The history of Park Rangers began when twelve individuals, following the system of American National Parks, were assigned to various National Parks in 1953 as "locally stationed managers."
At present, Park Rangers are posted to Nature Conservation Offices or Ranger Offices established under the jurisdiction of Regional Environment Offices set up in seven blocks nationwide and are engaged in a wide range of environmental conservation duties with respect to wildlife protection, countermeasures dealing with alien species, and the conservation of Satochi(rural landscape) and Satoyama(community-based woods) in addition to the core tasks associated with the management of protection activities in our National Parks.
Let us now briefly describe the different types of work performed by Park Rangers related to our National Parks.
Work relating to permission and authorization
In order to prevent environmental damage caused by acts of development and other activities in our National Parks, as well as to protect the animals and plants that inhabit and breed in these parks, various activities are subject to regulations.
Reviews required for the granting of permission or authorization for such activities are conducted.
Operations relating to the formulation of Park Plans
Park Plans for such matters as zoning for the strict protection of the natural environment, the classification of restrictions by relative strength for the protection of the natural environment, and visitor facilities for use are formulated.
These Park Plans are reviewed periodically in accordance with the changing natural environment and based on other relevant factors. Surveys and proposed plans are produced accordingly for this purpose.
Surveys and inspections undertaken for the management of protection activities
the tagging of bears]
Surveys are carried out for the protection of the natural environment and of plants and animals in parks, and inspections are conducted to ascertain whether authorized activities are in fact being undertaken according to their filed applications.
Upgrading visitor facilities and engaging in their management and operation
[A visitor center]
Visitor centers, walking trails, lavatories, observatories, and other facilities are developed, upgraded, and managed and operated to help visitors to National Parks gain a better understanding of nature and safely and comfortably come into contact with nature.
Promoting the restoration of the natural environment
[Natural restoration survey]
Nature restoration projects to proactively restore natural environments that have been damaged in the past are being carried out and promoted in collaboration with a wide array of local actors, including NPOs and residents.
Beautification and clean-up programs
Clean-up activities are undertaken nationwide at all National Parks and other Natural Parks on Natural Parks Clean-Up Day, which falls on the first Sunday of every August.
Efforts are made to protect the natural environment and create and develop parks that are comfortable for users through such clean-up programs.
Promoting contact with nature
[A nature-study meeting
Nature interpretation programs, craft workshops, and other events are held, and environmental education is promoted at visitor centers and other such facilities based on the use of the natural environment in our Natural Parks.
In addition to programs concerning our National Parks, nature protection programs dealing with the protection of wildlife and the preservation of forests, rivers, and traditional rural landscapes are conducted.
- Management of protection in Nature Conservation Area and World Natural Heritage Sites
- Protection of Endangered Species and regulation of Alien Species
- Conservation and restoration of Satochi(rural landscape) and Satoyama(community-based woods)
- Promotion of environmental education