ERF Newsletter February 23

Dear European rangers,

many of you observe it surely these days in the protected areas: Spring is approaching, and some of the inhabitants are gearing up to make a good impression.

They're not alone: We're also dressing up behind the scenes right now. Our website is about to get a gentle rebrush so that new formats and current news, interviews and videos are easier to find and networking becomes easier. One example is our new Ranger Portrait, which we want to gradually anchor on a map of Europe after the rebrush, wherever the rangers portrayed are in action. Here you can see an example that is currently part of our latest interview for the series about our member associations. Would you also like to be part of the interactive map with a portrait photo, a typical work photo and your answers? Or do you have other ideas you would like to share? Then we look forward to hearing from you:

We are also very much looking forward to the 10th IRF World Ranger Congress, now that date and venue are settled! October 2024 in Giens Peninsula, Hyères, in south-eastern France in October 2024, co-organized by Guardes Nature de France – congratulations to our colleagues in France! All preliminary info here. Even though it's still a little while away, we're really looking forward to seeing as many of you there as possible!

Currently we are on the road a lot, even if mostly virtually: A few days ago I was a guest on the Rhino Man podcast of John Jurko, the producer of the documentary Rhino Man about field rangers in the life-threatening mission against poaching of rhinos. Check our channels where we will publish it. This morning I was off to an online Oceania ranger discussion group, and on Saturday to Iceland's rangers to present a short piece on Europe's rangers at their Ranger meeting.

Also our further board members are on their way in many discussions and meetings in the international ranger network. For example, the second visit of the twinning partners Germany and Israel since the pandemic has just taken place, hosted by the Israeli rangers. And a particularly beautiful result of this networking: In the course of the past year we could welcome three new member associations in the European Ranger family!

All this and more here in the newsletter and on our website.
Have a good time reading!

Urs Reif, President of the ERF

Finnish rangers work with volunteers and convicts

Teemu Laine's work is about managing capercaillies, flying squirrels and other species. But above all, the spokesman for the Finnish Ranger Association looks after volunteers and prisoners working in the national park. How this works and why he would like to see a Europe-wide management system for protected areas.

Twinning visit: practical and emotional learnings  

It is probably the most successful twinning partnership under the umbrella of the ERF: Germany Rangers just returned from a visit to their partners of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. Here, participant Britta Schmidt and co-founder Ilan Yeger report on the intensive program and the recipe for this extraordinary learning partnership.

Welcome with us three new members of the ERF

Over the past year, three new members have decided to join the European Ranger Family through membership of the International Ranger Federation. We are very pleased that the ranger associations from Bulgaria, Luxembourg and Malta are now working even more closely with us for Europe's rangers.

A photo exhibition in honor of Israel's volunteer rangers work for nature

They are as indispensable to our protected areas as they are versatile when conscientiously selected and prepared: Volunteer rangers perform important conservation tasks. In their honor, Israel Nature and Parks' volunteer director Sharon Golan Hershkovitz has initiated a photo exhibition.

Colorado protected area seeks twinning partner in Europe with similar issues

The Superintendent of Colorado National Monument has reached out to us with a search for a twinning partner. They are looking for a protected area in Europe that is dealing with similar issues, for example a high-level park with access roads or seasonally fluctuating visitor flows and outreach programs adapted to them. 

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