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Shaffer Building Memorializes Fallen Ranger

Denali National Park and Preserve

National Park News

Denali National Park and Preserve recently dedicated and named its newly constructed Emergency Services and Fire Management facility as the Shaffer Building, in recognition of fallen employee Cale F. Shaffer.

Cale was a seasonal ranger who died in the line of duty on June 19, 2000 while flying to the Kahiltna Basecamp to lead a mountaineering patrol on Mt. McKinley. Cale approached each work day with a strong sense of duty, with enthusiasm, and with tremendous respect for the National Park Service mission. Cale began his NPS career at Grand Canyon National Park and moved north to Denali in the spring of 1999. Hungry for a broad range of park experiences, he worked in the west, east, and south districts of Denali – as a protection ranger, an EMT, and finally as a mountaineering ranger. It is not an exaggeration to say that Cale inspired every co-worker and volunteer around him, as well as his supervisors, to be better rangers and better citizens. His influence and inspiration continues through those former co-workers to every region in the National Park Service.

In naming the Shaffer Building, a move approved by NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis, the Denali management team acknowledges the tremendous importance of the seasonal workforce, while also advancing the principles of NPS Operational Leadership by instilling a greater awareness of the daily risks faced by current and future employees. Most importantly, Denali National Park honors an outstanding and inspirational employee, and aims to affirm with current and future employees the same sense of duty and public service that was exhibited and embodied by Ranger Shaffer.

The 6,657-square-foot Shaffer Building is now home to the park’s Visitor and Resource Protection and Fire Management staff. In addition to ranger and fire management offices, the facility features the NPS Alaska Region Communications Center, two conference rooms with video-conferencing capability, a weight room, and break room. The state-of-the-art Shaffer Building is a candidate for LEED Gold Certification, with sustainable design features such as solar and wind-generated energy systems, natural lighting, energy-efficient fixtures and appliances, a mechanical system using cool domestic water and heat exchangers, low VOC paints and adhesives, and a focus on products made of recycled and regional content throughout the building.


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