The ‘Thin Green Line’ Could Use Some Help

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Wildlife enforcement in California. Photo courtesy California Fish and Wildlife.

Crime is increasing in our parks, wilderness areas and forestlands, but the number of law enforcement personnel available to protect them is actually decreasing. Whether they track poachers or hunt down drug smugglers and terrorists, the ranks of game wardens and other personnel are underfunded--and understaffed.
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8 thoughts on “The ‘Thin Green Line’ Could Use Some Help

  1. One correction, there are no armed US Army Corps of Engineers rangers. Congress has denied the authority to protect themselves and the public since the program began in the 1970’s. In a recent review (within the last 5 years) by USACE headquarters it was determined that they would not try to change this. Self-Defense training is patchwork and minimal.

  2. Thank you for bringing this issue to the forefront. All of our Green Line Officers, Wardens,etc. Should absolutely be armed for their protection, our protection and the wildlife and lands the are there to protect. Our new in-coming administration and Congress need to make this a priority which goes along with their moto “Keeping America Safe”

    • Definitely AGREED. If one is doing Nothing wrong, then there is NOTHING to hide from the law-enforcement, and should have NO fear of them.–

  3. Train and hire me. I live in bonney lake Washington. I love the outdoors and would love to help to protect it. I’m a very quick learner and very motivated person. Thanks, andrew

  4. I am aware that the Parks and Wildlife now require a 4 yr scholarship from a college, in order to become a game’warden, etc. If for urgent help, and proper screening, couldn’t we hire some that are known to be trusted, and Honest, through years of just an officer knowing a person, and referring one for the job.–We do need more help, if for nothing more, but to help protect the ones of you that area already officers, game’wardens, park rangers, etc. of some type, through our government. Protection to you, that are trying to protect us, and up’hold the law, should be a definite priority to everyone. An officer knowing of another to be credible and qualified for the jobs, is much more trusting than the poly’graph test….which is not worth the time of the one giving it.–

  5. Many state and municipal park rangers are not armed either, like here in Minnesota. I was a county and state park ranger for 26 years. The county required us to carry pepper spray, but only the Chief was a sworn police officer and carried a firearm. It was only after a parks worker was killed in a contact station robbery and some rangers were assaulted on duty that the state finally relented and allowed us to carry small canisters of capsicum spray. (There was a “park shotgun” that the managers–only–were trained to use to dispatch problem wildlife, but it only was ever used for certification every two years. ) Of the four uniformed employees, I was the only one who actually carried the spray, and I actually got a verbal reprimand for doing so on one occasion. Before the spray was issued, all we had was a state parks radio and a cell phone to call for help. Finally, the Enforcement Division intervened and got us permission to be on the county sheriff’s radio in case of emergency. I am glad I retired when I did, because I was talking with a former coworker, and it doesn’t sound like it is going to get any better anytime soon.

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