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Environmental Conservation Officer



Keep forests and parks safe from vandals.

What does an Environmental Conservation Officer do?

Environmental Conservation Officers are Law Enforcement Officers who are paid to protect the planet. Employed by local, state, and federal environmental protection agencies, they enforce laws in the great outdoors for the purpose of conserving nature and natural resources.

As an Environmental Conservation Officer, you spend your days patrolling forest preserves, parks, wetlands, and wildlife preserves in the same way that other Law Enforcement Officers patrol the streets. That’s why you were known once upon a time as a . Instead of crimes like theft, assault, and murder, however, you’re looking for people who violate laws related to camping, boating, fishing, hunting, and other outdoor recreation.

That’s not to say you’re soft on crime. You’re not. If there’s a domestic disturbance at a park, you resolve it. If there’s theft at a campsite, you prosecute it. And if there’s drug trafficking in the woods, you stop it.

Your number one priority as an Environmental Conservation Officer, however, is stewardship of the land and safety of the people who use it. More often than punishing manslaughter and burglary, therefore, you spend your days checking fishing and hunting licenses, performing safety inspections on boats and other recreational vehicles, and enforcing rules related to things such as noise, waste disposal, and campfires.

Perhaps your most important duties, however, are emergency response and education. If there’s a sick or wounded animal in a park, you save it. If there’s a lost camper or an injured hiker in the woods, you direct search-and-rescue efforts. And if there’s a school group or Hunter ‘s club visiting a state park, you meet with it to promote environmental conservation.

Essentially, you’re a Forest Ranger who specializes in conservation. Part Law Enforcement Officer, part Environmental Education Specialist, you’re Mother Nature’s Bodyguard!

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