Job Code Pay Scale Group Pay Scale Type Bargaining Unit Civil Service or Non-Civil Service Last Executive Board Change Executive Board Change History
74750 29 RG R4 C 811-11 08/01/2023
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JOB CODE: 74750

SERIES NATURE OF WORK: The DCNR Ranger job series describes work providing informational and law enforcement services to the public in state parks and state forests for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).

DEFINITION: This is technical work performing customer service, visitor safety, and law enforcement duties in state parks and state forests.

An employee in this job provides recreational, conservation, educational, visitor safety, law enforcement, and rescue services in state parks and state forests. Work involves providing program and facility information to visitors, developing and delivering formal presentations for public groups, and promoting compliance with rules and regulations to ensure public safety. Work includes conducting grounds patrols; responding to fire, accident, and medical emergencies; enforcing laws, regulations, policies, and procedures; organizing and conducting search and rescue operations; and investigating visitor complaints, accidents, and suspected crimes. Work also includes issuing citations; making arrests as warranted by law; filing charges with the appropriate court system and representing the commonwealth at court hearings; and assisting local and state police, commissions, and other law enforcement agencies with enforcement actions. Work is assigned in the form of oral or written instructions and is reviewed upon completion for adherence to standards, completeness and quality by a supervisor or manager.

EXAMPLES OF WORK: (NOTE: The examples of work are representative of the work, but every position classified to this job may not perform all examples of work listed. Conversely, this is not an all-inclusive list of work examples.)

• Provides information to visitors regarding state park and state forest resources, facilities, recreational activities, history, and environmental features.

• Develops and delivers presentations to school groups, civic groups, sporting associations, and other special interest groups.

• Explains and enforces state park and state forest laws, regulations, policies, and procedures to promote visitor safety and conservation.

• Patrols state park and state forest lands on foot or by utilizing bicycles, motorized and non-motorized vehicles, or watercraft to enforce laws and promote compliance and safety according to Bureau of State Parks and Bureau of Forestry rules and regulations.

• Investigates complaints, accidents, and suspected crimes, and determines the appropriate course of action.

• Makes arrests, issues citations, and files complaints and charges as warranted by law.

• Presents cases and provides testimony in the commonwealth court system, either independently at the magisterial level or in conjunction with a commonwealth attorney in a higher-level court.

• Coordinates with local and state police, other state agencies, and other law enforcement agencies with law enforcement actions related to their respective crime codes or jurisdiction.

• Ensures public safety during emergency situations by initiating and conducting water rescue efforts, administering first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to injured persons, and coordinating outside responder assistance for accidents and other medical emergencies.

• Organizes and conducts search and rescue operations by assessing needed resources, conducting investigations, providing the search team with information, and determining if additional search assistance is needed.

• Coordinates firefighter response calls and participates in fire prevention and suppression activities on state park and state forest lands.

• Prepares correspondence, reports, and incident and criminal complaint forms.

• Travels to and between state parks and state forest lands to patrol the grounds, monitor activities, and conduct investigations.

• Operates motor vehicles and non-motorized equipment, including all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, motorcycles, and watercraft.

• Performs related work as required.


• Knowledge of the practices and principles of outdoor recreation.

• Knowledge of natural resource management, ecology, and conservation.

• Knowledge of first aid methods and techniques including artificial respiration and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

• Knowledge of the principles and practices of law enforcement.

• Knowledge of methods used to organize and conduct search and rescue operations.

• Ability to safely handle offensive and defensive weapons.

• Ability to read and interpret statutes, codes, regulations, policies, and procedures.

• Ability to operate motor vehicles.

• Ability to communicate effectively orally.

• Ability to communicate effectively in writing.

• Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships.

MINIMUM EXPERIENCE AND TRAINING: (NOTE: Based on the Entry Level Knowledges, Skills, and Abilities)

• Successful completion of the DCNR Ranger Trainee (commonwealth title) program;


• Completion of a department approved law enforcement training program and 15 college credits in natural or environmental sciences, natural resource management, park management, parks or outdoor recreation, forestry, environmental education, ecology, wildlife management, or in a closely related field;


• One year of experience as a forest or park ranger at a park or recreational facility which includes the authority to exercise the powers of arrest.


• Must be at least 21 years of age at time of employment.

• All positions require possession of an active motor vehicle license.

• All employees must obtain commission as a State Park or State Forest Officer and maintain this commission for the duration of employment in this job.

• All employees must obtain valid certification in standard first aid and adult, child, and infant CPR approved by the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, or equivalent during the probationary period.

• All employees must pass psychological testing (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). Failure to pass this test is a basis for removal from the position.

• All employees must pass Pennsylvania State Police and FBI Criminal Background Checks. A record of conviction of a criminal offense for which more than one year in prison can be imposed as punishment is a basis for removal from the position.

• Certain positions in this job require completion of water rescue training to ensure visitor safety in park and forest natural water environments.

• Certain positions in this job require possession of an active Class M operator’s license.