Part 3: Student Ranger to Ranger
We are so lucky to have Isaac as one of our rangers. Isaac is one of BC Parks’ former student rangers who is now working as a park ranger, based in Bella Coola. In 2019 and 2020, Isaac started his career at BC Parks as a student ranger crew lead based in Cranbrook and Penticton. In summer 2021, he was hired as a ranger in Bella Coola while finishing his Natural Resource Compliance Diploma and the Conservation Enforcement Program at Lethbridge College. In December 2021, Isaac graduated and four months later, became a ranger again in Bella Coola.
While Isaac was a student ranger, the crew visited Kikomun Creek Park southeast of Cranbrook. BC Parks had recently purchased some additional land within the park. The crew removed all the fence posts and barbed wire to allow the free passage of wildlife through the property, which was now part of the park.
Some of the other student ranger work involved campground maintenance in Elk Lakes Park, where they checked wildlife cameras, and brought in new tent pad materials for six new tent pads and three new cook pads. Isaac fondly remembers the mentoring he received from other park rangers as both a student ranger and new ranger: “It’s good to be around people who want the best for you and will push you to realize your potential. This fosters a supportive community that I like being a part of. The student ranger program helps transition people into other jobs at BC Parks – the mentoring of the student rangers has been so cool. It’s so great to see people transition from student rangers to becoming rangers.”
And in the spring of 2021, Isaac got the chance to transition from a student ranger to a ranger himself. He attended ranger training at E.C. Manning Provincial Park, where he met other rangers from across the province and learned a ton of new skills.
As a ranger, he enjoys planning backcountry trips and the satisfaction of watching it all go well: “It’s so good to see the projects and plans go smoothly. Seeing an idea in the office, putting it into action in the park, and seeing the results when we walk back out.”
Isaac is known for packing heavy, as he did for a trip to Crystal Lake Trail in the Rainbow Range area of Tweedsmuir Park South, with 80 pounds of gear. The crew cleared 20 kilometres of trail over seven days. “I love being outdoors. I love putting on a pack and hiking in the bush for extended periods of time. I love the ability to engage with the small community here including the Nuxalk people. I love the type of people BC Parks attracts as workers – the dedication and commitment to the common cause is very attractive.”
Isaac’s advice for those in interested in working for BC Parks? “Get as many certifications as you can – including first aid training, chainsaw training, obtaining your small vessel operator card for the ocean, pleasure craft operator’s certificate, and ATV training – anything to bolster your application really helps put you ahead.”