Forest, Parks, and Lands Enforcement

Profile in Courage

The Honest Chief
Theresa Chambers

Forest, Parks, and Lands Enforcement

Federal law enforcement in our land management agencies –National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Fish & Wildlife Service – is under attack.

Yet, the need for law enforcement presence and services on our forest, range, refuge and park lands has never been greater, and is on the rise. Rather than expanding, these programs are facing declining budgets, lower force levels and dispirited morale under less than inspired leadership.

To make matters worse, agency leaders are often either silent or passively hostile to their own law enforcement operations.

Trouble in the Ranks

Park Service Criminal Investigators Down by Nearly Half

Investigation Triage Pulls Agents from Property and Drug Trafficking Cases

The ranks of Special Agents who handle complex criminal investigations for the National Park Service have fallen by 45% in the past 20 years, according to an NPS memo obtained by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). As a result, Special Agents are now restricted to high-priority violence and major resource crimes and diverted from property, drug, and “crimes against society” in what NPS calls a “streamlined service model.” 

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