If mods don't think this is the right place for this, just let me know.
There was a discussion in this thread: http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...ark-thing.html that pointed people to another discussion on a Yellowstone site regarding the political move to allow carry (and especially conceal carry) in National Parks.
The overwhelming response in the anti-gun camp was "you don't need guns" (and I hope I don't!) and that National Parks were safe. That started me thinking and compiling information and articles on the National Parks and National Park Service. I have made a very rough start. What I would ask is for people to respond with stories of violence and crime (I'm leaving the wildlife element out entirely) in National Parks, or to contribute statistics or web pages that would be informational on this subject. Here are my notes (and they're just notes for now -- my ultimate goal will be a well written document).
This is as good a resource as any (and maybe I will tap others)... but please jump in with any info you might have!
Murders in National Parks:
Park Ranger Steve Makuakane-Jarrell Murdered Dec 12, 1999 - Honokohau National Park
Julianne "Julie" Williams and her hiking companion, Laura "Lollie" Winans, Murdered June 1996 - Shenandoah National Park
Ranger Kris Eggle, Murdered August 9, 2002 Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument - Suspected Drug Cartel Killing
Carole Sund, 42; her daughter, Juli, 15; and their friend Silvina Pelosso, 16 - Murdered February 1999, Yosemite National Park
Nature Guide Joie Armstrong, Murdered July 1999
Pregnant Mother Jessie Davis, Murdered June 2007 - Body found in Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Yu-Shung Lin and Yuki Yoshida Murder-Suicide, Jan 15th, 2006 - Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
In 1989 there were 18 homocides in National Parks
Ranger Robert L. McGhee, Murdered 1989, Gulf Islands National Park
Mark Creasy 48 years old, Strangled to death May 2005 on Dangerfield Island
Joie Armstrong, Murdered July 21st 1999 Yosemite National Park
Total Reported "Part 1" Crimes By the National Park Service in 2006: 1010
Part 1 crimes is a standard law enforcement category that includes homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assaults, stolen automobiles, burglary, and larceny. (Source: National Park Service)
9 Homicides in National Parks in 2006
I know there's a LOT more, but it's almost like someone doesn't want that info released. An interesting thing I noticed is that in news reports of murders in National Parks, the name of the national park is frequently NOT mentioned. It's only listed as "a nearby national park" or "a national park".
More Information needed on these National park incidents:
Recently, rangers shot two men to death in separate armed battles at Lake Mead National Recreational Area near Las Vegas. A ranger was injured in a fall over a cliff last year when he scuffled with a man he sought to question about an automobile theft. The assailant, who also fell, was killed in the incident at Canyon de Chelly National Monument in Arizona.
A large drug smuggling operation was uncovered last year in Big Bend National Park in Texas. A few months ago, rangers discovered a laboratory for methamphetamine, an illegal drug, in Joshua Tree National Park in California. Since January, rangers and drug agents have seized more than $500 million in narcotics from national parks.
Parks officials also warn that bands of thieves believe campgrounds are easy marks. Officials say thieves lurk in the background at camp sites, watching for people who leave valuables unguarded.
Mount Rainier National Park. In 1978 a double rape and armed robbery occurred on Rampart Ridge which led to an extensive manhunt both inside and outside the park. The perpetrator, a soldier from Fort Lewis, surrendered to authorities outside the park. In 1981 an armed robbery occurred at the National Park Inn. In 1987 park rangers and FBI agents carried out a joint investigation of a homicide after a body was discovered on the east side of the park. The victim had been shot in the back of the head. The unsolved murder case was thought to have been drug-related.
Two homicides in Lake Mead in 2006
1 Ranger to 100,000 visitors on average. Far less than ANY urban community anywhere in the US.
National Park Service is the only land management agency that refuses to track violence directed against its biologists, naturalists and non-commissioned rangers.
Devil's Postpile National Monument in California all the patrol rangers have been removed from the park. "There is no law enforcement presence in the park, and no agreements in place with neighboring law enforcement agencies. This is a complete violation of NPS policy and public trust, yet it has gone unchecked," according to the U.S. Park Rangers Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police. A truly criminal safe zone!
National Park Service is dependant on keeping the image of National Parks "Safe," despite numbers to the contrary. Hence no collection of violent crime data by National Park Service in National Parks.
Articles about Crime in National Parks:
Crime rates tick up across national parks | csmonitor.com
Our National Parks – Crime's New Frontier
The Seattle Times: Local News: Crime slowly creeps into parks, forests
Our National Parks Student Journalism Project
Tucson Weekly : Currents : Ranger Danger
The Most Dangerous National Parks (5/15/03) -- www.GovernmentExecutive.com
USATODAY.com - U.S., Canadian officials bust daring drug-smuggling ring
U.S. Rangers, Park Police Sustain Record Levels of Violence
NPCA | Drug War Spreads to Americaâ€™s National Parks
News from DEA, Congressional testimony, 04/15/03