FYI: State Parks Ranger Jason Rule has been transferred out of Castle Rock State Park:
"Jason Rule, the longtime Park Ranger at Castle Rock and Portola Redwoods State Parks is moving on. Jason has been a champion of the parks since he started in 2004. During his term, he has seen many changes in the parks and the State Park system including the sever budget cuts that almost closed his two parks. Jason was instrumental in working with the Portola and Castle Rock Foundation to start the now-robust program of volunteers who augment the rangers with trained “boots-on-the- ground” hikers in both parks. We wish Jason the best as in his new position with the San Luis Obisbo CA Park district. He will be missed.
To learn more about Jason, click here to read PCRF Director Barbara Harriman’s interview with Jason."
Since the click doesn't seem to work, here's a transcription of the pdf orginal:
"The Portola and Castle Rock Foundation wants to thank Jason Rule for his 11 years of service in the
Santa Cruz District of the CA State Parks Department as he ventures off to a new experience in the San
Luis Obispo District of California Parks!
When asked about his transfer, Jason said it comes with both excitement and sadness. "There's a
heaviness leaving this area - the community has been great to be a part of. Leaving friends and
colleagues that I love and respect is difficult. Yet, I'm looking forward to moving on and working with a
new crew. I even bought a house, which I could not afford to do in the Bay area. II
Jason applied to become a park ranger back in 2001. In November 2003 he received his invitation to a 27
week academy resulting in a Park Ranger position in Santa Cruz District of the California State Parks and
Recreation Department. Over the years Jason has since patrolled Castle Rock, Portola Redwoods, and
I asked Jason what education and training is required to become a ranger. He said that the requirement
is 60 college units, but that being said better than 80% of the rangers have college degrees. Jason was a
biological science graduate.
So what does Jason love most, and find most challenging, about his job? He said the two are the same.
"The diversity of the job is the best part and most challenging part of my job." When on duty, Jason
has the responsibility of patrolling the parks, collecting and depositing fees, answering the phones, and
interacting with the public to give them direction and answer their questions. Quite often Jason is called
to assist when there's an accident on Route 9 or 35. "Every day is unique. The hours can be grueling,
sometimes working 15 to 24 hours when the need arose." When a storm brought down power lines and
trees all over Skyline and Route 9, Jason had the responsibility to inform residences and help them
navigate the area where the roads were open. Jason said the peanut butter and jelly sandwich provided
that day by our Cal Fire team was one of the best sandwiches he's ever tasted.
When asked about the greatest changes he has seen in the park system, Jason replied "Budgetary cuts
from the State level have led to difficult outcomes in the field. I even received a couple of IOUs from the
State. Getting positions filled once available became difficult. The Parks Department doesn't have
budget minimums like schools and prisons and it's difficult to communicate how much is needed to run
a park. During the recession all the State Departments were fighting for a piece of the budget. That's
when they were slating both Portola and Castle Rock State Parks to be shut down. We're still dealing
with these mandatory reductions set by the State. II
One of the bigger operations Jason has been involved with was working on the coast on the 4th of July.
Pre-2008 the rangers would be on the sidelines ready to respond to emergencies. Since then they have
taken a substantially greater role in providing a safe environment. It has gone from chaos and danger to
family friendly and a good time for all
Off duty, one of Jason's favorite events is to visit his sister's 2nd grade classrooms at Orchard Elementary
in Modesto. Jason knows that many of these children have never had the opportunity to go camping.
Jason gives an hour talk using a slide projector (which fascinates the children). He embellishes his talk
with animal skins and skulls. The kids are thrilled to see Jason in his uniform and hear his stories. He is
touching their hearts and imaginations."
Some people just abuse their authority, they forget what they're there for.
One weekend morning I was driving up HWY 9 to CR. It was early as we were trying to beat the crowds. I was doing the speed limit or a little over; essentially normal driving. Then a ranger truck fast approaches from behind, tailgates me for a number of the sharp turns, then passes me going up hill in a no passing zone. He must have gotten stuck behind another "slow vehicle" on the way to the parking lot because when I parked he was just getting out of his truck with his coffee cup in hand.
Seeing that he was not really hurrying for anything important, I said "Good thing you passed me." in a sarcastic, passive aggressive, you're a dick kinda way. He made eye contact and did not saying anything. Reading these comments makes me glad I did not push my luck any further.
My default is to completely respect these guys, for sure. Don't get me wrong.