Defending a Changing Landscape: A History of Forest Rangers in New York State


May 23, 2019 – September 20, 2019

The Kelly Adirondack Center is open to the public Monday through Friday

from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

In many ways Forest Ranger history mirrors the history of conservation in New York State. Since the establishment of Fire Wardens in 1885, the evolution of priorities and circumstances for both public and private land use has shaped the role of the Forest Ranger Force. The decrease in forest fires due to safer logging practices along with trends in recreation and technological developments have expanded the work of Rangers statewide.

Each year, Kelly Adirondack Center Summer Research Fellowships provide undergraduate students research opportunities both at the Center and in the Adirondacks. Students are encouraged to use the primary sources in the collections of the Adirondack Research Library to explore the natural and peopled history of the Adirondacks. In the summer of 2018, Anna Gagion (’19) chose to study the changing role of Forest Rangers in New York State from their inception to present. Her interest in the subject grew and she decided to focus her senior thesis on the experiences of women Forest Rangers. This exhibit includes images representative of those changes accompanied by excerpts from both her fellowship paper and senior thesis.

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