'By and large, they're heroes'

 

Note: This article is a sidebar to this issue's feature story.

Dick Martin is the superintendent of Death Valley National Park:

"In my mind, (rangers) are heroes. Once in a while they have to tell someone to do something they don't want to hear, but, by and large, they're heroes. They respond to people in need, they get up out of bed to help people in trouble, whether it's a medical emergency or whether people are stuck in a ditch or out of gas. The staff goes to heroic levels in resource protection efforts, in dealing with wilderness protection and road concerns. As far as I'm concerned, the staff has been doing everything to dedicate themselves to whatever it is the American public wants them to do."