The National Park Service has launched a new program to get young people interested in the profession of park ranger.

indep hall guard5525 National Park Service Looking to Renew Ranger Ranks

(File photo)

KYW’s Hadas Kuznits spoke with Steve Clark of the National Park Service, who says that getting young people interested in being park rangers is crucial right now:

“The ‘Pro Ranger’ program was designed as the National Park Service rangers are retiring.  We’re looking to bring in students as they graduate.”

He says that as federal officers, rangers have a mandatory retirement age of 57, and over the next five or ten years a significant percentage of park rangers will be retiring.

He says that park rangers aren’t what you think they are:

“When one thinks of a ranger, typically they may think of the Smokey hat and what have you.”

He says there are two kinds of rangers:

“One is what we call the interpretation ranger.  Those are the people that do tours, provide talks, they may be at a visitor center explaining why this particular park is important.  On the other side of the coin we have what we call protection rangers.  They deal with law enforcement issues, they deal with search and rescue, emergency medical situations, as well as fire.”

And he says that a career as a park ranger can be as varied as you choose:

“Not all of us want to work at Yellowstone or Yosemite.  Certainly they’re true treasures, but the parks in these urban areas… Independence, no exception, is truly, truly a special place.”

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