Loveland Bike Trail
 

Larimer County Rangers

photo of fulltime rangers

L. Brough, Ranger II, Horsetooth District

Growing up on a small farm and ranch just outside of Windsor is where my love for the outdoors began. As a kid I spent almost all of my free time outdoors hiking, camping, hunting and fishing with my family and friends. During those outings I have spent countless hours in the Larimer County Park properties that I find myself patrolling today. It feels great to know that I am doing my part to protect and manage the same properties that got me hooked on the outdoors for others to enjoy. My hope is that our visitors find the same love for the outdoors that I have found while recreating in our parks.

After high school I took many odd and end jobs mostly in the construction and landscape fields while continuing my education at a variety of colleges. In 2008 I was hired as a volunteer firefighter in my hometown of Windsor and this is where I realized that I enjoyed helping people. I took my love for the outdoors and my compassion for helping people and came to the conclusion that a Park Ranger would be my dream job. In 2011 I was hired as a seasonal boat Ranger at Horsetooth Reservoir where I learned that no day is ever the same in this job and our daily tasks are very diverse. I am now a full time commissioned Ranger stationed at Horsetooth Reservoir where my love for this job began.

Z. Cook, Ranger II, Red Mountain District

My journey began at a young age recreating in Colorado with my family, when I came to the realization that being a ranger was a path that closely met my life goals. This field has day to day diversity and benefits that greatly outweigh any other career I seen. I'm proud to call myself a Larimer County Ranger!

After receiving a degree in Natural Resources Recreation and Tourism from Colorado State University in 2006, I completed an internship with Larimer County Department of Natural Resources and worked a seasonal ranger position for five years before being fortunate enough to attain a fulltime position. In 2007 I enlisted in the United States Army Reserves as a medic and continue to serve my country proudly with a deployment to Helmond, Afghanistan and missions in Egypt and Panama. I'm a post certified peace officer in the state of Colorado and EMT-B.

S. Gibson, Senior Ranger, Red Mountain District

I grew up with a natural appreciation for the outdoors. I spent countless hours outside identifying edible plants, hunting, hiking, and fishing. So to me it was only natural to go into this field where I get paid to do the things I love to do.

I began this career path in the Navy as a navigator on an aircraft carrier and missile cruiser. I did two tours to the Persian Gulf serving on the VBSS team for boarding and search and seizure of vessels. After that I moved to Colorado and graduated college from CSU with a degree in Natural Resource Management. I've worked construction, wildland firefighting, martial arts instructor, and a CSU police officer. I started work as a seasonal ranger with Lory State Park and then Larimer Open Lands. I then did a short stint in Montana as a game warden before coming back to Larimer County as full time ranger. I am now the senior ranger for the Red Mountain District. I volunteered with the Search and Rescue team for two years. I am also an Arrest Control/Defensive Tactics instructor for the department as well as for the Larimer County Sheriff's Office. I truly enjoy everyday I get to assist the public and protect the resources that mean so much to me.

J. Hawkins, Senior Ranger / Horsetooth District

I have always had the calling to become a Park Ranger since I have been a small child. My grandfather worked for Colorado Parks and Wildlife and was an avid outdoorsman and so was my father. I have been camping, boating, hunting, hiking and fishing since I can remember. Obviously, this is where my love for the outdoors came from. I started my career as a seasonal gate attendant then worked myself into a seasonal boat ranger position. I attended the Colorado POST academy and graduated from University of Northern Colorado with a Bachelors degree. In 2010, I was selected as the Boat Officer of the Year for the state of Colorado. I am a believer that my job is to give our visitors a quality experience. But also give the natural resources and wildlife that we protect a voice. It is a privilege to have the best job in the world. I am currently an instructor for TASER International and Boat Safety Coordinator and boat accident investigator for Larimer County Department of Natural Resources.

C. Kirby, Ranger II, Big Thompson District

I wanted to become a Park Ranger after I graduated from college. I didn't really know what the job entailed. I was an interpretive guide when I was able to ride along with the Rangers at night when my shift was over and I was hooked. It is such an ever-changing experience where every day is different, our office is the most beautiful cubicle imaginable and the job offers constant challenges to keep you on your toes.

