RANGER LEM

 

Beginning with his days as a ranger for the US National Park Service, Lem has provided authentic Cowboy and Western Swing music to audiences of all ages.  

Lem worked as a Ranger at Mount Rainier National Park located in Washington State and later transferred to Bryce Canyon National Park in Southern Utah.  It was at Bryce Canyon that Lem started his experience as a Backcountry Ranger patrolling the canyons and plateaus of the wilderness, which honed him for later positions at Zion and Grand Canyon National Parks.

He then transferred to Zion National Park where he supervised the 40,000 acres of the Kolob Canyons backcountry.  During this time Lem spent 14 to 20 mile days on horseback.  With his horse Red, dubbed the "Mountain Cayuse" by the rangers, Lem fought wildfires, poachers, rounded up stray cattle, mended fence lines, conducted rescues and wrote music.  In 2009, during the 100th anniversary of the park, Lem was noted as the last mounted ranger of Zion National Park.

Lem filmed a commercial at the Grand Canyon for SL Ranch Publication.  It was an experience he will never forget!  "We spent three days filming the commercial just outside of the park along the south rim.  The camera crew was great, and patient.  It was long hours of singing the same songs over and over while different camera angles were shot.  One morning we had to be up at 4:00 am to get a shot with a herd of elk in the background, while I rode my horse across the scenery.  They even had me petting a pet buffalo.  I'm ever thankful for the opportunity.  Not many people get a chance to do something like this."

If Lem wasn't rangering then he was either singing or punching cattle.  "The hardest and most rewarding job I ever did was working cows.  The challenges of working in all kinds of weather, finding strays and keeping in-time with your horse, that from time-to-time you were sure that the devil himself had made, along with the peacefulness and beauty is beyond compare."  Lem worked the Binkerhoff Ranch out of Tropic Utah from 1989 to 1992.  Part of his ranger duties were to assist on historic cattle drives through Bryce Canyon National Park. 

 

In 1992 he helped out Rancher John Sims in Cedar City, Utah and the Cedar City Long Horn Cattle Company on their annual drives until his move to Grand Canyon, Arizona in 1996.