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The Signpost Newsletter

First Quarter 2018

President's Message

January 2018


by Matt Cerkel


As I write this, the end of the

year is fast approaching and it

will be 2018 before you know it!


Our Parks Training Conference is coming up in about two months, March 5th-8th at Tenaya Lodge. It will be a great conference with many great speakers and presentations. It will also be an opportunity to catch up with fellow rangers from across California and Nevada and that is another great aspect of the conference.


The Board is currently in the early stages of planning your 2019 California Parks Training Conference. We hope to announce the location of the 2019 Conference at our General Membership meeting on Wednesday March 7th. We will be returning to Southern California in 2019.


2018 will also mark some changes to The Signpost. The Signpost will become a quarterly publication and will be switching to a web-based format. We hope the members like the new look.  We also hope more members will contribute articles to The Signpost. As rangers we have many stories and experiences to tell and The Signpost is a great way to tell those stories and share those experiences and we WANT to hear from you.


See you all at Tenaya Lodge in March 2018!

"Big Walls, Swift Waters"

A Book Review


by Matt Cerkel


I recently had the pleasure of reading Big Walls, Swift Water by Charles R. “Butch” Farabee. Having read other books by Farabee I eagerly looked forward to reading this one. Farabee, a retired National Park Service protection ranger and is a premier author/historian on the National Parks and the National Park rangers. This time Farabee tells the story of search and rescue in Yosemite National Park.

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Signpost Editor Brooks Retires After 25 Years

Board Seeks Replacement


by Jeff Price


After 25 years serving as PRAC's Signpost

Newsletter Editor, David Brooks is retiring.


David was born and raised in San Jose, worked as a Seasonal Park Ranger for Santa Clara County Parks in 1977, and graduated from West Valley College in 1978 with a degree in Park Management. From there he went to Cal State University in Sacramento where he graduated with a degree in Recreation and Park Administration.

In the fall of 1980 David graduated from the NPS Santa Rosa Law Enforcement Academy, and in 1982 accepted a job with the City of Santa Cruz Water Department as a permanent Park Ranger at Loch Lomond Lake Recreation Area.


David retired in December 2017, after 35 years in uniform as a Ranger II at Loch Lomond LRA. Looking back, he says his duties have included park operations, watershed protection, managing a drinking water reservoir, monitoring water  quality, running a park store/boat rental, park maintenance, filling in as acting Chief Ranger, first aid, law enforcement incidents, being a public officer, working with volunteers, interpretation and anything else that came up.

Ranger David Brooks

David says he is proud to have been a field ranger working with the visiting public in such a beautiful natural area.


Brooks has served faithfully in every capacity he has been tapped to fill in PRAC. He always made sure every Signpost edition was a professional publication with useful information for PRAC members. His job is not always easy, as he had to constantly solicit articles from PRAC members and other sources.  All he asked for in return was the occasional software upgrade.


David served a dozen PRAC Presidents and many different Boards with his editorial expertise. in the early 1990’s he also spent two years as co-editor of the Cal Ranger journal, and then steadily worked for 25 years as the PRAC Signpost Newsletter Editor.


Past President Bill Hendricks, 1988 to 1990, had several comments reflecting on Brooks.  He says, "Every successful professional organization has an individual behind the scenes, who serves as the voice of the organization, subtly and gracefully moving the membership forward, constantly reflecting on the past, while adapting to the profession’s changing demands and evolution. For PRAC, that person has been David Brooks, the Signpost Editor and communication conduit for park rangers statewide for 25 years. While Boards and Presidents have come and gone, David stood sturdy, cranking out each and every newsletter like the sturdy redwoods of his Santa Cruz home."

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