Many of our members will gather in Indian Wells, California, in late October to participate in the 35th Ranger Rendezvous at the Miramonte Resort & Spa. (See more details at www.anpr.org/indianwells-rr.htm)
I warmly invite your participation in all the activities. The theme of our gathering is “Enhancing the Green & Gray,” with discussions and presentations concerning the future of the National Park Service, particularly in relation to enhancing workforce diversity and workplace enrichment. These topics will undoubtedly produce great discussion. Daunting issues and program challenges confront our ability to attain practical goals and objectives in enriching our Service. As annual budgets are projected to get tighter and park workforce levels face potential stagnation and possibly even reduction – via attrition. This may adversely affect the public services our agency provides for the nation.
With each passing year pressures mount that interfere with being able to arrange for and afford travel to our organization’s annual Rendezvous. This is particularly true for retirees on fixed incomes, and for those still employed, the ever-present issue of being absent from daily responsibilities of caring for the national parks — and often taking valuable leave time away from our families.
Please know the issues that conflict with Rendezvous attendance are fully understood. Those who are able to gather meet in the spirit of all. Should you be unable to attend but desire some issue or topic to be raised on the floor and discussed by those in attendance, please forward your ideas and thoughts either to me, a fellow board member or any of the social media avenues sponsored by ANPR.
In addition to the Rendezvous, several members will journey overseas to participate in the Seventh World Ranger Congress hosted by the International Ranger Federation at the Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge, near Arusha, Tanzania. It will run from Nov. 4-9.
The theme is “Healthy Parks, Hungry People: Working toward Healthy Parks, Dealing with Hungry People.” Indeed, the daunting nature of the theme reflects the stark realities confronting the health of parks and protected areas, and park employees and their families across the globe.
Attendees hope the gathering will be an important step forward in the longer-term process of better supporting the needs of park employees and protected areas in East Africa and elsewhere around the world.
For me and other ANPR members attending the congress, the opportunity to engage with fellow park employees worldwide will assist in formulating plans to successfully fulfill the challenges ANPR has assumed by hosting the Eighth World Ranger Congress. That gathering will occur in the United States in 2016 during the centennial year of the NPS.
To develop and effectively implement a thoughtful and provocative program agenda will take a supreme effort on behalf of the entire Association. Effective partnerships and proactive participation by ANPR members will be necessary in both our preparations and implementation. Therefore, all members are invited to take an active role in this endeavor.
I look forward to reporting back on the World Ranger Congress, and I am excited about attending our Rendezvous and sharing our collective passion for the national parks and our Service. Until then, please enjoy this latest issue of your Ranger magazine.
— Stacy D. Allen