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Michael Ryan Promoted to Full-Time Ranger in Open Space Program

Hi, my name is Michael Ryan. I’m a Colorado native, born and raised right here in Littleton. I currently reside in Lakewood with my wife and my mother and brother still live close by in Governor’s Ranch. I went to Columbine High School and had many friends who lived in Ken-Caryl, and the Valley was always our favorite area to hike and enjoy the outdoors. Growing up in this area, it’s impossible not to fall in love with the fresh air and diverse wildlife that surround us.

While I was attending Metropolitan State University of Denver, where I studied behavioral science with a minor in criminal justice, I began working at Kipling Ace Hardware, where I rented out equipment and checked in machines for service. This was where I discovered a love of figuring out how things work and started to learn about maintaining and fixing equipment.

I began working at Ken-Caryl Ranch as a seasonal ranger in the summer of 2013, right after graduating from college. I was excited about the opportunity to be out in this beautiful area every day. My duties at first were assisting with noxious weed management and trail building. I kept coming back each season because I enjoyed the work, the community and there was always more to learn. Working closely with the park rangers year after year, I realized that what started as a summer job was quickly becoming a passion that I wanted to make into a career.

I became a full-time park ranger in November 2020, and my current responsibilities include general maintenance, mowing, patrol, snow removal, installing fences and other structures, equipment maintenance and wildlife management. Over the past eight years, I’ve made great friends in Ken-Caryl—humans and animals alike—and learned about everything that goes into preserving this area, from the smallest task to the largest administrative plan.

I’ve always been drawn to the beauty of Ken-Caryl Valley, and my favorite part of working here is driving into the most scenic workplace imaginable every morning. Some of my favorite spots on the Ranch are the vast meadows on top of Manor House Trail and High Meadow Trail. I take pride in being part of this community and taking care of all the details, big and small, that make this such a beautiful place.

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