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Thread: US Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer

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    US Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer

    Has anyone on here ever applied for a position with the US Forest Service Office of Law Enforcement? If so, what was the hiring process like?

    Also, has anyone on this forum ever worked with the law enforcement rangers of the US Forest Service?

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    Does the Forest Service Office of Law Enforcement hire applicants right out of college or do they prefer applicants with extensive LE experience?

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    Forum Member robeans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bahrain View Post
    Does the Forest Service Office of Law Enforcement hire applicants right out of college or do they prefer applicants with extensive LE experience?
    They really like to hire folks with some kind of forestry/land management/biology degrees. They also pull a lot of their folks from the seasonal LE workers.

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    Tree-hugger GreenLine's Avatar
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    They really like to hire folks with some kind of forestry/land management/biology degrees. They also pull a lot of their folks from the seasonal LE workers.
    It's actually really hit or miss with USFS. I know a lot of former Border Patrol agents who end up getting on with them, most with no natural resource background. I also don't know that the USFS leans as heavily on seasonals as the Park Service does, with the required certifications and levels of commissions, so I think this makes it more applicant-friendly for anyone trying to come from the outside. All of the LEO's I've knwon really enjoyed their jobs.

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    USFS does not have seasonals like the Park Service. We have what are called Forest Protection Officers, which are not Law Enforcement and they usually work for the forest in another job field such as fire, recreation or range..They do issue violation notices though. I work as an LEO in Southern AZ and I do enjoy my job. So let me know if you want to know anything else..

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    Quote Originally Posted by rugbyguy2000 View Post
    USFS does not have seasonals like the Park Service. We have what are called Forest Protection Officers, which are not Law Enforcement and they usually work for the forest in another job field such as fire, recreation or range..They do issue violation notices though. I work as an LEO in Southern AZ and I do enjoy my job. So let me know if you want to know anything else..

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    You need the NPS certification .I applied after retiring from NYPD and was denied due to no NPS .If you live in NY ,NJ,CT you're pretty much svht out of luck because the course is not offered anywhere near here .

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    The USFS does not require the NPS cert to apply. I have applied on several occasions and even had a coulpe apps make it through OOP, but no interview. The only agency that requires NPS cert is the NPS.

    nypdout, I here you. I e-mailed NPS HR, and the lady was not very sympathetic about the closest class being 4 hrs away and being 44hrs a week, while I am working a FT and PT job 52hrs a week, lol.

    Mac

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    Forum Member dannmann1050's Avatar
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    How do you get NPS certified without working for the NPS??

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    They offer the NPS cert at a few colleges across the country.

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    Forum Member dannmann1050's Avatar
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    Hmm.. I have never seen one in Florida... Didn't even know such a thing existed

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    Quote Originally Posted by dannmann1050 View Post
    Hmm.. I have never seen one in Florida... Didn't even know such a thing existed
    They don't, the nearest one I believe is in NC from the last time I looked at the website. NPS sometimes posts the website to find that info when they post the vacancy, but not all the time.

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    Back to the OP: we work with USFS guys on a regular basis, and I have worked a few college/LE career days with some of their folks, so we get to share precisely what you are looking for for info.

    Jobs for USFS are posted on & applied through Avue Digital Services. You can also find the postings on USAJobs, but that will refer you back to Avue for the application part. Your best best for a permanent position is to work on a seasonal or temp position, and it doesn't have to be in LE as long as it is with the USFS. FS is USDA, NPS and others are USDI, so while there is some commonality there are some distinctly major differences.

    I had a session with some USDI guys at their training center (NCTC) in Shepherdstown, WV, this last January - nice place - but am not aware if USDA has anything quite like that very fine facility.

    It can take time to get there. And yes, most require some type of NR degree or at least an equivalent in experience, or else you MIGHT get in but at quite a reduced GS rate. It will depend greatly upon the particular postion.

    Most that we have around here started as either seasonal or temp somewhere else and worked their way in to LE as an originally chosen field. There are a few who were originally from the granite state, got hired out west or down south and then came back here once they got permanent. It helps to have a goal and a plan so you don't lose focus on your end game. One guy I knew who seriously wanted to be in LE took his first job as a tour guide in a fairly urban environment - quite far removed from an NR LEO position but it was with the right agency and the end result is now he is doing what he wanted to all along.

    A nice thing about these NR fed agencies is that they will commit some serious training to various seasonal positions, whereas most states (like mine) won't unless you are permanent.

    All the USFS LEO's I've met are some seriously fine folks.

    Get to know the folks at your nearest forest. They are almost all quite helpful.

