Send a Ranger is the true story of one man’s dream to live and work as a ranger in our national parks. Author Tom Habecker began his 32-year career with the National Park Service as a student intern at Gettysburg National Military Park while earning a degree in park administration at Penn State University. The book details Tom’s progression from novice to journeyman park ranger, working in Yosemite, Glacier, and Denali National Parks.
The book is full of exciting adventures, including search and rescue incidents, criminal investigations, grizzly bear maulings, backcountry horse patrols, darting and trapping problem bears, providing advanced emergency medical care, fire-fighting, winter survival, flying in aircraft in mountainous terrain, living in the Alaska wilderness and much more. These accounts are enhanced by verbatim entries from Tom’s daily journals. Written in an informal and sometimes humorous style, the book details the evolution of training, technology, and skills that today’s park rangers must have to perform their challenging job.
The book also describes the challenges and rewards of living and raising children in national parks. Follow Tom’s children as they grow up in places most people only dream about. You will learn what it’s like living in a house that receives over 250” of snow, annually cutting six cords of wood for heat, residing in a remote one-room cabin, and driving 130 miles one-way to town in the harsh Alaska winter. Living in a national park offers experiences like no other. Peek behind the scenes and experience the daily life of a national park ranger and his family.
Tom Habecker’s 32-year career in the National Park Service brought him to some of America’s most beloved scenic and historical sites as he took on the iconic role of a National Park Ranger. He began learning the ropes as an intern at Gettysburg National Military Park, and after earning his degree in park administration, worked as an urban ranger at National Capitol Parks.
After a four-year stint in the US Coast Guard, he moved with his wife Donna to Yosemite National Park, California. His experiences there, from rowdy campers, to mischievous bears, to providing emergency medical caring for sick and injured persons, formed the foundation for the rest of his career.
He also had the unique experience of raising a family in the national parks. After 11 years in Yosemite, he moved with his wife and young daughters to Glacier National Park, Montana, where he served as the Lake McDonald subdistrict ranger.
In 1990, Tom realized a life-long dream when he and his family moved to Denali National Park & Preserve, Alaska. For the next fifteen years, Tom oversaw protection operations in the four-million-acre North District. After a lifetime of adventure and unforgettable experiences, he retired in 2005.
Tom has written short stories for Backpacker magazine and a feature story for the NPS Centennial book The Wonder of it All.
He and Donna live in their dream home near Bozeman, Montana.
NetGalley Review: 4 stars
Last updated on 31 Dec 2022
"A really enjoyable memoir from a National Park ranger. I found it so interesting and it made me appreciate all that the rangers do to preserve our natural spaces." — R. Stansel, consumer reviewer
NetGalley Review: 4 stars
Last updated on 27 Jan 2023
"I found this book to be quite enjoyable. A terrific tale of what life truly is like as a park ranger. I learned a lot from it. I’m grateful the author kept up such diligent notes to be able to retell stories from his long career." — J. Rosenberg, Educator
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