Pinnacles was a refuge for me during my high school and college years,” he says. “It was a respite from everything else. It was a wonderful place. There was nothing like it. It had a special mystique.
After graduating college from San Francisco State, Greg wrote a letter to the park asking for work. The letter caught the eye of the park’s naturalist, and Greg got a seasonal job as an interpreter in 1971.
I wasn’t sure I was going to be successful in the job,” Greg says now. “But as it turned out, I had a facility. I was rehired the following year and got a permanent job.
Greg’s career with the Park Service brought him to Canyonlands and Point Reyes National Seashore. While working at Point Rays, he became involved in environmental education, working with a number of different school groups every day. In Phoenix, Greg worked for the Southern Arizona Group Office helping with training programs all over the state. Eventually, Greg returned to his native California before moving to a job at Petroglyth National Monument in Albuquerque in 1994.
Greg retired from the Park Service in 1998, and worked for BLM before and moving to Grand Junction, Colorado.
By the time I left, the administration had changed and we lost half of our budget. All the money went across the room for oil and gas. We knew the extraction fights were coming but they didn’t begin in earnest till I left.
Park Rangers for Our Lands appeals to Greg because he believes in sustaining the natural beauty and quiet of national parks and protected lands.
I grew up in an urban environment. For me to live in a place with complete silence—I had never experienced that before. You could have this magical feeling of solitude where you were part of something bigger.
Greg’s biggest fears are the noise and visual intrusion.
I’m most concerned about the noise pollution and intrusion into the landscape,” he says. “It changes the whole experience.
While Greg is quick to say he doesn’t oppose extraction in all instances, it needs to be done carefully.
Having worked for both BLM and the Park Service, I have an acute perspective of the policies of both agencies. There needs to be some kind of ethic, which allows for extraction but in a sensible way. It also has to be far enough away from a park boundary that visitors won’t know about it. I’m certainly not against energy extraction. But it has to be done sensibly. There’s no reason to allow drilling adjacent to national monuments when there are thousands of acres where the activity could occur without having a devastating impact. It boggles the mind.