Occ. Code 1506100









New York State Department of Civil Service


Classification Standard




Forest Rangers are sworn police officers, who work within an assigned geographic area, and enforce provisions of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) in order to protect and enhance the States lands and natural resources and the well-being of the public who use these resources.  Incumbents of these positions organize and conduct search and rescue operations; educate the public   in wilderness safety and natural resource care; and administer the States wildland fire-management program, including wildfire suppression and prescribed fire activities. 


These positions are only classified at the Department of Environmental Conservation in the Division of Forest Protection and Fire Management.  These positions are assigned to each of the Departments nine regions.




            FOREST RANGER 1:  entry-level; works under the supervision of a Forest Ranger 2; supervises volunteers, firefighters and other first responders during emergency incident operations.   


FOREST RANGER 2:  first-line supervisor; supervises the day-to-day activities of Forest Rangers 1; serves as a zone supervisor; assists Forest Rangers 3 in accomplishing regional goals.


            FOREST RANGER 3: manages all ranger activities within an assigned geographical area and commands a staff of Forest Rangers 1 and 2 as well as seasonal staff; ensures compliance with Department policies and procedures; represents the Division with local officials, agencies, and groups; manages funding, distributes equipment, and hires personnel.




            Environmental Conservation Officers are sworn police officers responsible for enforcing Environmental Conservation Laws, Rules and Regulations; investigating violations of such laws; and educating the public in safe hunting practices.  Within an assigned geographic area, positions in this class enforce provisions of the Environmental Conservation Law in order to protect, preserve and improve the quality of the States natural environment. 






Provides direct oversight of the care, custody, and control of DEC administered lands through interaction with the public and the enforcement of Environmental Conservation Laws, Rules, and Regulations, as well as other NYS Laws.


·                    Patrols State lands to guard against timber theft, illegal occupancy, debris dumping, illegal use of motor and recreational vehicles, illegal cultivation of illicit drugs; enforces mineral resources, wetlands, stream and water violations and all other violations of the ECL and other related laws.


·                    Patrols DEC campgrounds, responds to complaints thereon and enforces violations of the ECL, Vehicle and Traffic Law, and Penal Law.


·                    Investigates violations of the ECL and related laws, apprehends violators, questions complainants and witnesses, issues tickets, makes arrests, executes search and arrest warrants, compiles supporting depositions and presents the States case in local criminal courts.


·                    Issues camping permits and advises on the ethics of public land use and camping regulations; inspects site locations for compliance with the terms of Department-issued temporary revocable permits, taking appropriate corrective actions if necessary.


·                    Conducts inspections of State land boundaries to prevent encroachment and ensure appropriate delineation; performs field inspections to ensure that timber harvest contractors are in compliance; makes appropriate corrective recommendations or takes necessary legal action (issues tickets, makes arrests, and executes search warrants.)


·                    Promotes compliance with the ECL and individual responsibility for the protection of natural resources in all communications with the public, which includes meetings of interested parties, teaching courses on public land use ethics, and through personal contact with the public.


·                    Provides technical information for State land management plans that are developed by the Department in order to ensure proper resource protection and public safety.


·                    Operates marked patrol vehicles, ATVs, snowmobiles, rescue vehicles and other specialized equipment in the patrol of their assigned area.


Completes all mandated police officer and emergency response training.


May conduct Incident Command System (ICS) training for DEC and other agency staff to maintain proficiency in the following incident management titles such as Incident Commander, Safety Officer, Logistics Section Chief, and Finance/Administration Section Chief.


Trains local fire companies, volunteer organizations, and other State or local police agencies and emergency service organizations in search and rescue techniques.


Conducts wildfire prevention and pre-suppression programs and enforces ECL pertaining to wildland fire prevention.


·                    Educates the public and interested groups by presenting fire prevention talks and providing materials to schools, summer camps, members of the media, community interest groups, and at shows and county fairs; trains volunteer fire companies and wardens in wildfire suppression tactics.


·                    Operates specialized forest fire control equipment when responding to wildfire incidents.


·                    Inspects and participates in prescribed fire activities for fuel load reduction and ecosystem improvement; monitors the weather to calculate fire danger rating for predicting fire occurrence and severity.


Participates in wildfire suppression activities.


