Longtime Yosemite Wilderness Ranger Retires

Laurel Boyers; WildeBeat photo.

The Wilderness Manager for Yosemite National Park, Laurel Boyers, is retiring in October after a 31 year career in the park. WildeBeat photo.

For the last 31 years, Yosemite Park Ranger Laurel Boyers has had your dream job. She's been working for the park, patrolling and managing the wilderness backcountry of Yosemite. Most park visitors (over 98%) never travel through the backcountry, but for the 1 1/2% that can get away from the hotels, traffic, and shops of Yosemite Valley, the experience can't be beat. I can only imagine what it would be like to have a career working outside in such a remarkable natural wonder. Our friend Steve Sergeant has put together a tribute piece to her career on his WildeBeat website:

Audio Program : Thanks Ranger Boyers!

In the interview, Laurel describes one of her final hikes as Wilderness Manager,

I just did my swan song of a sort, and took a trip where I went from Wawona, all the way up through Tuolumne Meadows, taking some of my favorite routes, all the way to that furthest northeast part, and then back down to Hetchy, so rode the entire length of the park. It takes ten days to ride across this park, which is quite interesting. That's not trying to make it longer, or whatever. And I think that's quite an important part of the wildness of this park, to think that you do have to cross a road once, you've got to cross the Tioga Road. But, Aldo Leopold said that wilderness should be big enough to take a week long pack trip. And lo and behold, in Yosemite it takes ten days, at least, to cross it, which is pretty exciting to me.

She concludes the interview by saying, "it's been a great honor to have this job. I'll be sorry to leave."

The WildeBeat produces a lot of stories that I think would be of interest to National Parks Traveler readers, including a recent two part series called 'Ranger Changes', which examines the changing role of the back country ranger in the National Park Service. It's worth a listen.

Comments

CONGRATULATIONS.......
WENT TO YOSEMITE GRAMMER SCHOOL WITH RANDY MORGRNSON
REMEMBER HIM? "BACK COUNTRY RANGER"
"THE LAST SEASON" AMAZON.COM

They don't come any finer then ranger Laurel Boyer--31 years of devoted service beyond the call of duty! Happy trails ranger Boyer!

I volunteered in her department the summer of 2001 when she led Laura Bush through the High Sierra Camps with her friends. I dropped off her Dodge at the Cathedral Lakes Trail head and then hiked in on a Wilderness Technician patrol that did a big loop from there to Merced Lake and then back to Tuolumne Meadows. I met the party during my hike, and forgot to get a picture! Partisanship aside, a first lady is a first lady! Laurel did a great job of training me for my job, and it was really neat to see her guiding Laura.

--Nora Curiel