The Ranger Margaret Anderson Fund: Remembering a Fallen Hero

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On New Year’s Day 2012, Mount Rainer National Park Ranger Mar­garet Ander­son was fatally shot in the line of duty while respond­ing to a motorist who ille­gally bypassed a snow chain check­point. 1Her killer, a men­tally unsta­ble young man named Ben­jamin Colton Barnes, fled to the park after wound­ing four peo­ple at a New Year’s Eve party in Seattle’s Sky­way neigh­bor­hood. He was car­ry­ing a small arse­nal in his vehi­cle when he encoun­tered Ander­son and opened fire on her patrol rig; author­i­ties later dis­cov­ered sev­eral firearms and a small stock­pile of ammunition.

Despite the tragic out­come, Anderson’s inter­fer­ence pre­vented Barnes from gain­ing access to the more pop­u­lated areas of the park, which at the time was teem­ing with hol­i­day vis­i­tors; the gun­man instead fled his vehi­cle, took refuge in the frigid wilder­ness and even­tu­ally suc­cumbed to the ele­ments with­out caus­ing bod­ily harm to any­one else. “I’m pos­i­tive she saved my life,” Mount Rainier vis­i­tor Jeremy Best told The Tacoma News-Tribune in the wake of the shoot­ing, and numer­ous law enforce­ment offi­cials have com­mended Ander­son for her brave actions.

Mar­garet Ander­son left behind a hus­band and two young daugh­ters. In honor of the fallen ranger, the National Park Ser­vice cre­ated the Ranger Mar­garet Ander­son Fund; all pro­ceeds go directly to her fam­ily. Dona­tion checks should be made out to the Mar­garet Ander­son Dona­tion Account and mailed to the fol­low­ing address:

Key Bank
Attn: The Mar­garet Ander­son Dona­tion Account
PO Box 159
Eatonville, WA 98328