In 1968, the National Park Service adopted the new Department of the Interior seal for its badges, with gold for superintendents and silver for all other uniformed personnel. Both carried the “National Park Ranger” designation. Secretary Walter J. Hickel restored the bison to the Interior seal in 1969 and the Park Service redesigned its badge to match in 1970. These gold “bison badges” were marked “National Park Ranger.” New uniform standards restricted their use to law enforcement rangers.
Badges were once again worn by other types of rangers when they became part of the men’s Class A uniform in 1977. The next year, women were authorized to wear the same “green and gray” uniforms as men, including the badge.
With all uniformed personnel wearing the same badge, the need to clearly identify law enforcement rangers remained. A new shield, similar to other Federal law enforcement credentials, was created in 1992. It became part of the uniform in 2003.
The ranger shield and bison badge are still worn today. Law enforcement rangers wear shields to represent their legal authority. For safety, maintenance staff do not wear badges, although chiefs of maintenance do wear them with the dress uniform. All other uniformed personnel wear bison badges. Both badges are worn with pride by the men and women known to the American public as park rangers.