Ranger Recruit/Ranger

Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District

La Honda, CA, Campbell, CA or Cupertino, CA, California

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details Annual Salary Range: $84,538 - $84,538
Deadline Apr 21, 2024
Required Experience 0 - 1 years

The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (Midpen) Ranger is a challenging and adventurous generalist position offering a wide variety of responsibilities and opportunities to exercise independent judgement while working on Midpen preserves. Rangers serve a unique role as stewards of the open space by regularly interacting with the community to provide visitors information, natural resource education, interpretive services, enforcement of pertinent regulations, and performing limited maintenance and resource management work on Midpen properties and facilities. Rangers patrol on foot, in all-terrain vehicles, on motorcycles, and in four-wheel drive patrol trucks while enforcing Midpen land use regulations and applicable laws.  Rangers ensure safe public use of preserves, while also responding to emergency calls including medical aid and wildland fires.

About the Position:

The start date for these positions is early-November 2024.  For additional information, see the Ranger Recruit and Ranger specifications on our job description page at OpenSpace.org.

The Ranger Recruit is a training-level position for individuals who do not possess a Ranger Academy certificate or equivalent, or valid PC 832 certificate.  Upon commencement of employment, new Ranger Recruits will participate in pre-academy instruction on the duties of a District Ranger, receive orientation to District lands and operations and complete additional required training.  Upon completion of pre-academy instruction, new Ranger Recruits will participate in a district approved National Park Service Park Ranger Law Enforcement Academy in Rangely, Colorado https://www.cncc.edu/degrees/rangely/nps (17-week program), which begins in January 2025 and complete California Penal Code 832 training.  Upon successful completion of the District’s required training and final review by the Chief Ranger, a Ranger Recruit may be appointed as a probationary Ranger. 

The Ranger is a challenging and adventurous journey level position offering a wide variety of responsibilities and opportunities to exercise independent judgement while working on Midpen preserves.  Upon commencement of employment, new Rangers will participate in a robust field (12-week) training program. 

About Midpen:  Midpen helps plants, animals and people thrive throughout the greater Santa Cruz Mountains region by preserving a greenbelt of more than 70,000 acres of public open space with 250 miles of trails in 27 extraordinary preserves, permanently protected for natural resource conservation and ecologically sensitive public enjoyment and education. Midpen is a public agency with a focused mission that guides our work, and where every employee makes an impact. If you are looking for an outstanding opportunity to contribute to the legacy of open space protection, natural resource restoration and outdoor recreation, working with an incredible team of like-minded colleagues, we invite you to apply for this position! Check out the Working for Midpen video on our Employment Opportunities page.

What does a District Ranger do?  District Rangers are Generalist Rangers who perform a wide variety of functions. A brief list of day-to-day activities follows:

  • Midpen Rangers are sworn peace officers responsible for patrolling District Preserves and enforcing the District's regulations and pertinent local, State, and Federal laws on District Preserves. Patrol may be by 4x4 truck, foot, UTV, motorcycle, or mountain bike.
  • Respond to medical emergencies, wildland fires on Midpen lands, and search and rescue incidents.
  • Help maintain the preserves by performing light maintenance tasks and resource management assignments.
  • Engage the public through interpretive activities and community outreach.
  • Shift schedules include evening, weekend, and holiday hours.

Positions will be assigned to one of the following District offices:

  • Skyline Field Office – Palo Alto Hills
  • Foothills Field Office - Cupertino
  • Coastal Area Office – La Honda
  • South Area Office – Campbell

A Few Reasons Why You May Love This Job

  • Collaborative work that directly supports Midpen’s mission to protect and restore the natural environment
  • You’ll be part of a talented and dynamic team whose work contributes to providing nature’s benefits to everyone
  • Excellent employee benefits, including medical, dental, vision, tuition reimbursement, and a retirement pension through California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS)

Basic Job Requirements: Must have the ability to enforce pertinent laws and regulations; administer first aid and CPR; demonstrate and maintain the physical fitness and mobility to meet District fitness standards, and to work in the field; strength, stamina, and mobility to respond to emergency situations to provide emergency medical services, perform fire suppression, and to gain control of a situation for self-defense or in defense of others; operate and maintain various power tools and equipment; operate emergency patrol vehicles and two-way radios; communicate clearly and concisely both orally and in writing.

