31 Jul 2009, 11:04pm
Forestry education
by admin

Historic Ranger Station Dedicated at High Desert Museum

by John F. Marker, USFS (ret.)

BEND - July 31, 2009. The old one room ranger station officially began its tour of duty today in its third Forest Service Region since it was built in the 1930s. The station was dedicated at the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon today in a brief ceremony launching its use as a national forest learning center at the museum.

The ranger station was born in the Bridgeport, California, area in about 1933, as a CCC project to build facilities for the local ranger district of the U.S. Forest Service in Region 5. Later in its life it was moved to central Nevada to serve as a station for the USFS near Austin, Nevada, in the Forest Service Region 4.

Budget cuts and shifting workloads eventually forced the abandonment of the ranger station. The Forest Service did their best to secure the building from vandalism and the weather elements, and were reasonably successful. However, time always takes its toll. Discussions about the one room “shack” began.

Long story short: Les Joslin,who had worked out of this old Ranger Station in the early 1960’s, remembered fondly his days working in the building as a part time clerk (he could type) and member of the fire crew. Now a FS retiree as well as a Navy retiree (USNR Commander) the fond memories stirred him to convince Bob Boyd, Western History Curator for High Desert Museum, that the abandoned ranger station belonged at the museum to help tell the story of national forests in the High Desert and the people who cared for them.

After much creativity and much fund raising, the old ranger station found a new home at the museum, 550 miles from Austin in its third Forest Service Region, Region 6. It will be the focal point for educating Museum visitors about how important the forests are to their day to day lives.

Left is Les Joslin, right is Bob Boyd. Photo by John F. Marker (click for larger image).

The one room ranger station. Photo by John F. Marker (click for larger image).

View of attendees (60 plus or minus). Photo by John F. Marker (click for larger image).



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