State Forest Rangers are the backbone of forest protection in New Hampshire. Forest Rangers work for the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development, Division of Forests and Lands, Forest Protection Bureau.
This small but highly effective organization is responsible for overseeing the state wildland fire control program, as well as enforcing laws pertaining to timber harvesting operations, wildland fire, and overall protection of New Hampshire’s forests.
Forest Rangers put much effort into stopping wildfires before they get started. Rangers work with schools, civic organizations, and fire departments in presenting Smokey Bear programs to children. Rangers educate the public about the state fire permit law, as well as wildland fire safety.
Rangers train local fire departments in proper wildfire control techniques. Rangers put together district fire plans to ensure prompt and efficient response to a fire. Rangers appoint and train over 2400 Wardens, Deputy Wardens, and Special Deputy Wardens which are critical to the success of the program.
Forest Rangers are responsible for assisting fire departments in controlling wildfires and for coordinating fire suppression efforts. Rangers are trained at high levels of the Incident Command System; as well as to operate pumps, hand tools, chain saws, and other equipment. Rangers are ready to respond to forest fires in state, as well as all over the United States and Canada.
When a wildland fire occurs, Rangers investigate with the local Fire Warden to determine a cause. After a cause is determined, the responsible party may be subject to fines and court action, as well as being responsible to pay for all suppression costs.
In order to protect and improve our forestlands, Forest Rangers enforce various forest laws that range from violation to felony levels.
Areas of the law that Forest Rangers enforce include wildland fire prevention, air quality, timber theft and trespass, deceptive forestry business practices, wetlands, basal area, timber tax, and forest health.
Title XIX-A: Click here to explore the Forestry Laws.
OUT OF STATE FIREWOOD QUARANTINE
Forest Rangers confiscated out of state firewood in Franconia Notch
In addition to forest laws, Forest Rangers enforce all state laws for the protection of persons and property on any Department-controlled lands, including state forests and parks.
New Hampshire does not have a single natural resources agency responsible for the care and protection of our natural environment. Therefore, cooperative enforcement of natural resources laws is an important function of the Division.
Forest Rangers partner with other state agencies to assist with enforcement of laws that affect forestry but are administered by other agencies as follows:
Department of Revenue Administration with the enforcement of RSA 79 Timber Conservation and Tax Law referenced under RSA 227-J:5;
Department of Environmental Services staff with the enforcement of Wetland, Water Quality and Air Resource Laws referenced under RSA 227-J:6 and J:7.
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