JORDAN — In March of 2020 the USDA Forest Service International Programs Office led an interagency training for the Jordan Environmental Rangers. The course focused on building their knowledge in response to illegal logging, wildfire, wildlife trafficking and hazardous waste investigations. Jordan is one of the least forested countries in the world and yearly experiences serious water supply scarcities. Protecting natural resources, especially forest and water resources, is not only a great conservation need but is also directly tied to Jordanian livelihoods and national security.
The members of the USDA Forest Service team that traveled to Jordan composed of retired Special Agent Anne Minden; Special Agent Lathan Sidebottom, Intermountain region; Lauren Ransom, Law Enforcement Officer from the Arapaho National Forest; and Alison Holt of International Programs. Together with their colleagues from the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Interior, this team provided critical directions to the Jordan Environmental Rangers.
The country of Jordan created the Environmental Rangers in 2007. Since its inception the Forest Service is continually working on training this unit for protection of their forests. The unique expertise of the Forest Service compliments the mission of the Rangers to improve comprehensive environmental security. Implementing national policies aimed to protect Jordan’s environment and reduce environmental violations are the standards the Forest Service hopes to convey to their Jordanian counterparts.
Upon graduation from the program, Rangers and their agency counterparts are better prepared to investigate environmental crimes in Jordan, as well as protecting the country’s natural resources. Forest Service personnel greatly benefitted from sharing their experience with the Rangers.