~ Park Rangers Association of California
Professionalism Through Unity Since 1976
PRAC Honorary Lifetime Member 2005
Assemblyman Joe Nation
Assemblyman Joe Nation of San Rafael has been along time friend of the environment and of the ranger profession.
Since his days on the Board of Directors of the Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD), where he helped oversee the expansion of its ranger and resource management programs; he has understood and supported parks and open space and those who protect it.
Since being elected to the State Assembly in 2000 Joe has proposed or supported legislation for watershed protection, clean water, clean air, protection of cultural resources and control of invasive species. He also introduced legislation that is vital to the agencies dealing with Sudden Oak Death Syndrome (SODS). The SODS bill, which was enacted in 2002, provides continued funding for fire protection and prevention, management, monitoring, research, education, and regulation of this devastating disease.
Assemblyperson Nation sits on several Assembly committees. The most important one for the park professions is the Committee on Local Government. The committee's jurisdictions are special taxes, city and county organization and powers, subdivisions, and administration of special districts. This committee covers nearly every type governmental subdivision that employees rangers and other park professionals. It is good to know there is someone on the committee who understands and supports park professionals.
Mr. Nation has also done several specific acts that have benefited or assisted park rangers. In 2001 legislation introduced by Joe was enacted making local agency peace officer rangers (PC 830.31(b)), eligible to negotiate for safety retirement, in recognition of their multi-facetted public safety duties.
In 2003 he requested a Legislative Counsel opinion on the authority of municipal water district to employ peace officer rangers, this was done after a question was raised about the MMWD's ranger authority. The opinion came back that clearly a municipal water district had the authority to employ peace officer rangers.
In 2004 emergency legislation introduced by Joe was passed giving expressed authority to municipal water districts to employ peace officer rangers under section 830.34(d) of the Penal Code. Joe introduced this important legislation at the request of the union that represents the rangers at MMWD after a judge made a ruling the contradicted the Legislative Counsel's 2003 opinion.
PRAC is honored to recognize Joe for his long time support of the ranger profession. He is truly a friend of the rangers and other park professionals and clearly understands many of the issues rangers' face today.