Natural Areas Trail Ranger


City of Fort Collins Natural Areas


Fort Collins, CO



Rhonda Peckham

Job Summary

The City of Fort Collins is on watch for a full-time Natural Areas Trail Ranger who will patrol and assist visitors in some of our 52 conserved habitats like prairies, foothills, waterways, and forests. These properties are a treasure to the community. The Natural Areas Trail Ranger provides visitor and staff safety, assistance, and education as well as managing volunteer workers and the BARK (owner and dog volunteer) program.

This position requires effective communication skills related to conflict resolution and deescalating situations in a professional manner. Situations can engage a variety of people with diverse backgrounds which might include mental health and homeless community members. Subsequently, having former law enforcement, ranger, or military experience is beneficial. Three to six months of related experience and/or training are required and relevant Ranger Skills academy certified must be completed within six months of hire. 


Essential Duties and Responsibilities

The following duties and responsibilities are illustrative of the primary functions of this position and are not intended to be all inclusive.

  • Patrols natural areas and trails to monitor visitor use and ensure natural resource protection.
  • Enforces City municipal code and civil citations within natural areas, city trails, and other City property. Issues warnings or citations to violators.
  • Implements prevention strategies in natural areas, trails, and city property.
  • Responds to and mitigates multi-use conflicts. Employs uses conflict resolution techniques as needed.
  • Coordinates law enforcement activities with other agencies (Larimer County Sheriff, CSU Police) as appropriate.
  • Knowledge of ecological ecosystems and human influences.
  • Educates visitors on uses, safety, ecological values of natural areas, human impact on wildlife and plant life, etc.
  • Conducts visitor use surveys, monitors trail conditions and conducts other surveys, etc.
  • Monitors natural areas for wildlife activity and ecological changes, which may lead to changes in management of sites.
  • Maintains records of illegal activities and produces incident reports and other general reports as required
  • Is required to testify in court in support of citations issued as necessary.
  • May assist in investigation of crimes in natural areas and along the trails at the request of local police.
  • Has situational recognition of conditions requiring law enforcement issues requiring the assistance of an armed officer.
  • May participate in management planning or other departmental projects.
  • Ability to participate in prescribed burning and wildfire control as necessary.
  • Ability to respond to reports of injured visitors and apply medical assistance as needed.
  • May speak to various citizen groups explaining the function of the ranger program and how protection of visitors and natural features are accomplished in natural areas.

Management Responsibilities


City Competencies

  • Demonstrated cultural competence to effectively interact, work, and develop meaningful relationships with people of diverse identities, perspectives, and cultural backgrounds.
  • Strong learning orientation. Leverages all resources and is creative in ways of learning for self to continue adapting to changing issues and trends.
  • A desire and ability to understand the diverse needs of internal and external customers, and to create experiences and deliver services that exceed their expectations.
  • A desire and ability to utilize digital tools for organizational information, individual, and teamwork.

Required Knowledge Skills and Abilities

  • Demonstrated commitment to natural area/open space/public lands conservation and management.
  • Knowledge and understanding of natural resource management practices and techniques.
  • Ability to become knowledgeable of applicable municipal code.
  • Skills in public relations and communications.
  • Ability to operate specialized communication systems.
  • Ability to become knowledgeable and work effectively with Fort Collins and Larimer County law enforcement and emergency services protocols and procedures.
  • Prior medical training desirable (CPR, First Aid, First Responder, EMT) desired
  • Ability to become certified as a (medical) First Responder or similar certification.
  • Knowledge of Search and Rescue Techniques desired.
  • Knowledge of visitor impact management assessment tools
  • Ability to handle stressful & emergency situations.
  • Strong skills with computers, ipads and other technology.
  • Knowledge of natural ecosystems and human influences.
  • Ability to become knowledgeable of regional, county and state fire, health and safety and animal welfare codes pertinent to natural areas and trails.
  • Ability to qualify as a wildland firefighter

Required Qualifications



High School Diploma or GED and or functionally related licenses or certificates 

College degree or equivalent work experience. Some positions may require functionally related certification or advanced degrees Bachelor's degree in Natural Resources Management, Parks Management, Wildlife Biology or related field.


Experience Requirements

  • 3-6 months related experience and/or training, or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they can perform every job description task. We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job, and that candidate may come from a less traditional background. The City may consider an equivalent combination of knowledge, skills, education, and experience to meet minimum qualifications. If you are interested in applying, we encourage you to think broadly about your background and skill set for the role.

 $45,512.00 - 68,268.00 (Salaries are paid biweekly)


Certifications/Licenses/Specialized Training

  • Must have and maintain a valid driver's license. Must have and maintain acceptable background information including criminal conviction history, motor vehicle record, wildlife poaching or other natural resource violation, and credit history. Must successfully pass Fort Collins Police Services Pre-Employment Interview/Truth Verification Testing. Must successfully complete Police Service Officer Skills Academy Certification within 6 months of hire including defensive tactics component. Must successfully complete Ranger Skills Academy within 6 months of hire. Must successfully complete medical first responder training such as Emergency Medical Responder, Wilderness First Responder or similar training with first 12 months after hire.

The content in this posting was created for recruitment purposes. To view the full job description click the link below.


Natural Areas Trail Ranger

The City of Fort Collins will make reasonable accommodations for access to City services, programs and activities and will make special communication arrangements for persons with disabilities.  Please call (970) 221-6535 for assistance.

Notice Regarding Medical and/or Recreational Marijuana Use
Because the possession and use of marijuana, whether for medical use or otherwise, constitutes a federal offense and because the City is a drug free workplace, the City will not accommodate the medical use of marijuana and enforces written policy prohibiting working for the City while marijuana is in the body.  The fact that state law recognizes medical marijuana as a prescribed, or otherwise permitted, medication does not alter or otherwise change this policy.

The City of Fort Collins is a bias-conscious employer. We ask that you please avoid the use of photos when submitting a resume and/or an application for employment. The City of Fort Collins is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applicants are considered for positions for which they have applied without regard to gender (regardless of gender identity or gender expression), race, color, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, age 40 years or older, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy or other characteristics protected by law. For the purpose of this City policy “sexual orientation” means a person’s actual or perceived orientation toward heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality.


Note: Some information in your application may be public information under the Colorado Open Records Act.