Why did you become a ranger?
To help people. I was born a country boy, and remain so today. I was raised to “do right” and live in balance with Earth. Passing along this way of being has always been expected of me, and comes naturally. I have had several different job titles over the course of my life that have seemingly prepared me to be a park ranger.
What’s one of the most-interesting things you can remember happening at your workplace since becoming a ranger?
I have watched several children catch their first fish. When you see that look on a kid’s face, you know that you have opened a door that cannot be closed.
What’s the least favorite part of your job?
Litter. Seeing a dead bird tangled in fishing line or a cow chewing a plastic shopping bag should sadden us all. Our parks have garbage and recycling receptacles throughout the grounds, and it takes little effort from each of us to keep a pristine environment.
If you could tell every single person who comes to your park just one thing, what would you say?
Pay attention to what is going on around you. There are a great many amazing and interesting things happening right now, where you are. There are hundreds of species of plants and animals all around you while visiting our parks. Take some time to observe and appreciate them.
Have you worked on, or are working on any special goals?
I am working at becoming a ranger instructor. I am already an instructor for pepper spray and motorboats. I feel that it is important that the current generation teaches the next.
In my personal life, I am working on making my family more self-sustaining. I am converting my country property into a farmstead. We will grow most of our own fruits and vegetables, raise rabbits and chickens, reduce our packaged consumptions, and add solar power.
What hobbies are you most passionate about?
Fishing, hunting, motorcycling, farming, and art.
Besides becoming a ranger, what would you say are your greatest accomplishments – so far?
I served in the U.S. Army in the Military Police Corps for five years. I served through the Cold War, Desert Storm, and Somalia, and these experiences have given me a perspective and lust for life that most American citizens could not appreciate. During my military service I had the opportunity to work cooperatively with many other agencies. The USMC, U.S. Air Force, Italian Marines, German Army, Australian Military Police, Royal Moroccan Army, Somali Police Force, and the Botswana Defense Force are a few of the most noteworthy. These experiences have taught me great adaptability and acceptance, which I believe is invaluable for my current duties.
Anything else you would like to add/say about being a ranger?
Being a park ranger allows me to work for, and with, likeminded people. Most of the public that I encounter are outdoorsy types. I can relate to them well and I speak their language.
Ken Myers is a 45-year-old Corps of Engineers Sacramento District ranger for Hensley Lake and has worked for the Corps for four years. He has also worked at H.V. Eastman Lake. Along with those mentioned, Myers’ other duties include being a Certified Playground Safety Inspector, Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle operator and SPK Water Safety Committee member. He is a former U.S. Army Military Police and a Disabled Veteran.