I have a Bachelors of Science Degree in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University. I worked seasonally from 1998 through 2005 for various government and private organizations such as the CSU Intramural Sports department, Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, and Glacier Park, Inc. I was doing things such as pulling weeds, weighing and measuring fish throughout Denver-metro areas and in the mountains, relocating endangered Boreal Toad tadpoles, enforcing rules through intramural sports, gaining supervisory skills, Tour Guiding and Bus driving in the 1936 Tour Buses of Glacier National Park, providing campfire programs and educational adventures as an Interpretive Guide, being a park ranger at North Sterling State Park and Carter Lake. The fun jobs didn't come without hard work and dedication in the less fun jobs like cleaning toilets, collecting grocery carts, data entry and cashiering. I got hired on as a full-time Park Ranger for Colorado State Parks at Boyd Lake State Park managing the boat and sign programs for 2 years before I joined the Larimer County Dept of Natural Resources team where I sit today. I am currently one of the departments OC Aerosol Spray instructors as well as an Arrest Control Instructor for not only our department but also the Larimer County Sheriff's Office. It has been a long road but the experience has helped give me the tools to be a success in this competitive field.

D. Neff, Ranger II, Carter District

I began my Ranger career at Hermit Park in the Estes Park area. It didn't take me long to start feeling a sense of satisfaction from working with the public. I worked 5 years as a seasonal Ranger in the Hermit Park and Carter Lake districts. I was hired as a full-time Ranger in 2014 in the Open Space district and have since moved back to Carter Lake. I have had the opportunity to work in some of the most scenic places in Northern Colorado and the privilege to serve the visitors to our parks and open spaces.

Devin Neumann, Ranger II, Horsetooth District

Larimer County has incredible natural resources in its diverse range of county parks and open spaces. I became a Ranger to fulfill my desire to help people enjoy the resources that Larimer County has to offer and protect those same resources for generations to come.

I started my journey to become a ranger as a volunteer in the "Volunteer Ranger Assist" program in 2010. In that program, I realized that I had a strong desire to be more than a volunteer, and chose to peruse it as my career. In 2011 I was hired and worked as an Aquatic Nuisance Species Inspector at Horsetooth Reservoir. In that position I had the responsibility of protecting the reservoir from Quagga mussels, Zebra mussels and other non native invasive species.

My Ranger opportunity came the following year when I was hired as a seasonal Boat Ranger. That was my first experience as a Ranger and to this day, I can't see myself doing anything different. I spent 3 years as a seasonal ranger, all the time learning new skills and improving the existing ones.

In 2015 I was given the opportunity to apply and received a full time position as a Ranger II with Larimer County. I attended the Adams County Sheriffs Academy Class 17, and earned my P.O.S.T certification.

W. Talbott, Senior Ranger, Carter District

I have always had the desire to work in a natural resource field. After many years of working in a service industry, this desire came true. I was hired as a seasonal ranger in the spring of 2002 while I was enrolled at Colorad State University. I graduated CSU with a degree in Natural Resources Recreation and Tourism in 2006 and was hired by Larimer County Department of Natural Resources on a full-time basis at that time. I truly enjoy working with the public in this very diverse field.

V. Wilcox, Ranger II, Big Thompson District

As a young child I was blessed to have a father that spent time with me in the outdoors, hunting, fishing and hiking the mountains of Arizona. It gave me my strong desire to live and work in the mountains of Colorado.

I attended Pima Community Collage, Aims Community Collage, University of Arizona and Colorado State University obtaining my education in Emergency Services Management. After ending a career of 25 years as a firefighter/medic in Arizona and Colorado, in 1996 I was hired as a Seasonal Ranger for Larimer County D.N.R. I fell in love with the profession and decided to pursue a new career as a Larimer County Ranger. I quickly found it required training and education in many different areas such as psychology, resource management, law enforcement, emergency medical services and wild land firefighting. I completed the Colorado State Law Enforcement Academy (P.O.S.T.) in 2003 and have continued my training and education through out my career.

I continue to enjoy the best law enforcement career anyone could have, and I am currently assigned to the "Big Thompson Canyon District" in Estes Park Colorado. I am blessed and highly favored. "Living the Dream"

Background Image: Loveland Bike Trail by Sharon Veit. All rights reserved.