Friday was my first official evening ranger program at Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park and Harbor Vista Campground. The forest service has set up a schedule with the Oregon state park and Lane County Park so that our field rangers can give evening campground programs here each week. Our field rangers draft campground programs similar to the ones we give for our daily “Walk With a Ranger” schedule at Cape Perpetua. We choose a topic that we want to present to these campers. We try to come up with programs that are both family-friendly and engaging for all ages groups.  Our program this week was suggested by rangers, so they helped develop it for us. We wanted to take visitors on a trip through the dunes here on the Siuslaw National Forest. There are almost 60 miles of dunes running along the coast that visitors can go and visit, so teaching them about what lives in those dunes will make them more aware of the environment around them and on the lookout for any of these species they might see.

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The presentation first went over the many parts of a healthy dune system, and then we set up a ‘Guess Who I Am’ game for them to play, with the different species that utilize each part of the system. We gave out 3 clues for each species and had the audience raise their hands and give us a guess for what they thought the species was; if they guessed it correctly, and then they received a stamp on their hand that was related to the species, like the body or track. Our collection of wildlife stamps is popular with the children who come to the programs because they love seeing all the different animals and tracks we have. At the end of the program, no matter if they spoke or not, everyone can come up to us and ask for a wildlife stamp.


We also ask the audience if anyone wants to join our Clean Camp Ranger program. This program was started in an effort to help minimize our impact on wildlife with our food waste. As a part of the clean camp ranger pledge, the campers promise to, “ keep their campsite clean and free and litter, and keep wildlife on a wild food diet, and to share the clean camp ranger program with others.” It’s an important message we hope they will take back share with friends, or anyone they decide to camp with.

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We have 4 simple steps we share with campers when we do the program:

  1. Keep campsites and picnic area crumb-free
  2. Keep pet food put away when it is not in use
  3. Remember, trash is trash, even if it’s biodegradable
  4. Keep trash secured and put in trash cans or dumpsters as soon as possible

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These simple steps will help keep our wildlife, especially our wild birds, on a wild food diet. This program was designed by a previous EFTA intern here on the at the Siuslaw National Forest and has been in place ever since, because of the important message it sends. Remember, If you care, don’t share!

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