The 3-S Wildlife Tours
Chief Ranger Bill Jefferson has approved a new program at Big Pine NF thanks to a suggestion by ranger Stumpy Jenkins. Big Pine will now offer guided wildlife tours for physically handicapped and visually impaired visitors.
Ranger Jenkins came up with the idea for these tours while at the office of Dr. Hanson, Knotty Pine's eye doctor. Stumpy was chatting with some of Dr. Hanson's other patients while in the waiting room. Stumpy sees Dr. Hanson regularly after having cataract surgery. Stumpy was talking with another of the doctor's patients Will Thompson describing his work as a ranger at Big Pine National Forest. He mentioned that one of the best parts of his job is watching and listening to the wildlife, especially the many birds in the forest. Will is nearly blind and has never bothered to go bird watching. Other patients in the office also commented that they would enjoy listening to the birds and other animals.
Ranger Stumpy teamed up with fellow ranger Gray Wolf to lead "The 3 S's of the Shady Mountains." Those three S's are the sights, sounds, and smells of the Shadys. The rangers will take visitors to see the colors of the mountains, smell the scents of the flowers and trees, and hear the songs of birds and the calls of the wildlife.
Stumpy and Gray Wolf also lead tours for physically handicapped visitors. Bus tours with nursing aids for those who need help walking are available.