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The Signpost Newsletter

Second Quarter 2018

Keeping Up Appearances

Routine Park Maintenance Tips and Tricks


by Mike Warner, Region 1 Director


Rusty locks, damaged signs, or litter around the trail head, we have all seen these before. While some of us will jump on the chance to clean up our entry points, not everyone is enthusiastic to do the work. Many times, its left to someone else to do so they can carry on with their patrol duties.


I argue that maintaining your entry points is actually an essential patrol function, and will make your job of patrolling your parks easier. For those that have studied in criminal justice or urban studies this may sound familiar to you.


The Broken Windows Theory was first posited by James Wilson and George Kelling in 1982. The short explanation of the theory is this; broken windows (small vandalism or disorder) in a neighborhood if left unchecked or unrepaired would eventually lead larger crimes. Why you ask? Because it would appear to a bystander that no one cared about the area, therefore people could do whatever they wanted.


Because of the Broken Windows Theory I find it imperative to keep the entry points to my park in good repair and appearance. If you go to Yosemite National Park is their front gate rusty? Are their signs tagged with graffiti? Is there litter on the ground? No (well, most of the time). You should strive to treat all your entries like this. Your trail head might really be the only agency structures your park visitors will come into contact with during their visit.    (continued on Page 15)