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Contact: Kyle Patterson, (970) 586-1363
We invite you to celebrate World Ranger Day on Monday, July 30, at 7:30 p.m. at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center in Rocky Mountain National Park. Park staff will present highlights of the last year's international activities including the recent renewal of our sister park agreement, established in 2007, with the Tatra National Parks in Poland and Slovakia; elaborate on a new staff exchange with the New Zealand Department of Conservation; and share recent outreach and partnerships with protected areas in and around Monteverde, Costa Rica, Estes Park's sister city, focusing on migratory bird species between our two areas.
The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. One of the lesser known aspects of the National Park Service mission is our cooperation with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout the world.
Annually, the park hosts numerous delegations from around the world. So far this year, park staff have hosted delegations from Mongolia, India, Chile, Russia, and Colorado State University's seminar for Latin America protected area managers. A delegation from China will visit the park in September. While most of these visits are of short duration, they are great opportunities to learn from each other.
The International Ranger Federation (IRF) was founded to support the work of Rangers as the key protectors of the world's protected areas. At the 2006 World Ranger Congress in Scotland, IRF delegates decided that July 31 of each year, beginning in 2007, would be a day dedicated to world rangers. The first World Ranger Day fell on the 15th anniversary of the founding of IRF on July 31, 1992.
In 1872, Yellowstone National Park became the world's first federally designated national park. Since then, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, over 100,000 protected areas, representing more than 10% of the earth's landmass, have been established around the world.
The English word "ranger" reflects the guardians of the Royal Forests in 14th century England, protecting the King's lands from poachers. Today, Rangers in protected areas throughout the world continue this role for the public, not just for the royal families. Rangers are the key force protecting these resources from impairment. They do this through law enforcement, environmental education, community relations, fighting fires, conducting search and rescues, and in many other ways.
Come learn more about Rocky Mountain National Park's international activities - demonstrating that although our planet is large, and we speak different languages, our passion to protect and preserve special places is a strong, common thread that connects us. The program is free and open to the public. For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park please contact the park's Information office at (970) 586-1206.