Red Light Ball: Rangers look to future in preserving area’s rich resources |

Red Light Ball: Rangers look to future in preserving area’s rich resources

Department of Parks and Recreation staff

“The Mission of the California Department of Parks and Recreation is to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation.”

Very high goals indeed. Nevada County’s state parks – Empire Mine State Historic Park, South Yuba River State Park, Malakoff Diggins’ State Historic Park and Donner Memorial State Park – are excellent examples of diversity found in our parks. From the majesty of the Yuba River canyon, to the historical significance of the Donner party pioneer journey, to a representation of mining methods from the Gold Rush era, California’s parks preserve the gems of the state forever.

Our long-term goals are published in “Seven Generations.” That title reflects a Native American saying that translates to the fact that we are looking ahead to protect the parks – not just for our time, but for seven generations from now and beyond.

Park rangers are fortunate to work in some of the most beautiful places in California to achieve these goals. Sworn California peace officers, the rangers strive to “protect the parks from the people and the people from the parks.”

Rangers working in Nevada County possess a variety of skills and knowledge, including a K-9 officer with more than 16 years of experience, three mountain bike patrol instructors and firearms and defensive tactics instructors. All rangers are trained in medical response, two at the EMT level. Rangers attended swift-water training through Nevada County Fire and Rescue in 2007 to be better able to assist with water-related emergencies.

On top of these enforcement and public service duties, we are also educators, utilizing interpretive programs, such as school tours at Empire Mine, overnight environmental living studies at Malakoff Diggins’, gold-panning demonstrations at South Yuba River State Park and California pioneer history at Donner Memorial State Park.

California state park rangers, through interpretation, education, and law enforcement presence, are stewards of state lands. We are proud to be supported by the Nevada County Law Enforcement and Fire Protection Council in working to achieve our goals.

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