David Hernandez | River Rover Volunteer

August 29, 2008 10:33:19 PM PDT
Many people will spend time on or near the water during this long holiday weekend.David Hernandez loves the great outdoors. And the outdoors doesn't get much greater than Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

David Hernandez says "If you love the outdoors ... this is the place to be."

David's appreciation for the parks and people serves him well as a volunteer River Rover for the National Park Service. He patrols the waterways stopping to warn people about the dangers of the fast and frigid river.

David says "Gonna cool off a little bit?" ... "Yes" ... "Alright, water is pretty cool ... slippery, the rocks, because of the moss on it, but you should be okay. Have a good time ... careful!"

One and a half million people visit Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks every year. The river is the number one hazard to park visitors.

David says " We have category five currents out here ... you know, rapids. They don't see it ... the undertoes. They come out here in little rafts ... and the water in the springtime is 30 to 40 degrees."

David also reminds visitors ... this is the backyard of bears, rattlesnakes and other wildlife.

Tim Barrett says "I'm convinced the work of Dave Hernandez and the other River Rover volunteers has saved lives here and prevented serious accidents."

Ranger Tim Barrett considers David Hernandez ... a park ambassador and a walking information desk.

David says "These are mortar holes."

"What are they?"

"Mortar holes from native Americans. They used to grind their acorns and stuff and make their mash and meal."

After educating people about the history and hazards of the national park David still finds time to make it look even better.

David says "This belongs to all of us. We just wanna keep it safe and clean."

Protecting people ... And the foothills and forest ... David Hernandez ... The action news person of the week.

David volunteers at the national park when he's not working a Fresno truck dealership.

He also patrols the parks' snowplay areas in the winter.

River Rover Volunteer Program
(559) 565-4112


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