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How to Become a Park Ranger

Park rangers are often said to be the keepers of our nation’s natural resources and protected public lands. Their mission it is to preserve and protect our nation’s local, state and national parks for public use and enjoyment today, and for many years to come. Park rangers are there to educate the public, enforce the law, as well as to implement and support conservation efforts so future generations can enjoy these ecologically and historically significant sites.

Those interested in learning how to become a park ranger should begin by determining if they would like to serve in a municipal, state or national park, and whether they would be better suited for working in law enforcement and protection, or interpretation and visitor services.

The Wyoming State Park Ranger Law Enforcement Program provides for protection of park resources; public safety, protection of visitor experiences; and provide for safe, secure and orderly state parks, historic sites and trails. The SPHST system employs community oriented based policing. These practices focus on principles such as partnerships, problem-solving, area-wide responsibilities, proactive education and influence, fundamental interpretation and enforcement of rules and regulations, adaptability, and flexibility, which promotes safety, security, order, and voluntary compliance.

Wyoming State Parks follow the Ranger First philosophy. The Ranger First philosophy is a mindset and proactive orientation, based on Community Oriented Policing, that values problem solving, visibility, influence and education, informal relationships, networking within local communities, local decision making, local accountability, planning, transparency, and fundamental interpretation and enforcement to achieve safe, secure, and orderly State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails and voluntary compliance with Park Rules and Regulations and other laws. SPHST uses the Ranger First style of management in parks policy and the principles of community oriented based policing and commonly accepted principles which govern Park Ranger Enforcement activities shall be known as Ranger First.

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Interviews in January. Job offers in February.

Contact our recruiting team for more information:

Lieutenant Craig Howell
(307) 331-2835
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SPHST Park Rangers serve as role models for building collaborative relationships to implement Ranger First and they use their position to influence and educate others about acceptable behavior. Park Rangers must take this leadership role and therefore, must constantly emphasize and reinforce Ranger First vision, values, and mission and support and articulate a commitment to community policing as the dominant way to manage the facility. Park Rangers must use their leadership to educate and influence staff, park guests and the local community about proper behavior in their area and to create a culture of voluntary compliance. Public respect is essential to Ranger First and to this end the Park Ranger must render impartial dealings by being consistent, open, and fair with all visitors. 

Wyoming Park Ranger Responsibilities

  • Serve in a natural resources law enforcement capacity.
  • Candidates must be available to work nights, weekends, holidays, and variable shifts.
  • Provides information and directions to the public.
  • Be a productive team member in the Wyoming State Park Ranger program.
  • Investigates and resolves visitor complaints.
  • Ensures public safety, protection of natural resources, and the enjoyment of parks, historic sites and trails.
  • Explains and/or enforces applicable rules and regulations to park visitors. 
  • Patrols front and backcountry areas by foot, vehicle, boat, horse, and mountain bike as needed.
  • Issues warnings and citations to violators make arrest, reports offenses/incidents to collect evidence, statements, and other relevant information as needed.
  • Participates in interpretive educational and public outreach programs as needed.

We are looking for a candidate that will: 

  • Have basic knowledge of the Ranger First Philosophy.
  • Show basic knowledge of recreational activities of the park user including boating, fishing, hiking, camping, mountain biking, horseback riding, nature study, etc.
  • Have an appreciation for the outdoors.
  • Work independently with limited supervision.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both verbally and in writing.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of area ecosystems and local and state history.
  • Be able to make immediate, important, and critical decisions related to enforcement and emergency situations.
  • Have basic swimming abilities.
  • Understanding of Natural Resources Management, Park and Visitor Services Management.


  • Completed an accredited law enforcement police academy.
  • 2 year or 4 year degree in natural resource management, wildlife biology, park management, forestry, ecology or related field preferred. 
  • Six (6) months experience in natural resource management, parks, law enforcement, or a directly related field preferred.
  • High School diploma or GED required.
  • College courses in Natural Resources management, Park and Visitor Services management, General Ecology and Biology, Wildlife Biology, or a related field preferred.
  • Possession of a valid Driver's License by starting date required.
  • Must obtain CPR and First Aid certification within three (3) months of hire date.
  • Must successfully complete training program(s) that are necessary to perform the essential functions of the position.

Other Information

An offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a full background check. As marijuana is an illegal substance under federal law and use of marijuana will disqualify any candidates applying for this position.



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