YOSEMITE — The men and women who protect Yosemite were recognized Wednesday during a ‘World Ranger Day’ celebration held at the national park. Officials hosted the annual event to honor park rangers worldwide who’ve lost theirs lives in the line of duty.
The ceremony also recognizes current park rangers who form the so-called ‘Thin Green Line’ in state and national parks around the U.S. — and across the globe.
“We would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to all Yosemite National Park visitors who came out today to help us commemorate World Ranger Day,” park officials noted.
World Ranger Day is observed every year on July 31. Wednesday’s ceremony at Yosemite included about 100 people, while similar World Ranger Day events took place at other U.S. national parks — as well as in dozens of other countries at their national parks and heritage sites.
July 31 also marks the anniversary of the founding of the International Ranger Federation (IRF), established in 1992 to support the work of rangers and the areas they protect across the globe. The IRF is a nonprofit that works to raise awareness of and support the work Rangers do in conserving the world’s natural and cultural heritage sites.
The role of the IRF, according to the organization’s website, is to empower Rangers by supporting their national or state organizations. As of 2019 the IRF had over 100 associations of Rangers in more than 60 countries. Every 3 years, the IRF holds the World Ranger Congress. The next one is scheduled to take place this year in Nepal in mid-November.
YNP’s ceremony this year, which included California State Park Rangers and K-9 Ranger Rocky, also featured an appearance by the Yosemite Mounted Patrol.
Also attending Wednesday’s ceremony in Yosemite, held in front of the Valley Visitor Center, were representatives of the California State Park Rangers Association, the International Ranger Federation, and representatives from Congressman Tom McClintock and State Senator Andreas Borgeas’ offices.