Chen Jian-shun: Shoushan National Nature Park Ranger
【◎Written by Li Siao-ping ◎English translation by Lin Yu-ciao ◎Photos by Huang Jing-wen, Zeng Sin-yao】
Shoushan National Park, Kaohsiung's backyard, has 6 hardworking park rangers that protect and patrol this vast mountainous landscape. Their area includes Shoushan's northern, southern and western coastal areas, the military bases, Banpingshan, Guishan, the British Consulate at Takao and Cihou Mountain. The diverse landscape brings them numerous responsibilities, which include repairing damaged trails, maintaining first-aid kits, conservation, investigating environmental violations, handling dead and injured animals, rescuing hikers and maintaining the environment.
Chen Jian-shun, Shoushan's experienced park ranger, often climbs the mountain on his days off. He got the job eight years ago when he was nearly 50 years old. He knows Shoushan like the palm of his hand, however understands the importance of his job far exceeds just walking the trails.
On a tour of Shoushan, Chen Jian-shun explained park rangers not only need to have good physical strength but also need to scale trails' various terrains. On a tour of the mountain Chen Jian-shun left the wooden staircase and turned off onto a more rugged, natural trail, which at times needed the assistance of a rope to climb it. The trail has various turn offs and is surrounded with coral reef and dense forest. It is easy to see how hikers could get lost on these paths, which makes Chen Jian-shun's search and rescue an essential part of his job.
Although it is a beautiful place to enjoy nature, people are strongly advised to take the correct measures before going out and always take into account personal safety. Hikers often get lost in these mountains and the Rangers must be available 24 hours a day to search for them. Due to Chen Jian-shun's in-depth familiarity with mountain trails, he has been able to locate and rescue numerous people. He is also glad Shoushan also has a fire department that assists the rangers in various search and rescue missions. Chen Jian-shun explains how he is truly dedicated to his job and is glad that he has been able to rescue numerous people. He hopes he will always be able to provide assistance when things go wrong.
In order to maintain the ecological environment, the National Parks Commission prohibits pets, any type of cooking, feeding strays or wildlife, entering private property or caving without permission. Violations are reported and are fined in accordance with law.