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Seasonal rangers needed to open Idaho's state parks fully

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Posted at 2:04 PM, Jun 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-18 10:14:43-04

IDAHO — Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation is looking for more seasonal workers to fully open all of the park's amenities.

"The current estimate is that we are 26 seasonal employees short of where we need to be, and these are critical folks for us because we plus up our staffing," Craig Quintana, IDPR Senior Public Information Officer, said. "Our normal staffing needs to be able to meet the demand during the busiest time of the year which is obviously spring and summer.”

Without those seasonal employees, amenities like Eagle Island's water slide will remain closed.

"It has just left us hamstrung," Quintana said. "Unfortunately, we are getting some of the hottest weather of the year pretty early in the season and usually that slide is open on Memorial Day, and here we are weeks later and we are not even close to having the staff to bring that facility online so there are some lost opportunities there for recreation. It's sad."

It's also affected rentals. Paddleboards and other water activities are only available during the weekends because of the staffing shortage.

"It’s affecting us everywhere we would have the seasonal staff coming on and helping us out," Quintana said. "Right now, we have our core permanent staff, but there are only so many hours in the day that the limited number of bodies can handle so we really do need to plus up to be able to serve the traditional needs of the recreating public come the high time of the year."

To apply or learn more about the seasonal opportunities, click here.

"We are looking for friendly, enthusiastic folks who want to come out and work in a lovely location," Quintana said. "There are worse places to be than a beautiful state park."

While the shortage of seasonal rangers and employees continues, IDPR is asking people to recreate safely and to clean up after themselves before they leave the parks.

"If people can practice that leave no trace, pack it in pack it out, and please recreate responsibly. Know your limits so you don’t put a strain on our limited staffing or even emergency services," Quintana said. "We don’t want anyone to get into trouble, but we will certainly be there to try and help you out if things go sideways, but we do want people to come out and have a good time."