Saving Trappers Lake: And Other Adventures of a Forest Ranger


by Jim Hagemeier

The creation of the National Forests and Grasslands is one of the most remarkable conservation achievements by any nation. Jim had the privilege of helping to protect these national treasures for future generations in many different roles and places as a forest ranger. This book tells stories of his journey over a thirty- five year career and beyond. As a boy from Iowa, Jim discovered the outdoors and mountains and sought to find a way to live out west. He started as a temporary fire fighter, then a smokejumper in Montana. After graduating from Iowa State University, he worked in Colorado for several years before being hired as one of the first field landscape architects in the U.S. Forest Service. At first it wasn’t easy as his skills were not accepted by many. That changed and his work included surveying recreation sites, including potential wilderness and ski areas, designing recreation developments, and mitigating environmental impacts. His many adventures included playing a significant role in saving Trappers Lake in Colorado from development, discovering prehistoric sites on the Front Range of Colorado, fighting forest fires and avoiding death in snow avalanches. His love for the Forest Service mission allowed him to break barriers and rise from a specialist to a manager and director of planning for two different regions, his career ended back in Montana then continued by volunteering for the National Smokejumpers Association’s Wilderness trails program. This book contains color photos, many from the past.



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