Park Ranger James Randall Morgenson

Park Ranger James Randall Morgenson

United States Department of the Interior - National Park Service, U.S. Government

End of Watch Tuesday, July 23, 1996

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James Randall Morgenson

Park Ranger James (Randy) Morgenson drowned after being swept over a waterfall while on a backcountry patrol in the Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park, California. Other rangers began to search for him after he failed to check in with dispatch at the regular time following the first day of the patrol.

Despite an exhaustive search, his remains were not found until July 2001, nearly five years after he went missing. The investigation indicated that he likely fell through a snow drift and broke his leg while crossing a creek, dying of associated injuries and hypothermia. His remains were washed down the creek and into a small cascade where they were hidden in the rocks for years.

Ranger Morgenson had served with the National Park Service for 27 years. He was survived by his wife.

Bio

  • Age 51
  • Tour 27 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Drowned
  • Location California

Most Recent Reflection

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Dear Randy, thank you deeply for your many years of service protecting the wilderness, so generations to come can marvel at its beauty. From the highest peaks to the meadows you fought so dearly to protect, your efforts weren't in vain. Your kindred spirit for the Sierra will forever live in the waters, winds, and wildlife which call it home. Your sacrifice will forever be remembered

Civilian conservationists

April 22, 2020

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