Front-line conservationists from nearly 70 countries are gathering at the first World Ranger Congress to be held in the United States.
For a week beginning Saturday near Rocky Mountain National Park, more than 300 rangers will discuss climate change, poaching and other issues. The congress comes as the U.S. National Park Service celebrates its centennial. Conference chair Bob Krumenaker calls it an opportunity for rangers from wealthier countries to stand in solidarity with colleagues who face enormous challenges with few resources in the developing world.
The International Ranger Federation has held congresses every three years since the first in 1995 in Poland. The federation's charitable arm, along with Colorado State University, the World Wildlife Fund and others helped rangers from impoverished countries come to Estes Park for this year's conference.