Possess the aptitude and demonstrated interest in park/open space work, philosophy, and principles; willingness to perform law enforcement duties; aptitude for interpretive and public relations work; emotional maturity; dependability; punctuality; tact and diplomacy; poise and self-confidence; sensitivity to needs and attitudes of others; neatness and courtesy.   

Peace Officer Standards for Rangers: Ability to satisfy the selection standards for peace officers in California as set forth in Government Code Sections 1029, 1030 and 1031, and by the District.

Education & Experience: Any combination of training and experience that would provide the required knowledge, skills, and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the required qualifications would be:

Ranger Recruit

  • Equivalent to an Associate’s degree from an accredited college or university and one (1) year of experience working in visitor/customer service or an equivalent position that includes interacting with the public. Education and/or experience in law enforcement, resource management, natural sciences, park management, wildland firefighting, or a related field is highly desirable. 
  • Certificates and Licenses: A valid California Class C driver’s license.


Meet all qualifications for Ranger Recruit, plus:

  • Certificates and Licenses: Current possession of a District approved Law Enforcement Training certification and a valid California 832 certificate for appointment as a peace officer, and ability to obtain the following certificates prior to completion of the employment probationary period: completion of the District’s Field Training Program, valid professional rescuer CPR certificate and Medical First Responder or equivalent; a Midpen approved Fire Suppression Training certificate; certification in the Incident Command System courses as specified under the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

Working Conditions: Rangers work cohesively with local law enforcement, fire agencies and other adjoining land agencies. Rangers typically work alone and self-initiate their day-to-day patrols. Work conditions require rangers to work weekends, nights, and holidays in all weather conditions.  Most work is outdoors within Midpen’s open space lands with exposure to inclement weather conditions. This requires the ability to patrol on foot, off trail, and in rugged terrain.  Also requires the ability to perform all related emergency services and maintenance and construction work on Midpen lands. District Rangers interact daily with a diverse Bay Area community to provide safe access for all visitors.

Benefits: Midpen provides a competitive benefits package including health, life, and disability insurance as well as a CalPERS pension. Detailed information is available on the Benefits page of the District’s website.

How to Apply:  

Apply online at CalOpps.org.   The deadline to apply is Sunday, April 21, 2024

(To avoid missing email communication about this recruitment, add mpropenspace@calopps.org to your contacts or list of safe senders.)

The following application items are required to be considered*:

  • Fully completed CalOpps employment application
  • Resume
  • Supplemental question responses

(A cover letter is highly desirable).

*Incomplete CalOpps employment applications, or applications without the required application items listed here, will not be considered for the position.


First interviews (Virtual):  Tuesday, May 7th and Wednesday, May 8th, 2024 (Candidates will be scheduled on one of two days)

Skills assessment (In-Person; Foothills Field Office - Cupertino): Friday, May 17, 2024

Final interviews (In-Person):  Wednesday, May 22, 2024

IMPORTANT: Candidates selected to advance after completing the interview process will be required to successfully complete the Peace Officer Standards & Training Personal History Statement, as well as an in-depth background investigation, fitness testing, DOJ and FBI fingerprinting, psychological evaluation, pre-employment physical to include Department of Transportation drug testing. It is recommended to review the 27-page Personal History Statement and the required documents on the POST website at www.post.ca.gov/forms.aspx. Select "Background/Hiring" and form 2-251, Personal History Statement for details on the information and certificates you will be required to provide.

If more candidates successfully complete the recruitment and background process than we have available positions to fill, these candidates may be brought on at a later date as vacancies occur.  

A note to applicants who currently live outside of the San Francisco Bay Area: before committing to the application process, and if you haven’t done so already, we suggest evaluating the feasibility of relocation. We recommend researching the cost of living in the San Francisco Bay Area, the cost to relocate, and typical commute times to Los Altos from outlying areas.

Midpen reserves the right to limit or deny off-duty employment or business ownership which creates a conflict of interest or an incompatibility with District employment. Information can be found in the Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual Section 4.13 Off-Duty Employment and Business Ownership.

At Midpen, we believe open space is for all. Our public lands are shared spaces provided for the community by the community. All people, regardless of background, deserve respect, dignity, safety, and a sense of belonging. Midpen welcomes all people to enjoy the public open space preserves we hold in trust, supporting the mental, physical, and social well-being of our region.

Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Applicants with disabilities may request reasonable accommodation by contacting the Human Resources department at 650-691-1200.

Put your passion for Open Space to work!



When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Outdoor Recreation
Tags Park Ranger