The Never Ending Fight

Many visitors, and even other Park Rangers don’t understand the importance of having Law Enforcement Park Rangers in the Parks. Those rangers are here to protect us, but more importantly, protect the resources. It’s a never-ending fight against drugs, and poaching both animal, plants, and cultural resources.

There will always be people who don’t care about the laws, or how their actions affect the entire environment around them.

Thankfully, there will always be people who are willing to fight them.

Smoky Mountains National Park a hotbed for ginseng poaching
“But even with the replanting program and vigilant rangers, the park is losing its battle against poachers. High ginseng demand and soaring prices have sent thieves tramping through the vast park to strip the landscape.

“We’re barely putting a dent in it,” said District Ranger Joe Pond, an enforcement officer who has chased ginseng poachers through the forest. “For every one we catch, at least 10 more get away.”

Mysterious rocks stolen from Death Valley National Park
“We’ve had more instances of folks taking the rocks,” Death Valley spokesman Terry Baldino said. “They don’t seem to understand that outside of the Racetrack, these marvelous rocks have no value.”

Pot farms on federal land targeted for new penalties
“Scientists have likened the illegal marijuana-growing operations in remote areas of the West to leaking chemical-weapons stockpiles, with the heavy use of fertilizers and pesticides posing risks to the environment, including to waterways and wildlife.”

“Angeles National Forest has ranked in the Top 10 national forests for illegal marijuana groves for the last three years, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Last year, Los Padres National Forest ranked first, followed by Sequoia and San Bernardino forests.”

2 Replies to “The Never Ending Fight”

  1. We’re with you! The marijuana production is a frustrating issue because it arises out of bad policy at the federal level. As for visitors removing natural resources – be it harvesting ginseng, picking flowers, collecting rocks or removing sea shells – and engaging in other ways that harm our shared parks (making short-cuts in trails, carving initials in trees, feeding animals, etc.) we believe that we need more rangers for both law enforcement and for education. Our observation is that a lot of people really don’t understand the full implications of their actions.

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