National Park Ranger Led Hikes and Philosophy

Arches National Park

It is always a good experience for the students, on our 12 day field trip, to hear how the various philosophies are presented at the national parks.

The pictures in this blog were all taken at Arches National Park.  Because of our larger group, we had two ranger led hikes in Arches by two different rangers.

The first ranger was quite knowledgeable in geology and did a very good job in explaining the normal park perspective for the formations (which involves millions or even billions of years, of course).

The second ranger freely admitted that she didn’t know much about the geology, but rather that her reason to be a park ranger was to support environmentalism.

Even though I’ve heard a lot of environmentalism at the parks, this latter ranger’s philosophy was even greener than the uniform she was wearing.  She believed her worldview to the extent that she indicated she would not put her canteen into a water hole to get water, even if she was dying of thirst, since that act could disturb the ecosystem of the water hole. In her viewpoint, preserving the environment is more important than her individual survival.

Even though she believed in evolution, she would be neglecting the “survival of the fittest” mechanism for her own beliefs. I respect her right to her opinion. I would also agree that we should use our resources to their fullest extent without destroying our world.

Ranger and Philosopher

However, it is sad that such radical views expressed by this ranger are OK at the parks, whereas a ranger who may have a Biblical view is not allowed to express it on guided tours under the guise of “separation of church and state.”

Dave Nutting

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