Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

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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Reflections for Park Ranger James Randall Morgenson

Ranger Morgenson,
On today, the 25th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

July 23, 2021

I have just finished the book, The Last Season, about Ranger Morgenson. How very sad. He lived an amazing life, the way he wanted for the most part and that is a joyous thing. Living among the beauty of our planet, respectful and reverential, he truly was such an amazing man. RIP Ranger Morgenson and I hope you are hiking the beauty of heaven. 12/15/2020

Not an officer

December 15, 2020

Rest in peace Park Ranger Morgenson.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

October 14, 2020

Thank you for your service and today we take the time to remind you and your family that your sacrifice is one that will never, ever be forgotten. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

July 23, 2020

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

I came upon Randy’s story through the Eric Biehm book ‘The Last Season.’ Even though I forced myself to wait until finishing it to seek out internet news about him, I suspected I knew the truth about his ending before the book’s ending & it bothered me the same. Despite failings like all of us have, Randy seemed like the unique soul the story portrayed him as and someone I’m sure it hurt many to lose so tragically. It’s good to know the park and his own family found closure despite the outcome not being as they hoped. They all lost a great person that day as the nature he loved called him home.

Civilian, Clint Zenk

April 17, 2020

I have just watched disappeared with bated breath, I was hoping upon hope that Randy would be found, sadly it was not to be. What a great loss and so very sad. May he rest in eternal peace.

Julie m

March 17, 2020

I met Ranger Randy Morgensen in 1985. We were in one of the most remote high basins in the Sierra Nevada when my hiking partner broke his foot. What a predicament to be in. Four days from any trailhead and miles of talus to get help. Within an hour of the incident, Ranger Randy came strolling up. He was on his day off and hiked up into Ionian Basin to get away from the crowds of the John Muir Trail. What are the odds? We spent some time that afternoon and most of the next day with Randy as he attempted to get a helicopter in to extract my partner (long story).

For years after that, Ranger Randy was an integral part of my memories of that time and my story of the events have been re-told to many. Some years later, I read that he went missing, then some years later, that he was found (rest in peace). Some time in 2008 or 2009, I was sharing my Ionian Basin story on a backpacking forum when I was pointed to a book, The Last Season. I learned many things about the man, the NPS, the anatomy of a SAR, etc. I also learned where he took his final Sierra steps. For several years now, I have been pulled by the desire to visit him in the Window Peak drainage to pay my respects and thank him again for his help in 1985 and his service in general. Next month, I will be on a stream side above Window Peak Lake, paying my respects and thanking Ranger Randy for his service.

Jim Rowley
U.S. Citizen

June 3, 2017

Just watching a new show on ID, "Radio Silence." Such a sad ending. My condolences to Randy's family and friends.

Elaine B

April 22, 2017

THE LAST SEASON, an amazing and well-researched book about the life of NPS Backcountry ranger, Randy Morgenson. RIP, Randy, this book explained so much about the psychology of wilderness through his daily logs. It should be on recommended reading lists for all NPS employees.

Ruth Taylor Kilday
Friend of the parks

March 2, 2017

Park Rangers are perhaps our greatest unsung heroes, protecting the wilderness and badlands (that many would rape and pillage in their greedy quest for oil and precious minerals) but that are truly responsible for making America the Beautiful. You recognized their need for protection and the need to protect and serve those who simply wanted to regale in the splendor and serenity of your beloved Sierras. Not even the Park Service appreciated your sacrifice, making you a "seasonal worker" with no benefits, no medical, no retirement, calling you the backbone of the NPS in one breath and 90 day wonders in the next.

Still you gave almost 30 years of your life and experience and ultimately your life to the mission of the NPS and we civilians appreciate that sacrifice.

Nature Lover

July 31, 2016

Thank you Ranger Morgenson for all of your dedication to conservation. You are a true inspiration. Rest in Peace my friend.

Appreciative and Respectful friend of Nature.

December 11, 2015

Randy, your disappearance & death a real mystery for years. I hope you did not suffer. I hope your family & friends have found closure. Thank you for your many many years of service, sadly not appreciated by those above you. I hope you are in a much better place. RIP Randy.

US Citizen, Lisa Mosbach

November 28, 2015

Randy's life work stays in my heart and mind after reading "The Last Season" by Eric Blehm. Randy's mission in life was to protect our wilderness and his ideology stays with me. Eric Blehm's writing on Randy is a must read for anyone who is concerned about nature and preserving the integrity of the land. Rest in Peace Randy. Your inspiration lives on!

Emili LeBlanc

November 18, 2015

Just watched Randy's case on "Disappeared." What a tragic ending to a man who clearly loved the outdoors and who, despite his situation at the time, was doing his best to cope.

RIP Randy. I hope your family and loved ones remember you as you deserve to be remembered--a good and decent man.

Minnesota Resident

September 16, 2015

I watched his story on Disappeared and how he met his demise had me teary eyed. I know it's been a couple of years since his passing, but, I also know that the pain lingers. Just sending my love and condolences to the friends and family of Randy Morgenson.
Take Care
-Arizona/New Mexico Resident

Arizona/New Mexico

June 28, 2015

Randy, I know the love of the open space so well. I share that with you and all who served with you. NO better place to " Pass On" than the open skies and the smell of p

Roberto Pathfinder Henderson

July 22, 2014

Randy, I know the love of the open space so well. I share that with you and all who served with you. NO better place to " Pass On" than the open skies and the smell of pines in the air.

Roberto Henderson
Fellow woods man

July 22, 2014

I saw the story of this man, and how he disappeared & no one was able to believe it since he knew the area so well & had worked there for so long. I feel sad for him & whatever must have happened to him there, feeling alone & helpless, but I wonder if he had to choose a place to die, he probably would've wanted it to be there in the park that he loved so much. He appeared to be a really good person.


May 16, 2014

Randy, you had such a kind face. I'm so sorry about the misfortune you met with. You said to a friend, "I owe a body to the earth". She claimed her due but way too soon. Rest peacefully and thank you for all you did for other people.


April 17, 2014

Although I never knew Randy Personally, I saw his story on the show Disappeared and felt a need to look up his story online. I was sorry to see they he passed away. He seemed like a really great guy and was well liked. All throughout the show Disappeared I was hoping for a positive outcome and I was extremely sad to see that he died. May God Bless his soul.


March 13, 2014

So sad it ended that way but i can help after hearing what he said about oweing this land a body and saying that he wouldnt be bothering them anymore that this was not coincedence,he seemed like a really nice guy and had a lot to offer others.i really wish i could have met him,.rest in peace Randy


February 20, 2014

I saw Randy's story originally on tv on the show Disappeared and was praying through the show he would show up. Somehow he reminded me of my brother, who loves nature as much as Randy, and has the job of my son in law as my son in law is a police officer. I am glad that they found him and he can now be laid to rest as well as his family have the closure they need. It is also very comforting in a way to know that he had gone doing what he loved best. I will never forget Randy and his story.

Donna Hughes

December 9, 2013

"The Last Season" was an excellent book. Randy's story is so sorry he had to go. I am surprised at the description of his passing (above), because I don't think they know for sure that this is what really is a guess. I hope that Judy, his wife, can find comfort in life. An unforgettable story.

Dianna Alfred

August 11, 2013

I only know of you because I was listening to a Great Horned Owl and a friend then pointed me to "The Last Season".
The book has affected me more than any I have read in a very long time. Thank you for your devotion to our ecologic treasures and to those who loved you, my heartfelt condolences.

angela devito

February 19, 2013

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