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Ranger Heart: A Naturalist Learns How to Love After Loss

B.A. Woodland

‘Ranger Heart: A Naturalist Learns to Love After Loss' explores what it takes for a park ranger to get grounded again after profound grief, in a profession that encourages rootlessness. One of the youngest of twelve siblings, I grew up in a cramped, chaotic household. After my father died when I was six, I craved wide-open spaces and the healing embrace of nature. While I was determined to follow a career path that would lead me into the heart of the wilderness, it would take me years to understand that to heal from great loss, my own heart would
need to become as wide open as the natural world in which I sought refuge.

Ranger Heart is a collection of personal essays that consider five different themes: Advice for Women with Grit, Constraints, Love and Loss, Art and Beauty, and Connection and Community.

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B.A. Woodland was born in Central New York and traveled out West as a young woman to forge her own path in the wild, open expanses of some of America's most prized and protected public lands. Dear to her heart were experiences as a National Park Service ranger in Grand Canyon, Crater Lake, Zion, Yosemite, Mount Rainier, and Denali National Parks. From working as a canoe guide in the Everglades of Florida to scaling a Cascade volcano as a climbing ranger on Mount Shasta in California, B.A. likes to explore new environments and test her mettle while learning and educating others about the marvels of the natural world.