Phoenix Councilwoman To Parks Director: Bring Budget Proposal That Adds Rangers

Published: Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 5:05am
Updated: Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 9:06am
(Photo by Christina Estes - KJZZ)
Phoenix City Council subcommittee meeting on Feb. 22, 2017.

One of Phoenix’s largest city departments may be adding staff. The Parks and Recreation Department has 55 rangers responsible for enforcing rules and maintaining more than 230 miles of designated trails.

During Wednesday’s council subcommittee meeting, department leaders said rangers are also focused on educating visitors. Last year, infrared monitors counted more than 3 million at 40 major trailheads. But resident Tim Sierakowski says he doesn’t see rangers when he hikes. 

“Rangers don’t really have interaction on the mountains,” he said. "Rangers aren’t found on the mountains. They’re not hiking the mountains. They’re not found anywhere.” 

“I’ve heard this for three years,” Councilwoman Laura Pastor said. “And, I have tried to figure out ... how to solve this problem. Every time we think we’re solving it, we’re not.”

Pastor requested that Parks Director Inger Erickson return with a budget proposal that would add park rangers. No number was suggested. The department says it has 13 fewer positions than before the recession.

By The Numbers

  • More than 41,000 acres of property.
  • More than 230 miles of designated trails.
  • 55 full and part-time rangers.
  • 3.1 million visitors at 40 major trail heads in 2016.
  • 278 fire assisted rescues in 2016.
  • 227 fire assisted rescues in 2015.
  • 219 fire assisted rescues in 2014.
  • 1,024 citations issued in 2016, mostly parking violations.

SOURCE: Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department