If you are going to a park Wednesday, take a moment to say thanks to any ranger you meet. Wednesday is World Ranger Day, a day set aside to pay tribute to the work that rangers perform around the world as they protect the earth’s natural and cultural heritage.
World Ranger Day was created by the International Ranger Federation, a consortium of about 60 national and state ranger associations from countries around the world, including the the Association of National Park Rangers in the United States.
The federation was founded 22 years ago to support the work of rangers as the key protectors of parks and conservation areas throughout the world. Since then, it has been actively involved in training, communicating with, and supporting rangers worldwide.
At the 2006 World Ranger Congress in Scotland, delegates decided that July 31 of each year would be dedicated to rangers all around the globe. World Ranger Day is held on the anniversary of the founding of federation in 1992.
The day also is a chance to remember the rangers who have been injured or killed in the line of duty, particularly during the previous year. Since July 2012, more than 80 rangers, game rangers, forest guards, wardens and maintenance workers have lost their lives in the line of duty.