GALVESTON, Texas (Nov. 1, 2016) – While mobilized to Lufkin, Texas, as a wildland firefighter to support recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, David Mackintosh took notice of tireless work of those assigned to the Operation Blue Roof Program managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Inspired by the efficiency, hard work and character of the USACE staff, Mackintosh redirected his energy and set out to begin a career as a park ranger for the USACE.
“I took note that the people who worked for the Corps genuinely cared for the community and what they were doing to provide relief,” said Mackintosh. “This dedication to their mission helped shape my decision to become part of this team.”
For months, Mackintosh worked alongside the USACE Emergency Management Division staff and had the opportunity to learn the different aspects of what it meant to be a USACE park ranger. Upon completion of his mobilization, he immediately applied for a position at the Fort Worth District and was selected through the Department of the Army Intern Program.
Seven years later, he is a natural resource specialist (park ranger) for the USACE Galveston District, operating at the Addicks and Barker dams where he performs a variety of assignments involving all aspects of project operations including natural resources, recreation and dam safety.
According to Mackintosh, he coordinates short-range planning and execution of all activities related to recreation and park administration, shoreline management and stabilization, forestry, fisheries and wildlife as well as pest control, soil conservation, historic property management and protection, visitor assistance and community outreach.
“What I enjoy most about my role at the Corps is being able to carry out the diverse missions of an operating project,” said Mackintosh. “We recently partnered with Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Wardens and Lone Star Warrior Outdoors to host an alligator and feral hog hunt for combat-injured veterans at the Wallisville Lake Project.
The Wallisville Lake Project is a 23,000-acre natural retreat located along the outskirts of the nation’s fourth largest city, the City of Houston. The project not only provides recreational opportunities for visitors to connect with the outdoors, it serves an important watershed function. Over the last few decades, the alligator and feral hog populations have rapidly expanded within the Wallisville Lake Project and damages caused by feral hogs remains a growing problem in Texas.
“I love being a park ranger and especially find it rewarding when I am able to connect with the community, and serve those who have served our country,” said Mackintosh. “The event was a huge success and we look forward to partnering with other agencies to offer this opportunity to our combat veterans on our federally-managed property.”
Mackintosh earned his Bachelor of Science in Forestry from Stephen F. Austin State University. When he is not busy helping in the efforts of conservation, preservation, restoration and use of project natural resources for USACE, you can find him hunting, fishing or spending time with his family.