

Special park rangers, those trained in law enforcement, are charged with protecting the visiting public from crime, but also protecting the park's natural and cultural resources from damage. Crimes against the public in national parks are rare, although they do happen. However, resource crimes stolen artifacts, poaching, or vandalism are too common.

Protecting the public, as well as protecting our irreplaceable cultural and natural wonders is a fairly unique mission among federal law enforcement. And highly trained, highly skilled, and professional men and women of the National Park Service do an outstanding job.

My new novel, Unleashing Colter's Hell tells the story of Grayson Cole, a Yellowstone ranger, and his efforts to prevent a madman from unleashing hell on earth. Look for it to be out soon.

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