Many people don’t know that the 38th president of the United States, and the man to pardon Richard Nixon, was a park ranger at the renowned Yellowstone National Park. In 1936, Gerald Ford had joined the list of brave and hardworking men and women who work hard to keep our parks clean and safe, and now to protect the mighty Hemlock tree from extinction.
Being a park ranger is not an easy task, especially now with the added responsibility of taking care of Hemlock trees that have fallen victim to the invasive insects, and preventing new infestations. These men and women already have the job of keeping visitors safe, the animals that reside in the park out of harms way, and preserving an environment that is now under a tremendous threat.
What are Park Rangers Doing to Save the Hemlocks?
The trees that have been infected need to be identified and tagged by the park rangers. This means routine trips into the forest and close examination of every Hemlock tree standing. Then a marker is placed to identify those trees which are going to need aggressive treatment.
Next is the application of the treatment. Depending on the level of damage, the chemicals may be sprayed directly to the Hemlock tree or it could be injected into the trunk. This takes a lot of strength and time to pull off, especially in forests where the number of trees infected has grown exponentially.
Preventive measures are also needed. Park Rangers are looking at introducing beetles into their environment that attack the parasite that is attacking the tree. They also may inject chemicals into the soil to be absorbed by the root and make the sap of the Hemlock deadly for the insects.
One last thing that park rangers have taken on is fundraising for their forests. They know better than anyone else how bad the infestation is and work tirelessly at trying to raise funds to fight it.
Show Your Appreciation
This holiday season, show the park rangers where you love to play your appreciation with a thoughtful gift. A basket of fruit and snacks is a nice way to say thank you or even something more personal.
Since the forest ranger is sometimes on site for days at a time, consider a basket full of health and beauty supplies. Things like an extra comb and deodorant can make him feel like the park is his home away from home.
Think about their shaving needs while being gone from home. An electric beard trimmer will allow them to maintain a rugged look, but in a neat style. Give them a book with tips on how to shape a beard, along with a high quality beard trimmer and beard balm.
It is said that Ford was in charge of protecting the other rangers from animal attacks. His job of standing guard against bears and mountain cats seems easy now compared to what our park rangers today are facing.