California State Park Rangers
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The first park ranger in the world was appointed in California in 1866. Galen Clark was chosen as "Guardian of Yosemite," at what was then Yosemite State Park, and the concept of rangers to protect and administer America's great nature parks was born. The tradition continued in 1872 with the establishment of the first national park at Yellowstone. From the earliest days, park rangers have been romanticized; they are explorers, outdoorsmen, tree lovers, animal protectors, police officers, nature guides, and park administrators. The park ranger has become an American icon, whose revered image has maintained itself to this very day.
Calvert, Ross Greely, Clyde Newlin, Ray Bassett, Charles Fakler, Guy Flemming, Jess Chafee, Lee Blaisdell, Fred Canham, Eugene Velyzy, Ted Milne, and Harvey More; (third row) Bob Boughey, Bill Kenyon, Murrell Gregory, Wilhemina Fakler, Louise Morley, Dana Staiger, Grace Gregory, John H. Knight, Barbara Knight, Ruby Coon, Marvis Walker, Harold Pesch, Leo Fry, and Roy Cushing. The first known official badges were authorized for the warden and his deputies at the California Redwood Park in 1917.
anything which would tend to impair the present picturesque appearance of the Valley.” Clark was to also take charge of the Native Americans in Yosemite and to curb their practice of burning off large areas of the valley. Finally, Clark was to make sure that the early Yosemite settlers submitted to the authority of the commission. This duty was one that grew quite messy and drawn out. It took eight years and a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve the issue in favor of the authority of
the first summer patrol officers or seasonal rangers to patrol the public campgrounds and enforce regulations. The use of seasonal rangers is a practice that has continued to this day in the park service. (Courtesy of CSP.) After Galen Clark’s retirement in 1897, the Yosemite Park Commission recognized Clark for “his faithful and eminent services as Guardian, his constant efforts to preserve, protect and enhance the beauties of Yosemite, his dignified, kindly and courteous demeanor to all ...
park warden of Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The Marshall Gold Discovery Monument was dedicated on May 3, 1890, becoming California’s first state historic park. In 1891, the legislature authorized the governor to appoint a guardian to protect the monument and grounds from vandalism and injury. A total of six guardians would serve at the Marshall Monument from 1891 to 1928, when it became part of the Division of Parks. (Courtesy of CSP.) The first guardian or ranger at the Marshall Gold
Natural Resources on January 1, 1928. All the formerly independently operated state parks and rangers were put under the supervision of the chief of the new division. The first chief was Charles B. Wing of Palo Alto. There were only 17 permanent personnel, mainly rangers, working about a dozen state parks in 1928. In some of the early parks, like Burney Falls and Mount Diablo, there were no rangers assigned to them at all. In this same year, the public also passed a large state park bond act. A