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Bad Experience at Mammoth Ranger Station

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Bad Experience at Mammoth Ranger Station

Postby Scouter9 » Mon Aug 24, 2015 12:56 pm

We had a real bummer of an experience at Mammoth Ranger Station on July 12th. Now, over a month later and with plenty of time to think it over, I remain frustrated and wonder if some of you might have experience with "feedback" to the folks at Mammoth and/or Inyo. From what I can divine so far, the appropriate person to direct my concerns to might be Margie DeRose, Deputy District Ranger for Inyo/Mammoth (but I'm not sure).



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Re: Bad Experience at Mammoth Ranger Station

Postby maverick » Mon Aug 24, 2015 1:16 pm

Would you mind sharing your experience Scouter, their may be others who have had a similar experience, and may come forward, or someone may come forward giving you a possible explanation to why or what happened.

PS You can also call John Regelberugge, say that 6 times quickly, at 760-924-553.
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Re: Bad Experience at Mammoth Ranger Station

Postby Scouter9 » Mon Aug 24, 2015 1:58 pm

No, I don't mind discussing it -- this is a BBS after all -- and I appreciate insight and/or kibbitzing. It is what it is.
fine.
When picking up our permit, I was wearing Scout insignia and my Wilderness Permits indicate my Troop Number, along with the names of our adults, per my general practices. I tend to pick up 2-to-3 permits from the Ranger Station, or Lee Vining, every year and I'm almost always either in my "Class A" uniform or a tee shirt with our Unit name and such on it. It's been more than ten years since I encountered an openly antagonistic ranger, but we lucked into a trio of ranger-style staff at the Permit desk this year that just went out of their way to be disrespectful and demeaning from behind the desk.

The standard check list of questions and admonitions for permit-holders are appropriate and fine. I enjoy the conversation and I always seek information on conditions, location/routes of high country Rangers or trail crews we might be able to meet, etc... It is correct and right to ask us about canisters, to remind us of guidelines and to discuss latrine rules.

This time, on July 12th, I was treated to sarcastic comments, patronizing explanation and repetition of bear canisters and campsite location guidelines and all explicitly related to us being Boy Scouts. I can handle a little teasing and I don't mind minor ignorance, but it became frustrating when staff apparently decided to make an example of us in front of the rest of the permit crowd, despite my protestation. I made sure the three of them knew I thought they were ridiculous, but the same uniform that incited their behavior restricted me from using the full gamut of available responses, particularly to the suggestion that we'd "be tracked by rangers" (the same ones I ask to find and the some ones that don't exist due to funding). As a class, and as my Troop, we're more experienced, better practiced and more qualified than all but very few groups that visit this national forest. Antagonism isn't appropriate.

Anyway, I already know the stereotypes that persons of limited experience are apt to repeat in regard to Boy Scouts in the high country. I also know the stereotypes that persons of actual experience carry, both for Scouts and hyperventilating staffers and rangers. I have former rangers in the family. I don't bear any illusion that my complaint will resolve the false lore at the level of "I heard it from a guy that totally knows", but I do want to ensure that someone at the management level understands why I find it offensive to find enmity manufactured by desk-staff at the expense of longstanding relationships between the forest and those who visit it. It would have been horrifying to have our boys hear the antagonism from staff and that my fellow leaders left the Ranger Station with a very negative impression of "rangers" -- the very people I preach to my Scouts about as stewards and adventurers in "dream jobs". Laughing at the goofballs behind the counter certainly conveyed some disdain for them and their behavior, but without follow-up doesn't resolve the fact that morons tend to believe their own schtick when unchallenged.

So, to convey some of this, I'm not sure whether to contact John Regelberugge or Margie DeRose. Can you give me guidance as to whom you'd pick, and why?
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Re: Bad Experience at Mammoth Ranger Station

Postby maverick » Mon Aug 24, 2015 2:12 pm

Call Margie first, and if she cannot address your issues satisfactorily, then call John, chain of command, one of these two should be able to resolve your issues, otherwise call Supervisor Ed Armenta, but I doubt you will have to go that high. Last thing any NF office needs is bad publicity, so I am sure that they will take the necessary actions to avoid any similar incident in the future.

PS Send the person an e-mail afterwards, summarizing your discussions, so you have a paper trail, with all dates.
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Re: Bad Experience at Mammoth Ranger Station

Postby balzaccom » Mon Aug 24, 2015 2:43 pm

And I would share that email exactly as written. You do a very good job of presenting your case with rational and careful thought.
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