National Park Service: The First 75 Years
Biographical Vignettes
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Lemuel L. Garrison

                                          by John W Hanna and Gary W Mullins

Lemuel L. Garrison

Lemuel "Lon" Garrison began his 40-year career with the National Park Service as a seasonal ranger at Sequoia in 1932. Later ranger assignments took Lon and his wife, Inger (an integral part of the Garrison team and the NPS "family"), to Yosemite and Glacier. His superintendencies included Hopewell Village, Big Bend, and Yellowstone. Lon served as regional director of both Midwest and Pacific Northwest regions, and was director of the Albright Training Center in Grand Canyon. He completed his rich career as a visiting professor, Department of Recreation and Park Administration, Texas A&M University. Just before his death, Lon chronicled his wealth of experiences in the autobiographical The Making of a Ranger: 40 Years with the National Parks.

Garrison was a much-loved National Park Service leader, author teacher, visionary, and storyteller, but he preferred the title "park ranger." He would often begin his talks to ranger trainees with "From an old park ranger to new park rangers..." and go on to relate experiences ranging from bear encounters to the direction of significant NPS initiatives Lon often lectured of the importance of the "plans-on-the-shelf" that accumulated following the outbreak of World War II. His direction of the Mission 66 Steering Committee implemented many of those ideas, renewed NPS capability to preserve the resources "as Mather and Albright envisioned," and met new demands of travel and tourism. Quick to credit "Connie" Wirth as the man with the vision, Garrison was clearly a visionary in his own right.

From National Park Service: The First 75 Years


Last Modified: March 27 2017 01:00:00 pm EDT

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