When the discussion of career fields with a promising future comes up, everyone mentions healthcare, tech jobs, and construction. Another field to consider could be Environmental Police Officer and Forest Rangers with the New York DEC. The next Training Academy is set to Begin May of 2022.

The Academies aren't held every year, in fact the last graduating class was in 2019. But with an increase in violations of environmental laws and wilderness rescues,  DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos announced plans for new class of recruits.

The six-month training academies will prepare up to 60 of DEC's newest recruits for careers protecting New York's natural resources in the Divisions of Forest Protection and Law Enforcement.

What's the difference in a Conservation Officer and Forest Ranger?

Conservations Officers enforce 71 chapters of New York State Environmental Conservation Law from clean air and water regulations and fish and wildlife laws. . Some of the duties include:

  • deer poaching
  • solid waste dumping
  • illegal mining
  • black market pet trade
  • emissions violations

Forest Rangers work centers around the public's use of State Lands and Easements. Duties include:

  • patrolling State properties
  • conducting search and rescue operations
  • fighting wildland fires

Both positions are extremely busy, ECOs and Investigators answered 29,673 calls while Rangers led 492 search and rescue missions and extinguished 192 wildfires in the past year. 2021 doesn't appear to be slowing down as the number of residents choosing outdoor activities in parks and state lands keeps increasing. The DEC plans to deploying more Rangers especially in the Adirondacks and Catskills.

The Training Academy for ECO's will be held as usual at the Pulaski Academy. For the first time, the Forest Ranger training will be held at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry campus in the hamlet of Wanakena.

The first step in becoming an Officer or Ranger is obtaining college credits in specific fields and passing a Civil Service exam. Recruits are selected based on a list of qualifications and passing scores from the exam. Here's more info on the required qualifications for Conservation Officers and Forest Rangers.

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