Meet Your Neighbor: Jacqui Zink | SierraSun.com

Meet Your Neighbor: Jacqui Zink

Joanna HartmanSierra Sun

Emma Garrard/Sierra SunJacqui Zink

How long have you been in the area?22 years.From where last?Yellowstone.Were you a ranger there, too?Yes. I came to work for Northstar in the winter and I never left.So whats your current title?Park ranger for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. [Martis Valley]So do you ski or snowboard?Ski. Do you still get to go out a lot?Yes, I have winters off, so that allows me to fit in a lot of winter recreation, but not much summer recreation.What are your summers like?Watching other people camp [laughs]. I work April to December a lot. Then I have the rest of the year off to ski and travel. Summer is just very intense. Theres a lot more than just doing the park ranger and campground thing. Theres also the natural resource management for the entire valley.Its hard to explain that job. My job description is three pages long. There are so many things to manage part of natural resource management is coming up with trails projects and Truckee watershed projects. Thats always a big part of my year, planning those projects.How long have you been working in Martis?Ive been there six years.How long have you been a ranger?Twenty-three years, but Ive done stuff in between. I came here and worked for Northstar, dispatched for the sheriffs office, worked at Rainbow Lodge, taught skiing for seven years and then I worked for the Forest Service for 10 years.Do you get a lot of campers in Martis?Its a 25-site campground and its full nearly every weekend. We have lots of regulars people love Martis once they come here, its kind of a hidden secret. Its just a centralized location so people can basically do anything they want in the Tahoe area. I get a lot of Northstar cyclists, too. Tell me about your dogs.I had four for a long time, but I narrowed down to two I have a little chow, shes nine, and a lab mix, shes eight. Theyre starting to mellow out; lifes getting easier with two older dogs than four younger ones.Do you have any family in the area?My moms in Reno, shes 86.What else are you interested in?Hiking, skiing and camping, those are my things. Taking pictures, too. I do a lot of volunteer work with the Humane Society. I also like getting involved in the community. I think its really important for people to get involved and that people can make a difference.Do you see a lot of wildlife for your job?No. you know, the east side of the Sierra doesnt have a lot of watchable wildlife, say, compared to Yellowstone. But we have deer, coyote and bears. Theres the hidden wildlife, you know the cats are out there, but they never see them. Our best wildlife at Martis, I think, is birds.Tell us a fun fact.I got to help trap grizzly bears in Yellowstone relocating bears that had gotten too close to the occupied areas.Whats your favorite thing about Martis?The Weekly called it close in, but obscure once. I like that description. Its a beautiful, pristine area. It gives people a great place to go and see nature right next to their homes. … The locals get really involved and take a lot of ownership for Martis. And Ive met a lot of great people working there, become more involved in the community and made a lot of friends. Its a really special place for the Truckee-North Tahoe community.The Sierra Suns Joanna Hartman interviewed Zink for this weeks Meet Your Neighbor. Please send suggestions for Meet Your Neighbor to jhartman@sierrasun.com.