Demand Protections and Benefits for Park Rangers

California State Park Ranger ÒJeffÓ Jeffrey Sears and his 21-year old quarter horse named Peter in Montana de Oro State Park, Los Osos, CA 03 Nov. 2010.  Photo taken as a candidate for Òbaseball cardÓ handouts to park visitors, and included in a set of 13 photos.  Note that IÕve left most photos in this set largely uncropped so that the end-user can decide between portrait or landscape orientation.  Photo assistant was Dawn Beattie.  JeffÕs wife Gina assisted with PeterÕs setup and behavior.  Ref. Jeff Sears 805-975-5894 jsears@hearstcastle.com.
Photo by "Mike" Michael L. Baird, mike [at} mikebaird d o t com, flickr.bairdphotos.com; Shooting a Canon EOS 1D Mark III 10.1MP Digital SLR Camera (RAW), Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Standard Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras, with no circular polarizer, handheld.
Tech note:  Shot around 4-5 PM, still a bit early to take advantage of late light.  I wish IÕd paid more attention to trees coming out of the heads of the subjects or at least blurred the backgrounds more.  We had trouble finding homogeneous backgrounds at this location while also positioning the subjects in shade or diffused light to avoid the harsh light encountered when using the mountains as a cleaner backdrop.
To use this photo, see access, attribution, and commenting recommendations at http://www.flickr.com/people/mikebaird/#credit - Please add comments/notes/tags to add to or correct information, identification, etc.  Please, no comments or invites with badges, images, multiple invites, award levels, flashing icons, or award/post rules.   Critique invited.

Target: International Ranger Federation President Sean Willmore

Goal: Ensure basic health coverage, life insurance and long-term disability protection for all park rangers.

A staggering 107 park rangers have died in the line of duty within the last year according to a report released by the International Ranger Federation (IRF). This figure is made especially concerning by a recent survey which found that in the 40 countries surveyed, 35 percent of rangers are without life insurance, 20 percent have no health insurance, and 45 percent receive no long-term disability protections. This is a gross injustice for the brave men and women who are the protectors of our national parks and the enforcers of our conservation efforts.

The IRF manages multiple park ranger associations and advocates for the world’s rangers though international recognition and park ranger training. This devastating information came into light because of the International Ranger Day, an awareness campaign pushed by the IRF. While the IRF claims to be the “voice of park rangers,” this maltreatment is allowed to continue.

The position of park ranger is increasingly dangerous and these servicemen and women face daily risk. According to the IRF, 42 percent of the 107 ranger deaths this year were murder by poachers, while 17 percent were killed by wild animals. This brings the total deaths of rangers to over 1000 in the last decade.

These brave park rangers are literally on front line of animal and nature conservation, and are more than deserving of to be on the top of health coverage and life protections. Demand appropriate benefits for all park rangers across the globe.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Sean Willmore,

We applaud you for the work you have done for the world’s rangers. The recognition you have created for rangers through World Ranger Day is commendable, as well as your advocacy and training efforts.

However, your organization has not done enough to ensure the protection for rangers though health insurance, long-term disability, and life insurance. Your own report states that 107 rangers have died in the line of duty in just the last year. This is a shocking statistic that demands action. Your organization must use its influence with the world’s ranger associations to forcefully petition for adequate protections and benefits.

This is a dangerous, but direly important, job and the world’s park rangers deserve better protections for themselves and their families. These well-deserved benefits are necessary for recruiting prospective park rangers and continuing conservation for generations to come.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Mike Baird

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