Career as a Forest Range Officer


Summary

Forest Range Officers are responsible for the forests, environment and wildlife-related issues of a forest range. Forest range officer works in the management and protection of public lands in state or federal forests and grasslands. Firefighting is their primary responsibility -- and they have the final say when it comes to wildfires. They're responsible for enforcing laws on forest preservation regarding timber theft, water quality, litter, and open burning. Forest rangers also liaise with the general public during educational or recreational visits.

A Forest Ranger's duties include helping conquer forest fires, educating the public about forest safety, controlling wild animals, patrolling the area, and maintaining the environment. Forest rangers are responsible for protecting and conserving natural resources, particularly in forests and rangelands.

Forest Rangers are often the first responders to natural or manmade threats to forest areas and rangelands. They help combat forest fires and perform search and rescue missions. They may also work to prevent harm by patrolling forest areas on foot or in vehicles, snowmobiles and ATVs. Additional duties may also include ensuring that individuals are in compliance with state laws in regards to hunting, fishing and camping; they also enforce those state laws.

Another aspect of a forest ranger's job involves educating the public. Rangers may be called upon to speak with groups of adults and kids to teach them how to enjoy the forest without harming it or themselves. They may also speak in schools or with specific youth groups.

Work Environment

Forest Rangers work in state and national parks across the country. The largest areas of national forests are in the western United States, beginning with the Rocky Mountains. They may spend some of their time working at field and experiment stations. They often work outside in all kinds of weather, and sometimes in isolation. Depending on the position, rangers may or may not interact with the public on a daily basis.

Rangers are expected to handle hazardous situations such as fires. They may be exposed to chemical pesticides while battling forest pests, or use power equipment such as chain saws. They also participate in search and rescue missions. Wearing appropriate protective gear and following established safety protocols is very important for these workers. Most are employed full time and work regular business hours. However, seasonal positions or fire response may require extended hours, including nights and weekends.

Entry Level Education

  • Bachelor’s Degree Agriculture, Natural Sciences, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Geology, Mechanical Engineering, Pure Mathematics or Statistic.
  • The selection of candidates in to the post of Forest Officer is carried out through written examination. In order to attend the exam one must possess certain physical qualifications also.

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