An Investigation Into Policing of Pennsylvania's Natural Resources

Open Access
Hodge, Heather Elizabeth
Area of Honors:
Crime, Law, and Justice
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Julie Horney, Thesis Supervisor
  • Stacy Silver, Honors Advisor
  • Park Ranger
  • Natural Resource Law Enforcement
  • Law Enforcement Training
The field of law enforcement is marked with complexity. Policing within the context of natural resource management is no exception. Relatively little is known about park rangers, whose historical functions were to protect natural resources. Foundational research on the National Park Service suggests that these specialized agents may actually play a larger role in the law enforcement field than previously acknowledged. This study uses Pennsylvania as a model to gain a deeper understanding of the complexities imbedded within law enforcement of natural resources. Historical backgrounds of three main state agencies (the Department of Conservation of Natural Resources, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, and the Pennsylvania Game Commission) are examined. Breadth of legal authority as well as variations in training requirements and reporting of crime data are explored.