A forest ranger is responsible for the care and conservation of designated wild areas and parks that are held both nationally and locally. A forest ranger oversees various aspects of these wild areas and parks including managing the plants, trees, animals and even the development and use of the lands contained in parks and reserves. This responsibility may include historical sites or campgrounds that are located within the park that are managed by a federal or state government.
Forest rangers play a large part in the management of fire control within parks or designated wilderness reserves as well as working to educate the public about fire prevention in the outdoors. Many forest rangers also provide educational services to groups touring the areas or they may be involved in research projects that are relevant to the flora or fauna of the particular forest or reserve where they work. Often the forest ranger acts as a guide or information to visitors and tourists about the areas of interest in and around their park.
Forest rangers also have a responsibility to enforce local or national laws, regulations and restrictions as they apply to wildlife and wildlife conservation. They may complete safety inspections on campsites, investigate complaints, participate in search and rescue activities as well as responding to accidents or emergencies that happen within the park or wildlife reserve.
Common work activites include:
- Working in a variety of settings from high in the mountains to deserts and even on water. The forest ranger will provide information and tours in these areas as requested.
- Responding to emergencies calls including missing or lost people, accidents on by boats or other vehicles in the park.
- Presenting information to schools, groups and businesses about the forestry service and the conservation of wildlife and parks. This may include going to the school or agency or having groups travel to the park.
- Enforcing all the laws and regulations within the park from noise violations through to more serious complaints. The forest rangers are assigned to various areas of the park and are responsible for the management of that area.
- Keeping the roads and campgrounds in the area clean and safe for visitors. They may be required to maintain and care for the forestry cabins or lookout towers in the areas that they are assigned to.
- Working almost exclusively outdoors in during all seasons.
- Monitoring and watching for any signs of fires with the park or surrounding areas. They act as first responders to forest fires as well as assist fire services in any capacity required.