Not ‘just Rangers’

Officers protect natural resources, patrol base jumping, enforce the laws

By Krista Allen
Western Agency Bureau

COLORADO RIVER, March 20, 2014

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(Times photos - Krista Allen)

TOP: Navajo Rangers from left to right, Eastern District Ranger Jimmy Boyd, Western District Ranger Fredrick Davis, Special Projects Ranger Darryl Billy, Central District Ranger Fredrick Chee, Western District Sgt. Elmer Phillips, Western District Ranger Joe Dayzie, Chief Ranger Leonard G. Butler, and Western District Recruit Ranger Jeremiah Begaye. The rangers earlier this month conducted a patrol along the canyon’s edge looking over the Colorado River.

BOTTOM: Western District Rangers Jeremiah Begaye (left) and Fredrick Davis made inquiries about a piece of a reinforced plastic material along U.S. Highway 89A near the Navajo Bridge in Marble Canyon, Ariz. Navajo Rangers conducted a patrol earlier this month to find campsites and base jumping sites along the canyon’s edge looking over the Colorado River.

Western District Ranger Fredrick Davis talked about David Stather, the 41-year-old University of Calgary respirologist who fell to his death while base jumping near the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers.

Stather died during a wing suit proximity flight, according to the Calgary Sun of Calgary, Alberta.

“He made a successful jump the first time,” said Davis. “The second time, his parachute didn’t open."

Base jumping is one of the extreme, hair-raising, legendary adventures on the planet. It is an acronym for four types of objects that jumpers leap from: buildings, antennas, spans (of a bridge, arch, et cetera), and earth (large natural formations such as cliffs, canyons, fjords, and gorges).

Participants wear a parachute and often a wingsuit, which rapidly fills with air - after leaping - so they can glide like a flying squirrel until reaching an altitude where it’s critical to open the chute.

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