In the Gallery: LA Urban Ranger Station and Malibu Beach Guides

We want people to have a nice day at the beach and avoid conflict with homeowners. Broad Beach has a long history of confrontation with nonresidents over beach access and we try to explain that, in the end, we’re trying to educate the public so that their property is safe from unintentional trespassing.” 1

Los Angeles is such a crazy quilt when it comes to land ownership that it is well nigh impossible to explore without stepping, unwittingly, into trespass territory. In a city that has historically privileged private ownership the situation is further complicated by often-unchecked, fiercely protected private encroachments on to public land.

Guiding citizens into this land use minefield, the Los Angeles Urban Rangers – a group of artists, historians, geographers, and a former park ranger who first convened in 2004 – adopt the personae of park rangers. With guided hikes, campfire talks, maps and cheerful civility, the Rangers offer information and tools that they hope will spark further creative explorations of city ecologies.

… an irate occupant of a home several yards away from the group came out to his deck and started shouting at the group…the homeowner chastised the group for being a public nuisance. “You’re not educating, you’re agitating!” the man yelled. 2

Visit the LA Urban Rangers website

Read about the LA Urban Rangers in LEGACY

1: Testing Public Sands, The Malibu Times, Melonie Magruder, 2008. 2: ibid.