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The Signpost Newsletter

First Quarter 2018

Ranger David Brooks at Loch

Lomond Lake

Patty and David Brooks at Santa Cruz beaches

Brooks Retires

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Hendricks thoughts continued, "Serving as President of PRAC back in the dark ages, I recall, quiet, yet passionate conversations with David. He always struck me as the epitome of a park ranger, one who avoided the limelight, but a made a difference on the biggest stage, always professional and confident that he was making a difference for us all. Now that he is settling into retirement, David is setting down his pen for the Signpost.  Thank you David, for your dedication to the Signpost, editorial skills, professionalism, and enduring commitment to the park ranger profession. You have made the rest of us look pretty darn good all these years."


Past-president Russ Hauck (1996 to 1997) recalled, “One of my most vivid memories about serving on the board both as as a Regional Director and as President is that we never had to worry about the Signpost.  Every other facet of the organization was discussed at least annually as new board members came and went.  The Signpost was the one area that was a "rubber stamp."  We just needed to confirm that our outstanding and dedicated editor was crazy enough to want to keep doing it.  Saying that serving for twenty seven years is going above and beyond the call of duty just doesn't seem to be enough.  What David did for the organization was legendary.  I offer him the most heartfelt thanks, and a sincere wish for a happy and well-deserved retirement."


Our current President, Matt Cerkel, gave his thoughts on David's tenure as Editor and upcoming retirement. Cerkel says, "It’s weird to think about The Signpost and not associate it with David Brooks!"   Matt adds, "I’ve been a member of PRAC since 1992 or 1993 and that whole time David has been the editor of our newsletter and one of the constants with PRAC. His hard work and commitment to his duties will be missed." Matt adds, " At least for the short-term Jeff Price and I will step in and try to fill David’s shoes, but we are also looking to a PRAC member to step up and come the new editor of The Signpost. In the mean time David thank you for all your years of service and dedication to PRAC and enjoy your retirement!"


When asked about his most memorable improvements doing the newsletter, Brooks said computer technology advances in the publishing arena were amazing. He also was impressed with how much of his workload was lifted when the Board decided to stop printing and mailing the Signpost, and go to electronic distribution.  He says that also allowed him to start using color images, rather than just black and white, which he feels greatly improved the professional look of the Signpost.


Brooks has received many PRAC recognitions and awards over the years, including:

  • Professional Citation Award
  • Founders Award (first recipient)
  • PRAC’s 2007 Honorary Lifetime Member Award


Brooks told me the best memory of his time as Signpost Editor was consistently and reliably putting out newsletters every year. He says remaining flexible was a major asset in doing his job as Editor working for so many different presidents and boards. His least favorite task was having to beg, cajole and pester members every two months to send him articles and photos focusing on their specific local agency or Rangers and parks in general. His biggest disappointment were those issues where all the articles were written by only one or two members. David still wants to encourage PRAC members to submit articles, photos and opinions to keep the newsletter a worthwhile communication tool for members.


Brooks has been an Active PRAC member for 35 years, with 25 years editing the Signpost, and he now looks forward to travel in the USA and Europe with his wife Patty, time at the beach as often as possible, maintaining his health, and going for recreational hikes in as many new locationsmas possible.


David says he wishes the interim Signpost team the best of success.


We want to wish David and Patty a superb retirement life, and give a

huge THANK YOU to Brooks for his service to PRAC!