The Story Behind the Ranger First Philosophy


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On this episode of the Park Leaders Show, guest Scott Durham, former superintendent of West Virginia State Parks, joins the show to discuss the origin of the “Ranger First” mantra.

As Durham explains, with park ranger set as a universal term, the “Ranger First” philosophy was established to clarify authoritative influence and promote voluntary compliance. Since its inception, benefits have emerged specifically through community-oriented policing and accountability among rangers and superintendents.

Essentially, the term “Ranger First” is more than a banner but also an umbrella attitude centered on developing healthy park operations and visitor behavior. Durham hopes this approach will continue to integrate ranger visibility into higher education, ingenuity, and compliance at large.


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