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Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Loses Two Staff to Plane Crash


Glen Canyon Chief Ranger Brent McGinn and Dangling Rope District Ranger Laurie Axelsen. NPS photo

Two rangers from Glen Canyon National Recreation Area have been killed in a plane crash, Park Service officials said.

NRA officials said that early Saturday morning Glen Canyon National Recreation Area dispatch center received word that a private plane, piloted by Dangling Rope District Law Enforcement Ranger Laurie Axelsen, was overdue and missing. One passenger, Glen Canyon’s Chief Law Enforcement Ranger, Brent McGinn, was also on board.

Approximately three hours later, searchers discovered the wreckage of the Cessna in the Dixie National Forest. A ground team confirmed that both individuals were deceased. They had been on a scouting trip for an upcoming elk hunt, NRA officials said.

In addition to county and local resources, National Park Service staff from Grand Canyon National Park is assisting Glen Canyon NRA with this incident. The cause of the crash is unknown at this time. The investigation was continuing.


Please send info - Laurie was in my and my wife's wedding. We lost touch over the years but would like to send condolences appropriately.

Laurie loved being a Ranger, and by all accounts that I was aware of was good at. It doesn't take much to search and see her name come up helping people and educating rather than just cuffing people.

We rock climbed in college in eastern Oregon, we dove in the Washington narrows, and she came out east to go skiing with us. In all things that we did, she was a great human being.

I remember as she did training that she was breaking into the ranks of men, she recounted a story of advance tactics training where the instructor called out "Nuts to butts" meaning close ranks so you don't get shot. The trainer tried to apologize but Laurie didn't care, she was doing what she loved, and she had the guts (and if you forgive me the balls) to do it well.

This is how I remember Laurie - Rest in peace my lost friend.

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The actual AP story says "National Park Service law enforcement officers [have died]". The NPS has changed for much that the news does not even recognize them as rangers any more. Just cops.

Hey Anonymous,
Save the generalist-tree-hugger-Ranger friendly lament for some other time. Friends were lost. Let's remember them, and not worry about the BS.

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