·                    Responds to reports of wildfires, evaluates the situation, and coordinates appropriate suppression efforts with paid and volunteer fire department personnel according to Department procedures and policies.


·                    Assists in the suppression of large wildfires in member states of the Northeastern Forest Fire Protection Commission and throughout the United States, in accordance with federal agreements.


·                    Prepares and submits fire reports and processes vouchers for equipment, food, and payroll.


Organizes, directs and executes emergency search and rescue operations.


·                    Organizes and directs searches for lost persons and civilian aircraft in wild and remote areas of the State; conducts rescue operations for persons injured or in serious danger of injury; applies emergency medical techniques and participates in the evacuation of those injured.


·                    Acts as crew leader while directing volunteer and Department search teams on large search incidents.


·                    Assists police agencies in searches for escaped fugitives and the collection of evidence.


·                    Prepares and submits search and rescue incident reports and processes any associated bills for payment.


·                    As directed, provides assistance during State or Department-declared emergencies in accordance with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) standards.




In addition to the above listed duties of Forest Ranger 1, Forest Rangers 2 are also responsible for supervising the day-to-day activities of Forest Rangers 1.


·        Accompanies Forest Rangers 1 on duty as necessary, provides training on methods and techniques of the job; explains applicable laws, rules and regulations; reviews all reports prepared by staff to ensure they are correct and sufficient; evaluates work performance and counsels Forest Rangers 1.


·                 Prepares work schedules and authorizes overtime to ensure compliance with negotiated collective bargaining unit agreements, State and federal regulations, and Department policies, procedures and practices.


·                 Ensures adequate staffing and resources are available to meet anticipated needs for emergency situations and for the protection of State-administered lands, and the people who use these lands.


·                 Assists Forest Rangers 3 in the development and implementation of regional work plans.


·                 Monitors and schedules training for lower-level staff; supervises field training activities in fire, search and rescue techniques and enforcement of laws.




In addition to the above listed duties of Forest Ranger 2, Forest Rangers 3 are also typically responsible for managing and supervising all ranger activities within a large regional area.


·                    Develops regional program plans and directs its implementation to ensure that Division goals are met.


·                    Assists in the development of Division policy and ensures correct interpretation and execution among employees and volunteers. 


·                    Monitors and approves time and activity records; approves expenditures for supplies, equipment, travel and contractual services for assigned region.


·                    Collaborates with Regional Directors and promotes cooperation among DECs program areas and regional offices; coordinates with other State agencies, local police forces and emergency services.


·                    Deploys staff and resources on an emergency basis during State-declared or Division-directed emergencies; assists Department executives with the management of environmental emergencies.


·                    Identifies disciplinary issues and directs appropriate counseling efforts; resolves grievances according to Division policies and in conjunction with DECs Office of Employee Relations staff.  


·                    At the direction of the Division Director, investigates complaints against personnel by interviewing witnesses, collecting evidence, and preparing reports for executive review.   


·                    Oversees the hiring and supervision of both permanent and seasonal employees.


·                    May develop and implement basic training for new recruits, ensure that all Division staff complete annual in-service training in accordance with the Division of Criminal Justice Services requirements, and maintain all records.


·                    May be assigned to Central Office to oversee a specific Statewide area of programmatic responsibility.




Forest Rangers 1 operate independently in the field by planning, scheduling and performing their daily tasks and are expected to be available during off-hours for emergency response.  Their official work locations are their home residences and, on average, patrol approximately 500 square miles, which includes approximately 42,000 acres of State land.  


Forest Rangers 2 also work from their homes, but their responsibility covers a greater area than that of Forest Rangers 1.  They exercise a high degree of independence in directing, instructing and supervising Forest Rangers 1 assigned to their zone. 






Open Competitive:  a Bachelors Degree, including or supplemented by 30 semester credit hours in environmental/life science OR an Associate's Degree in forestry or a related degree AND either two years of qualifying technical/professional work experience or active military service.




Promotion:  one year of permanent competitive service as a Forest Ranger 1.




Promotion:  one year of permanent competitive service as a Forest Ranger 2.



Date:  7/09




NOTE:  Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe.  Standards cannot and do not include all of the work that might be appropriately performed by a class.  The minimum qualifications above are those which were required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written.  Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum qualification requirements for appointment or examination.