02 Nov A DAY IN FOREST SERVICE LAW ENFORCEMENT
Hello, My name is Ariel Rodriguez. I reside in Montana but attained a bachelor’s in Durango, CO in Business Management and a minor in Economics and Environmental Policy. I’ve been working for the Forest Service since 2015 on the Lolo’s fire crew in Seeley Lake, MT. Fire has helped me gain experience, a work ethic, and a college degree and recently opened up a new career in Law Enforcement. Starting with the idea of being a Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) with the Forest Service has been a rewarding path thus far. Participating with an organization more significant than myself and protecting the National Forest System Lands has been eye-opening. I am excited to go forth and continue with a career with the Forest Service, and I am thankful to Environment for the Americas for helping me on this new path.
- Lolo National Forest was created in 1906
- The forest spans over 2 million acres.
- There are 1,500 plant species & counting
- 60 species of mammals. Forest most popular includes grizzly, black bear, cougars, timber wolf, golden and bald eagles.
- The forest offers over 700 miles of hiking trails
- Over 100 lakes and five main rivers.
- Elevation 4,000 to 10,000
- Popular movies filmed that justify the area are “A River Runs Through It” & “Legend Of The Falls.”
Every day has been something new and exciting and a continuous learning curve. I report to my duty station and am flexible and ready to transition into any situation. During the week, we start patrolling part of the Lolo National Forest, which is over 2 million acres—making contact with various individuals and following up on potential leads. Duty activities include backcountry riding, ATV/ four-wheeler use, boating, snowmobiling, and much more.
We often get dispatched to 911 calls to assist with other Law Enforcement, Search and Rescue, or a possible Fire incident. Region 1 offers a variety of opportunities to work with multiple resources that creates a beneficial relationship and allows you to be a part of a little bit of everything. Thus far, I have worked with Game Wardens, Fish and Game, 911 Dispatch, multiple LEO’s in other regions with different issues, County Sheriff, Forest Service Agents, Rural Fire, and a fantastic LEO mentor and Forest Service Captain. All with one goal in mind, each job has a purpose and working together provides the safety and protection of the community and its natural resources.