92-Year-Old Betty Reid Soskin, Country’s Oldest Full-Time Park Ranger, Upset About Being Furloughed Due To Government Shutdown


A California woman, who is the nation’s oldest full-time park ranger is upset that she’s not working at her job due to the government shutdown.

"At this stage of my career, I have a sense of urgency," Betty Reid Soskin told NBC Bay Area. "This is my last decade, and I can't afford to have anyone waste my time."

Prior to becoming one of the furloughed federal workers, Soskin spent three days a week providing tours at the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, Calif., and two days a week at park administrative offices. She reportedly was up in a cherry picker, checking out the peeling bark of a giant eucalyptus, during her birthday week in September.

"At 92, I am very sensitive to the passage of time,” Soskin said, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “We learned about the furlough gradually. When it came at midnight (on) October 1, it seemed like a major interruption in my life because I don't have time and these young folks were wasting my time, precious time."

NBC Bay Area also reports that Soskin is bothered about is the possible postponement of an event planned for Saturday, when the Richmond center is supposed to be part of the annual Chamber of Commerce Home Front Festival.

Soskin "is an icon to the National Park Service," Rep. George Miller, a Democrat from Richmond, said in a statement. "She’s a historian, a spokeswoman, a role model, a teacher, and an embodiment of the spirit of Rosie the Riveter. Only something as wrongheaded and misguided as this government shutdown could keep her off the job.”

The park service reportedly confirmed that at 92, Soskin is the country's oldest full-time ranger. A 93-year-old ranger at Glacier National Park in Kintla Lake, Mont., is a seasonal employee.

Sources: NBC Bay Area, Minneapolis Star Tribune


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