Speaking to rangers

Victoria specific bushwalking discussion.
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Victoria specific bushwalking discussion. Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.

Speaking to rangers

Postby CraigVIC » Sat 06 Feb, 2021 11:42 am

From time to time people mention talking to the rangers and I'm wondering how people do this (apart from face to face of course)?

I've only been able to do this through phoning the main call centre and getting transferred. Invariably I get transferred to the wrong station or they are out of service etc and it is very cumbersome. Same via email, it works but is very slow.

Is there a way to find the direct numbers (currently chasing info on the Little Desert NP)?
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Re: Speaking to rangers

Postby Nuts » Sat 06 Feb, 2021 12:29 pm

Have you tried yellow pages? (they may like to hide numbers internally but..)
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Re: Speaking to rangers

Postby Lophophaps » Sat 06 Feb, 2021 1:16 pm

I've had this problem as well, mainly in Victoria and to a lesser extent Tassie. Too many of my Victorian enquiries go unanswered, not even an acknowledgement. Email addresses for the local offices would be nice.
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Re: Speaking to rangers

Postby commando » Sat 06 Feb, 2021 2:03 pm

Nope...
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Re: Speaking to rangers

Postby Lamont » Sat 06 Feb, 2021 3:13 pm

Sometimes getting obscure numbers from the nearest servo/shop/township etc works. Someone always knows or has a connection to Cheryl or Davo et al.
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Re: Speaking to rangers

Postby Xplora » Sun 07 Feb, 2021 4:58 am

commando wrote:Bumped into a Ranger and had a good conversation originally from Montana USA in the Long Forest Nature Conservation Reserve
as someone was taking the street signs marking the tracks, he actually knew the colour of my car and why i had parked it in a
different than usual parking spot, after that i got the feeling of being tracked, maybe a nosy neighbour didn't like my car parked near
their house and he was on patrol.

I actually think this is a good thing. The ranger is taking note of who is out and about in the Park and shows they are patrolling regularly. Also shows a level of care for the people using the park and the park itself.

Developing relationships with rangers takes time. In Victoria they have 'company' mobiles which they may give out. If you know their first and last name then email is easy. Calling the 13 number is frustrating. Small offices are often unattended for long periods and when someone gets back to the office to check the messages it is usually near knock off time. I have waited for a call back regarding a track and after a week we were on our way with no information on whether the track had opened. Got the call just before we got out of phone range and unfortunately our plans had to change as there were dozens of trees down over the road we had planned to access. Frustrating indeed and the website had not been updated but we managed. I now have direct lines to two Area Chief Rangers, three rangers in charge and a number of other Parks Vic field staff. Mostly because I have been involved with them on a number of projects.
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Re: Speaking to rangers

Postby bigkev » Sun 07 Feb, 2021 6:28 am

Hi Craig,

I have the same issues as pretty well everybody else has. Generally with me not having any local contacts I have to ring the 13 number and then get transferred to an inevitably un-staffed office and then wait / hope for a return call. As Lophophaps says the Victorian situation seems worse.

If possible I normally try and get in contact very early on in my planning and that means that I normally can have a contact and number that I can use as the trip gets closer. I also try and ring at what I guess would be the start / lunch / finish times of their shifts in the hope of someone being in the office. In the bigger parks like the Alpine NP it also pays to try and work out which section office you want to get in contact with before ringing the 13 number.

In relation to Little Desert I've got the Wail number if you need it? ...send me a PM if you want it.
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Re: Speaking to rangers

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sun 07 Feb, 2021 8:20 am

I have the local Parks Vic. branch ph. numbers for Bright and Mt. Beauty.
If their offices are open then I will sometimes drop by and report what I have seen while out and about in the park. The same goes for the Prom. and Mt. Buffalo.
Sometimes I work with BTAC and the local ranger on track maintenance working bees so I get to meet the relevant Parks Vic. staff.

Didn't your parents tell you that you should never to talk to (st) rangers (sic)?
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Re: Speaking to rangers

Postby Nuts » Sun 07 Feb, 2021 10:51 am

It occurred to me that my answer may have been a bit too sharp. As far as I'm aware all local area numbers have always been listed in 'phone books' (for all the necessary contact that has to happen around parks including/other than visitors)

It's true that you could get personal/mobile numbers, and that email addresses are generic and as easy as knowing a rangers name. I tend to use them sparingly. Parks, like farmers, will never be over-funded but still to keep my needs in perspective.

https://www.yellowpages.com.au/vic/wail ... sting.html
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Re: Speaking to rangers

Postby CraigVIC » Sun 07 Feb, 2021 11:17 am

Thanks all,

I didn't take it that way Nuts. I actually did try the phone book but showing I'm a little out of practice with directories tried the white pages < blush>

BigKev, when I did the Sunset Remote I called parks and was duly put through to Mildura. After going around in circles for a bit I eventually called Underbool using the number from the picture in your pink lakes blog, haha. Success, although the ranger seemed surprised I'd bothered.
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Re: Speaking to rangers

Postby bigkev » Sun 07 Feb, 2021 11:20 am

Classic :lol: Glad I could help.
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Re: Speaking to rangers

Postby Nuts » Sun 07 Feb, 2021 2:17 pm

CraigVIC wrote:Thanks all,

I didn't take it that way Nuts. I actually did try the phone book but showing I'm a little out of practice with directories tried the white pages < blush>

.


ha yes, well, they are still in the white pages in Tas. I expect yellow pages to become an increasingly appropriate place for them.
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Re: Speaking to rangers

Postby Mr Bean » Mon 08 Feb, 2021 11:51 am

Lamont wrote:Sometimes getting obscure numbers from the nearest servo/shop/township etc works. Someone always knows or has a connection to Cheryl or Davo et al.


Yep. The only number I have is for a ranger at Mansfield. Its the office number, which is handy as a starting point, when asking about the Alpine areas. A foot in the door at least.
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Re: Speaking to rangers

Postby FatCanyoner » Mon 08 Feb, 2021 1:22 pm

I think the key piece of advice here is to start the process early. Parks services around the country are understaffed. If there's fires (or hazard reductions, or pest management, or lot of other things) then the rangers may be out of the office for long periods of time. Be patient.

I actually get real joy out of the process of tracking down the right people. It's the same for private landowners when trying to arrange access across their property.

My advice is start with the main numbers. You'll probably get to a junior person who doesn't know much. Ask them if you can send through an email with a detailed enquiry. Take the time to write a detailed email about what information you need, what approaches you've made (i.e. the plan of management for the park isn't clear about X, or the website closure list isn't clear about your chosen area, etc). I feel like if you look like you've made a genuine effort, people are keener to assist.

If there's still no luck, you could try calling local community members as mentioned by others. I have had success with local pubs, RFS brigades, community associations, historical groups, bushwalking clubs, and even real estate agents. The kind of people who are active in their community and know who's who.

It's also good to try and build a good relationship if it's an area you plan to return to. I did a trip in 2019 where we located a recently deceased quoll in an area where quolls are considered extinct (last confirmed sighting was 100 years earlier). By feeding back that information to the ranger, along with coordinates, photos, etc, it really helped them out. That same ranger wants to come out and meet us when we are next in the area. It took some effort to track him down originally, but now we have the relationship I am able to get some very useful information -- such as which trails are currently passable by vehicles and where they have conducted recent hazard reduction burns -- which really help with planning these more remote adventures.
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