Safeguarding Jordan’s Natural Resources: Royal Rangers Hone Their Skills

USFS Experts and Royal Rangers examine the site of a forest fire in Dhibeen Nature Reserve, northern Jordan. Forest fires are becoming a bigger challenge in Jordan this year and thus expertise to conserve Jordan’s small but integral forests are in high demand.

In early June, the U.S. Forest Service spent 10 days with Jordan’s Royal Department for Environmental Protection Rangers to learn about the challenges they face and to collaborate on solutions. The Royal Rangers support Jordan’s Ministry of Environment and the Public Security Directorate to enforce environmental laws and regulations throughout the country, particularly those focused on protecting Jordan’s limited green spaces. They play an important role in protecting Jordan’s fragile ecosystem, which is beleaguered by water scarcity and shrinking forests. The Rangers are a unique institution in Jordan and are one of the only environmental law enforcement groups in the Middle East, posing tremendous opportunity to provide assistance that may have broader benefits beyond Jordan’s borders. 

Retired U.S. Forest Service Special Agent Anne Minden and U.S. Forest Service Staff Officer Richard Doak shared their significant experiences in combatting natural resource violations in the United States and provided ideas for how the Royal Rangers could approach prevention, investigation and enforcement of natural resource law in Jordan. 

The U.S. Forest Service team met with Royal Ranger partners and visited patrols in Northern Jordan to understand the natural resource challenges the Royal Rangers face on a day-to-day basis. The trip concluded with a half-day training focused on conducting fire and illegal logging investigations.

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