Michael Jamison has an excellent, very well-written article in the Missoulian, describing the job of a Park Ranger at Glacier National Park and how it has changed — and not changed — over the last 105 years. It is worth reading. Here is an excerpt:
…The biggest change, Johnson said, is with new recruits. Young ranger-hopefuls raised in town on video games want to be cops, he said, not woodsmen and cowboys.
“What we’re losing is the jack-of-all-trades-and-master-of-none,” Johnson said. “And that’s too bad, because that’s always been the best part of the job.”
Well, almost the best part. There’s also the wilderness lake shimmering golden with pine pollen, the sunsets and meteor showers and the barred owl’s hoot just outside the cabin door, the wild edge of keeping the very same office Liebig kept.
Ober, like many of the seasonal rangers, doesn’t even know exactly how much he makes on the job – “but you can’t ask for a better way to spend a summer.”
Longtime seasonal employee Pat Hagan, who has led more tourists on more nature walks than he’d care to count, still shows up eager for the next.
“Mountains, waterfalls, flowers, wolves and grizzlies all right there in your office,” Hagan wrote. “The nearest wall is a glacial arête, and windows seem to open directly onto opportunity.”
It’s Liebig’s opportunity, and Moses’, too, 100 years now of
stiff-brimmed exploits among the peaks.
“There’s really nothing like skiing through here in the winter, or rowing a boat on the North Fork and thinking, ‘Hey, I’m getting paid today,’ ” Blickhan said.
“On those days, especially, it’s the best job in the world.”