Sunday, May 5, 2013

Healing the Forest Ranger Interview

How exciting to have Lyndsy Warner, the heroine from “Healing the Forest Ranger,” written by Leigh Bale a May 2013 release from Love Inspired Romance.

1.     Lyn, tell me the most interesting thing about you.

I’m a forest ranger.  Most people find that career choice interesting for a woman.  But I love it.  There are less than 400 forest rangers in the United States.  It’s a very specialized field and requires a variety of skills and whole lot of education.  Managing grazing, timber harvest, fishery and wildlife, parks and recreation, wildfires, and mining issues on national lands isn’t an easy job.  But the personal rewards are amazing.

2.     What do you do for fun?

Lately, I did nothing but work.  My husband, Rob, was killed in a terrible car accident a year ago.  My 9-year old daughter, Kristen, lost her leg in the accident.  It broke our hearts.  But losing Rob really damaged my relationship with Kristen, too.  I think we both blamed ourselves for the accident, even though it wasn’t our fault.  The accident was caused by a drunk driver.  But in retrospect, I think it’s normal to think of all the “would-of,” “could-of,” and “should-of” thinks I might have done in order to prevent the accident.  Now that I have Cade Baldwin in my life, I enjoy so many things.  Mostly riding horses.  Cade and I love watching the wild horses running free in Secret Valley, Nevada.  We rescued a mustang foal and took it home to raise.  My daughter named the filly Lightning.  And that little horse was the catalyst to help my daughter on the road to recovery after the accident.  It’s been a long, but remarkable journey to heal our broken hearts.

3.     What do you put off doing because you dread it?

Are you kidding?  I’m a normal mom.  Laundry and housework are not my favorite.  But gardening?  Planting and weeding flowers?  I’m there.  As a forest ranger, I love spending time outdoors.  I always have.  There is something so surreal about being alone on a horse on a mountain top at over eleven hundred feet elevation and gazing down at a mountain lake and the carpet of Douglas fir and aspens.  For me, it’s one of the closest places to heaven on earth.  Not because of the high elevation, but because I get to view God’s creation without disturbance.  And I start to reflect on my life and how blessed I truly am.

4.     What are you afraid of most in life?

Losing someone I love and not having the faith to make it through.  Having gone through it before, I know the helpless, lost panic that can come over you when it happens.  It took me a long time to recognize that God is there, even in our deepest, darkest moments.  He never leaves us.  Not even then.

5.     What is the most important thing to you?

The Lord and my family.  Being there for my loved ones.  Being strong when they are having trouble making it through.  Life is hard.  Very hard.  I don’t know how I could get through everything life throws my way without the support of my family and the Lord.

6.     Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?

Sorry, but I don’t read a lot of books.  I read a lot of research and studies.  Because of my work, I’m always reading up on the latest research, wildfire fighting techniques, grazing studies, plant studies, you name it.  Sounds kind of boring when I put it that way, but then I take the information I’ve learned and find ways to put it to use.  How to get an over-grazed pasture to come back to life.  How to keep the mine tailings from destroying a watershed and filtering down to kill numerous wildlife and poisoning the water supply of a town.  That kind of stuff.  And that work is incredibly exciting to me.  Especially when I succeed in my work.

7.     If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I’m too much of a pessimist.  I always fear the worst will happen.  But of course, weaknesses can also be strengths.  Because I fear the worst, I tend to anticipate and take precautions and prepare.  That’s one of my great strengths.  My challenge is to find a happy medium.  J

8.     Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?

Oh, boy!  Do I ever have pets.  Of course, they’re not “traditional” pets.  I have a whole national forest filled with pets.  And I am their caregiver.  Wild horses, mule deer, antelope, desert bighorn sheep, gophers, coyotes, black bears, sage grouse, and even lowly lizards and snakes.  They are all my concern.  At home, I have horses and love to ride.  In fact, I practically live on a horse.  For me, horses are a tool I use to perform my daily work as a forest ranger.  They’re also my friends.

9.     If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

I’d love to go back to 1905, when the U.S. Forest Service was first established.  My great-great-grandfather was one of the first forest rangers.  Back in those days, it was dangerous to be a forest ranger.  They had the unsavory job of telling some very hardened ranchers when and where they could graze their livestock on lands that were previously open to anyone and anything.  But once President Roosevelt established areas of protected national lands, in order to preserve them for future generations, we had to step in and stop the abuse.  Those early forest rangers packed a gun on their hips.  And the first rangers were tough men in their own right.  They had to be in order to get the job done.  Being a ranger is still dangerous work, but we no longer pack a gun.  We have very solitary work and are frequently alone out in nature where we encounter the occasional escaped convict on the run.  We have to be vigilant and careful.  But I’d love to travel back in time to meet those men who first started my profession.  They might be stunned to see that a woman is a forest ranger, but I’d love to talk with them just the same.  Especially my great-great-grandfather.  I have a feeling we’d have a lot in common.  And I’d love to thank him for the great work he did in paving a legacy for our future.

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