And the Band Played On

This was the last waltz for Gary Stachan in his role as a California State Park Ranger, including a long running gig as head ranger at Año Nuevo State Park. After 34 years of service, Gary is retiring. To celebrate he threw a classic shindig full of music, food, and good friends.

As a hardcore surfer and accomplished waterman, Gary has been outstanding in his field. He has always stood tall in the forest of bureaucrats and has embodied the meaning of stewardship of our state's wild places.

During his tenure, the parks along the North Coast have been transformed into real gems of stunning beauty that are well planned, accessible, and most importantly, still natural and wild. Gary was profiled in the summer 2006 Surfer's Journal. It's a good glimpse of a waterman's life as a California State Park Ranger.

How many rangers do you see in a surfboard print button down wearing a lei? Even though Gary will no longer be the front man at Año, rest assured that he has found his voice and will continue to hit the right note in more ways than one (more surfing and kitesurfing!)

I know that for my family, his work along this coast has made our lives richer. Let's hope that Sacramento and the people of California follow his tune and the song remains the same.

Feliz Año Nuevo

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