My Park, My Story tells the stories of people who are passionate about Grand Teton National Park and are committed to protecting it for the enjoyment of future generations. In our sixth edition, Jenny Lake Ranger Volunteer Scott Williams shares his enthusiasm for the long-term stewardship of Grand Teton.
“Whatever the park needs me to be I’ll try to be,” said Scott. He has been a volunteer with the Jenny Lake Rangers for four seasons. As a VIP (Volunteers In Parks), his duties include patrolling backcountry trails, talking with visitors, doing light trail maintenance, participating in searches, and much more. Like most paid rangers, Scott plays multiple roles in the park. In addition to his Jenny Lake work, he is a structural firefighter, works as an Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT), teaches CPR courses, and is a member of the seven-person Grand Teton / Yellowstone Dive Recovery Team.
Scott still remembers the first time he stepped off the plane in Jackson Hole in 2003 and thinking, “Wow. This is gorgeous.” He and his family moved to Jackson full-time 8 years ago. “I get to wander several hundred miles of trails every season and explore parts of the park few people see,” said Scott. His favorite patrol route is from the park’s northern border down the spine of the Teton Range – most of it is off trail and there is hardly anyone else out there, providing both extraordinary views and solitude.
“I think more than many other parks, Grand Teton National Park strikes you with the sheer majesty of the place. While it is not the biggest national park, the spectacular beauty captured me. When you look back at what John D. Rockefeller, Jr. did by donating the flat foregrounds, he allowed people to view the park’s full vista, unencumbered by buildings and development,” said Scott.
Scott is an active steward of the park. “We all need to protect Grand Teton National Park. I watch people come to the park every day and they are overwhelmed by the views. Some are stunned by the same vision I had getting off of the airplane. Others are stirred by the experience of walking up Cascade Canyon, and others by wandering around Jenny Lake or sitting by Jackson Lake,” said Scott. “It’s all splendid. If we don’t steward the park and take care of it – as park employees, volunteers, and the public at large – things will get run down and taken advantage of. Simply put, the park will get loved to death.”
Scott has been a longtime friend of the Foundation. “I got involved because I care about Grand Teton and providing for this special place. This park, like all national parks, faces significant budget challenges. Although it is a national treasure, it cannot fund everything needed to sustain it. The Foundation can help provide some of those resources. Why am I excited about the Foundation? Well, let me count the ways,” said Scott.
Thanks to Scott for all he does on behalf of Grand Teton National Park and the Foundation–your effort and commitment are extraordinary!