Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Island-hopping ProRanger Style

¡Bienvenido! to San Juan National Historic Site   

Week 5 

Hey there! My name is Brennan McAuley from Cohort 5. I am the ProRanger currently at San Juan National Historic Site! That is right, keep reading to hear all about my recent move!

I flew into San Juan on the first of July. I immediately felt that classic urban upbeat pace, I was surrounded by the inner-city cacophony of honking cars, large groups of people talking, and music from open storefronts.  I was picked up by Ranger Morales and Ranger Cuevas. Both Rangers showed me around the city and around the park. From the very beginning, they explained to me the jurisdiction along with each historical area and its significance. After my quick tour, we went into the protection ranger office where I was briefed on what my next three weeks in San Juan were going to look like.
            So far, I have been given a more in depth tour of both Castilla de San Cristobal and San Felipe del Morro Fortress. We covered various “sensitive” areas of the castle which have been disrupted by different groups of interest in the past. I was also shown sections of the connecting wall which is also owned by the National Park Service. I have been doing a lot of relevant reading. I was given a stack of books and pamphlets upon my arrival here at San Juan National Historic Site. Some of the books a received are the “NPS Management Policies 2006”, 36 Code of Federal Regulations”, “Federal Natural Resources Law Handbook”, “National Park Service RM-9”, and a Spanish/English dictionary. While I was familiar with several of these books it is good to have my own copy and to see how they are used in the field. From what I have been told this is only the very beginning of a long relationship with these fundamental books.
            If that was not enough “summer reading,” I received and reviewed multiple packets such as the “Foundation Document San Juan National Historic Site”, Superintendent Compendium, and the Jurisdictional Inventory. All this reading and exposure to the park’s recourses has given be a sound understanding of what the protection division here at SAJU protects and the mentality in which they do so.

Castillo San Cristóbal by Night 

  I am excited for the weeks to come, the entire San Juan National Historic Site team has welcomed me into the park and shared with me their excitement and passion for what they do at the park, there is a lot of positive energy here, and I am so happy to be able to be a part of it!

Castillo San Felipe del Morro

A quick story from my last few days in St. Croix:

Ranger Laurencin, ProRanger McAuley, and Ranger Rivera 

  We received a call from some Resource Management rangers working in Salt River Bay, they informed the protection rangers that there was an illegal Marijuana Cultivation Project under way within the park boundary. Ranger Rivera took the lead and organized a group which included Ranger Laurencin from the NPS, two D.E.A agents from the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program through VIPD, and one ProRanger (me). We hiked half a mile through challenging terrain including marsh and steep inclines to get to the cultivation location. Upon arrival, we destroyed the plants, watering system and all other tools used in the cultivation process.  This was a really unique experience and taught me a tremendous amount about working in a group comprised of members from different agencies along with general execution of a carefully thought out plan.



  1. Glad you are with us Brennan!

  2. Great job Brennan, keep up the great work! Chief Padilla.