Department of Parks
Kentucky State Parks Announce Ranger of the Year For 2007
FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Department of Parks recognized six state park rangers for their outstanding work and service Monday in Frankfort.
Doug Wilder, who works at Natural Bridge State Resort Park at Slade, was named Ranger of the Year for 2007. The other five rangers were nominated for the award and represented different park regions across the state. The district winners were:
- Reggie Fields, Kentucky Dam Village at Gilbertsville.
- Mike Schaad, Ben Hawes State Park at Owensboro.
- David Anderson, E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park in Louisville.
- Doyle Bird, Cumberland Falls State Resort Park near Corbin.
- Russell White, Levi Jackson State Park, London.
“We have an excellent group of 65 rangers who make sure our parks are safe for our visitors and employees,” said Parks Commissioner J.T. Miller. “The rangers we honored today exemplify true professionalism and public service.”
Wilder, 33, is a native of Jackson and currently lives in Beattyville. Wilder earned a degree in recreation and park administration from Eastern Kentucky University and worked on the state park trail crew before becoming a ranger five years ago.
His nomination noted that Wilder willingly comes to work on short notice to help search for lost hikers, fills in for other rangers and works well with other park employees.
“Ranger Wilder has learned the park boundaries to the point of knowing where the person is just by a land mark,” Sgt. Dave Wallen said in his nomination for Wilder.
The Division of Rangers also recognized Sgt. Chris Early as supervisor of the year. Early works in Southeastern Kentucky and is based at Kingdom Come State Park at Cumberland.
Col. Joey Hoover, the director of the state park rangers, said supervisors recommend rangers for the honor based on criteria that includes job performance, handling of investigations, initiative, dealing with park employees and visitors, training and dependability.
Each month, state park rangers make 4,100 courtesy contacts with the public, assist 150 motorists, respond to 115 calls for assistance, and open 10 criminal cases.
Editors: Photos of the other award winners are also available. Contact Gil Lawson.
The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 53 state parks plus an interstate park shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks, an agency of the Commerce Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges -- more than any other state. Each year, Kentucky parks draw 7 million visitors and contribute $317 million to the economy. For more information on Kentucky parks, visit our Web site at http://www.parks.ky.gov