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    These guys are hard core. I've worked with them quite a bit as a seasonal FS FPO.
    Last edited by FS_Miles07; 11-06-2011 at 12:49 AM.
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    I went through LMPT @ FLETC with a few guys with the USFS, they seem to like it, I have a buddy that had to move from the east coast to the west coast for the job and is trying to get back east asap. They deal with alot of cannibas garden. Cool job none the less, i would apply if a position ever opened near TN.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FS_Miles07 View Post
    It's a very rewarding and underrated position. It requires a 4-year degree or at least five years of law enforcement experience to apply for a USFS LEO position. At times it can be very dangerous, I'm riding with USFS LEOs every weekend and we deal with some rough stuff at times, if theirs a threat you better know how to deal with it because your back up can be miles away. I knew the Forest Service officer that was killed last September, extremely nice lady and a tragic loss for the Forest Service.

    The job really is hit or miss, you must be willing to move anywhere if you want this job. Because it is Federal, openings will come up spontaneously with locations around the United States. Many of the LEOs I ride with aren't even from Washington State. Having a previous federal law enforcement job does help [U.S. Border Patrol, etc]. I have about a year and half left til I finish my bachelors, after that I'm going to pursue applying for any USFS LEO position.

    If you don't have a degree you only need 1 year directly related experience.

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    Tree-hugger GreenLine's Avatar
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    If you don't have a degree you only need 1 year directly related experience.
    +1. I know USFS LEO's who do not have degrees, nor do they have 5 years of experience, so I don't know where that requirement is coming from. Even the FBI doesn't have requirements that extreme, and they're actively trying to weed people out all the time b/c they get so many applicants.

    Like most NR agencies, being a known quantity to the supervisor will get you pretty far, too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenLine View Post
    +1. I know USFS LEO's who do not have degrees, nor do they have 5 years of experience, so I don't know where that requirement is coming from. Even the FBI doesn't have requirements that extreme, and they're actively trying to weed people out all the time b/c they get so many applicants.

    Like most NR agencies, being a known quantity to the supervisor will get you pretty far, too.
    Yeah I read the 4 year degree requirement he wrote and I was like no.......... Then I looked at the website and its true, but that's brand new because last time I looked that 4 year degree bull crap wasn't there. http://www.fs.fed.us/fsjobs/pdf/lawe...entofficer.pdf

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    Yeah I read the 4 year degree requirement he wrote and I was like no.......... Then I looked at the website and its true, but that's brand new because last time I looked that 4 year degree bull crap wasn't there.
    Yep - looks like a totally new requirement.

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    Forum Member TJMS81's Avatar
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    The 4 yr degree requirement is not new. It is the same education standard set forth by OPM to qualify for GS 5 positions, regardless of job series or agency. It's been like that for years.

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    I'm saying that before you didn't have to qualify at a GS-5 level just to be a US Forest Service Officer. Now GS-5 is there minimum requirement. Recently there minimum requirement was GS-4 or something

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    One way to get into a USFS LEO position is to start out in fire and get some natural resource experience, but you will need to have something else to be competitive such as military, degree and or law enforcement. No one thing is going to get you in, I suggest calling the Patrol Captain or whoever is listed as the POC for the position and selling yourself to them. Tha way when your name comes up on a cert list they can place a face to a name. Oh and I don't have a 4-year degree and I am a USFS LEO

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    Tree-hugger GreenLine's Avatar
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    One way to get into a USFS LEO position is to start out in fire and get some natural resource experience, but you will need to have something else to be competitive such as military, degree and or law enforcement. No one thing is going to get you in, I suggest calling the Patrol Captain or whoever is listed as the POC for the position and selling yourself to them. Tha way when your name comes up on a cert list they can place a face to a name. Oh and I don't have a 4-year degree and I am a USFS LEO
    +1 on the military, degree, or LE experience. Also keep in mind that for a lot of fed natural resource jobs, there are people who can check all three of those boxes on their resumes, but who are still sitting on the sidelines.

    That's why I also agree with getting a POC, making yourself known to the agency, and essentially trying your hardest to get your foot in the door. If that means being a seasonal "interpretive ranger" and collecting admission to a park, being a volunteer on a wildlife refuge or in a national forest, working in the maintenence shed, clearing trails or mowing grass...whatever - do what you gotta do. And the person who does more is probably going to have the edge.

    A lot of people these days don't seem willing to work their way up to a great gig like this and do things they may not be overly-excited about. But I guarantee that if you take the "baby steps" and are otherwise well-qualified, not only will you eventually get there, but you'll appreciate it a lot more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb_Tech View Post
    One way to get into a USFS LEO position is to start out in fire and get some natural resource experience, but you will need to have something else to be competitive such as military, degree and or law enforcement. No one thing is going to get you in, I suggest calling the Patrol Captain or whoever is listed as the POC for the position and selling yourself to them. Tha way when your name comes up on a cert list they can place a face to a name. Oh and I don't have a 4-year degree and I am a USFS LEO
    You don't have a degree? I thought you did, now I'm really ****ed that you took my spot. Shouldn't you be out harrasing campers and tree huggers?

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    Your spot?

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