The forest ranger is in the park to help keep the animals residing there safe. Rangers stand on guard against out-of-season hunting and animal poaching.
Monitoring plants, soil erosion, water quality and much more are the responsibility of the forest ranger. The forest ranger monitors the condition of plant life in the areas in which it is supposed to thrive, and keeps on the lookout for invasive species. If there is too much man-made erosion in an area, the forest ranger may block off that area to allow the land time to recover. In parks that have water pumps for human consumption, rangers regularly test the water for harmful bacteria.
Fire is one of the biggest challenges that forest rangers face. They are responsible for warning the surrounding land owners of blazes. Rangers also work in concert with fire fighters to battle blazes; for example, they oversee controlled burnings to ensure they do not get out of hand.
As much as humans encroach upon the habitats of animals, humans need protection from the animals as well, which is part of a forest ranger's responsibility. Forest rangers monitor trails when dangerous animals have been sighted, including but not limited to bears, mountain lions, wolves or rabid animals.
The minimum educational needs for a forest ranger is a four-year degree in forestry, biology, environmental science or a similar field. The forest ranger must be very knowledgeable about the environment to avoid any mishaps that may occur.
Article Written By Heather Broeker
Originally from North Carolina, Heather Broeker studied journalism and advertising at the University of North Carolina. After graduation she moved to Los Angeles, where she worked for Fox Searchlight, Fox Reality and later as a writer and marketing director. Broeker now lives in Los Angeles and runs Head Over Heels, a writing and public relations company.