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Old 01-28-2011, 02:27 AM
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whitefeather whitefeather is offline
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Thumbs up GSMNP Park Rangers

The park rangers, whether full time regulars, or part timers standing in or whatever, are good people and I appreciate them for the tireless efforts they make in trying to keep the park safe for us.

My experiences have all been positive and one time one of the rangers helped me when my SUV was suffering from a big gulp of watered down gasoline I pumped from the Shell station in Cherokee. We had to stay an extra night at the campground and we were already at our time limit for a camp site according to the camping rules.

He waived that rule and told us we could stay until we could safely pull our travel trailer out of the park. He even called several places for us to get us some service, but it was Sunday and none could be found open at the time.

There were other times when they have helped out and were there when we needed them.

There was an incident in which another (bit%$y) camper reported that our dog was running free and barking, which it was not. When the ranger came, I told him in no uncertain terms that the woman was a nosey trouble maker. He rolled his eyes and told me that he had seen it a thousand times before. He had gone past our camp site several times and knew we had our dog on a proper lease and the dog never barked at anything. He pulled out his notebook and pen and wrote something down and handed it to me, saying "if she's watching, she'll (which she was)probably think I'm issuing you a citation. So don't smile when I leave."

He got in his car and left. The note read: Have a nice day! Bow Wow! I had to go in the RV to keep from cracking up outside!

They do an amazing job and they deserve much credit. They, like a lot of the rest of us, have had more heaped on their plates than they can deal with.

I apologize to them and to everyone on this forum if anything I have posted seemed to suggest they were not doing jobs properly. I clearly do not like a few of the policies the park has, but the rangers don't make the policies. Management does and it is management that I have the issues with, not the rangers. That being said, I will strive to make my posts more clear in the future and try to divert to a more positive stance when I express my viewpoint on subjects.

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Old 01-28-2011, 09:19 AM
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Grannyknot Grannyknot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitefeather View Post
They, like a lot of the rest of us, have had more heaped on their plates than they can deal with.
I think this is really important for us to remember.
Sometimes, we have to take a break from the criticism, complaints, and worries and be thankful for what we do have.
Good post whitefeather.
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Old 01-28-2011, 09:41 AM
steamnsteel steamnsteel is offline
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He pulled out his notebook and pen and wrote something down and handed it to me, saying "if she's watching, she'll (which she was)probably think I'm issuing you a citation. So don't smile when I leave."

He got in his car and left. The note read: Have a nice day! Bow Wow! I had to go in the RV to keep from cracking up outside!


Oh yeah! I really liked that. I can agree, the rangers do have their plate full and I have had mostly good experiences with them. I will say however, that there are a few that are a little to full of themselves. Case in point, I asked a simple question about getting permission to carefully drive a closed road to take my handicapped dad to see a certain building in the park. The response was very stern that he could not do that and he had better not catch me driving on that road.
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Old 01-28-2011, 09:52 AM
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Thumbs up

They are fabulous! Their wildlife resource officers are extremely knowledgeable and some of the best I have ever spoken with in regards to trout fishing.
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:41 AM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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Shawn--I'm not sure whether you are referring to Park folks or not, since I think they are known as wildlife biologists (and the state folks wildlife resource officers). That uncertainty aside, I don't know about Matt (although I do know he shares my passion for turkey hunting), but Steve Moore is a serious fly fisherman. I would note that their work does not involve ordinarily deal with violations, backcountry patrols, etc., although presumably they have the authority to write tickets. They are certainly hardworking.
More generally, I think most rangers are solid and committed, although I could cite at least four instances (and someone else offered one) where quite the opposite was the case. In all but one, interestingly enough, I was dealing with a seasonal ranger. On the huge plus side, personally, a ranger stopped me for speeding three years back, and I was guilty as blackest sin. I was running late for a class I was teaching at Sugarlands and was letting the truck roll at about 20 mph over the speed limit (35 mph all the way on the Tenn. side of 441 in the Park). He asked me if I knew the road, and I said I had driven it hundreds of times. He then asked why I was in such a hurry, and I told him. He said that I probably knew how to handle a vehicle at that speed but many folks, especially flatlanders, didn't, gave me a very polite verbal warning, and said I better hustle since I was already late for class. To me, that showed "class" and common sense. He could have written me a ticket and I wouldn't have had a leg to stand on.
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Old 01-28-2011, 01:31 PM
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Rog 1 Rog 1 is offline
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Jim....It is amazing how much deference will be given by the rangers to one being a "local"..at one time the park had changed their limit regulations to only 4 fish and they all had to be greater than 9"...I had been fishing with my grandfather up Fish Camp Prong when we were stopped by a young ranger who asked to see our licenses...my grandfather proudly announced that I had caught my limit that day and the ranger asked to see my creel...he immediately questioned whether all the fish were of minimum length .... upon measuring the smallest of my fish they were all found to be over the 9" limit...he apologized stating that not too many "flat landers" were so successful...I being from Florida...just wonder if he would have been so surprised if I had been a "local"
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:37 PM
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whitefeather whitefeather is offline
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One of the things that eats up a rangers time (not the rangers fault) is all the stupid things some visitors do and the rangers are called on to prevent the visitors stupidity from getting themselves killed. Last fall there was a major gridlock incident on 441 just to the south of the Luftee visitors center. An elk had laid down next to the road. At least fifty cars had pulled over and parked to snap pictures, some sticking out in the road on both sides. One woman actually tried to put her kid on the elk's back to get a picture of her "cute little girl" sitting on the elk. Elk spooks, jumps up, and knocks the mother and her kid to the ground and runs off. Elk could have stomped on her or gored her, but didn't. She was lucky, but no less stupid. I don't know if she was cited or not.

They should erect a sign there that says, "This is NOT a petting zoo! Stay in your car. Do NOT stop! You will be otherwise be subject to arrest for harassing the wildlife!"

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Old 01-28-2011, 10:25 PM
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As a former police officer I can fully sympathize with the job the rangers are tasked with. I worked around major college football weekends and I can well imagine what they have to put up with. I have encountered them many times and the only ones who seemed to have problems with them were the ones who
were violating the rules/laws. This included a lawyer who thought he could'nt be arrested for trash violations. When we think of criticizing remember they don't make the rules, just enforce them. They play the the hand they are dealt.
They are human and do make mistakes, just like the rest of us. It would be awful if we didn't have them. Remember they have bad days, too.
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:30 PM
501 501 is offline
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As a former police officer I can fully sympathize with the job the rangers are tasked with. I worked around major college football weekends and I can well imagine what they have to put up with. I have encountered them many times and the only ones who seemed to have problems with them were the ones who
were violating the rules/laws. This included a lawyer who thought he could'nt be arrested for trash violations. When we think of criticizing remember they don't make the rules, just enforce them. They play the the hand they are dealt.
They are human and do make mistakes, just like the rest of us. It would be awful if we didn't have them. Remember they have bad days, too.
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