Yellowstone Adds Mandarin-Speaking Interpretive Rangers
Photo by David Cogswell
In the midst of what's expected to be another record year, Yellowstone National Park has hired a trio of Mandarin-speaking interpretive park rangers, according to the Casper Star-Tribune.
The three rangers will be tasked with the same responsibilities as the park's other rangers and will provide information regarding resources and orientation as well as formal interpretive programs like guided walks.
Even more importantly, the rangers will be able to interpret during potential medical emergencies.
"During last summer we saw that this could be helpful," Yellowstone's South District resource education ranger Rich Jehle told the Star-Tribune. "We have all kinds of basic safety publications in different languages. But it’s different having someone who can speak directly to a visitor."
Having rangers who can speak directly to a visitor will hopefully prevent incidents like the one last month when a Chinese tourist wandered off the boardwalk in the park's Mammoth Hot Springs thermal area.
While it's unclear just how many Chinese visitors to the U.S. pass through the park in a given year, data from the U.S. Department of Commerce reveals that Chinese visitation to the U.S. climbed by a whopping 451 percent between 2007 and 2015, with more than one-third of the 2.1 million Chinese visitors to the U.S. in 2014 traveling for vacation.
What's more, park officials said they've noticed a trend of late.
"It’s probably been recognized for a few years, but last year was where the increase was very evident," added Jehle.
More than 4 million people visited Yellowstone in 2015 and 2016 promises to break last year's record based on the current monthly figures. What's more, the 10,500 buses that passed through the park last year represented a 17 percent increase over 2014, according to the Star-Tribune.
More by Patrick Clarke
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