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Job Listing: Chief Ranger - Law Enforcement

Job Postings ,

Sky Meadows State Park - Delaplane, VA

Closes - Open until filled.

Position Title – Chief Ranger - Law Enforcement

Salary - $35,370-$60,289/Annually

Job Type - Full-Time

To learn more and apply, click here.

The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation is the state’s lead conservation agency and it takes a diverse agency to work for a diverse commonwealth. DCR protects what people care about – access to the outdoors, natural habitats, open spaces, clean water and safe infrastructure. We manage 41 Virginia State Parks, which has thousands of campsites, hundreds of cabins, beaches, festivals, educational programs, more than 500 miles of trails … the list goes on. 

If you’re someone who wants to love what you do, and make a difference, OCR is the place for you! 


The Division of State Parks is seeking a Chief Ranger, Law Enforcement Officer for Sky Meadows State Park. Rich in history, this park provides recreational offerings that engage visitors and help connect them with farming practices that formed its unique pastoral landscape. This 1,860-acre park has scenic views, woodlands and the rolling pastures of a historic farm that captures the colonial through modern life of the Crooked Run Valley. Nature and history programs are offered year-round. Hiking, picnicking, fishing and primitive hike-in camping for families and groups are favorite activities in this peaceful getaway on the eastern side of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The park has 10.5 miles of bridle trails, 22 miles of hiking trails, 9 miles of bike trails and Appalachian Trail access.


The primary purpose of the Chief Ranger is to provide direct, day-to-day supervision of paid permanent and wage employees in the protection of state park lands, natural and cultural resources, and the maintenance, operation, and repair of state park structures, facilities, equipment, and utility systems.

The Chief Ranger also ensures public safety and resource protection by enforcing park rules/regulations, and state laws through use of sworn conservation officer powers. 

Minimum Qualifications

As it relates to MINIMUM qualifications, successful applicants will highlight in their applications:

  • Considerable knowledge of and ability to train others in the areas of buildings and grounds maintenance, building materials, tools and equipment maintenance, and any related skill.
  • Demonstrated skills in effective verbal communications with diverse audiences as well as subordinate and auxiliary staff.
  • Demonstrated experience supervising and training staff, including the ability to provide performance feedback, on topics such as: the proper use of tools and equipment; procedures necessary for safe operation and efficient completion of projects. 
  • Skill in leading and ensuring quality of work requiring the performance of plumbing, carpentry, painting, and grounds keeping tasks.
  • Demonstrated ability to reach logical conclusions, apply policies, rules, and regulations. 
  • Previous experience managing project budgets.
  • Knowledge of OSHA regulations.
  • Skill in computer use, and ability to effectively communicate orally and in writing. 

Preferred Qualifications

As it relates to PREFERRED qualifications, successful applicants will highlight:

  • Demonstrated work history or volunteer experience in a parks and recreation or similar environment
  • Current VA Sworn Conservation Officer Commission 
  • Resource management experience
  • Knowledge of State Government procurement policies and practices
  • Bachelor’s degree in resource management, wildlife management, and/or environmental or natural science or equivalent work experience.

Special Requirements

Position requires incumbent to become a Sworn Conservation Officer. Sworn Conservation Officer requirements: Must be a US citizen; be at least 21 years old; H.S. grad or possess GED; pass a background investigation including fingerprint-based criminal history records check; possess or be able to obtain certification as a LE Officer in VA from the VA Dept. of Criminal Justice Service which includes accepting responsibilities related to being equipped with and using firearms. Successful applicants: shall not have a felony conviction(s) or have pled no contest to a felony or any offense that would be a felony if committed in VA; shall not have a misdemeanor conviction(s) involving moral turpitude, including larceny, concealment, uttering, embezzlement or perjury; shall not have conviction(s) for a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence; shall not have positive results on pre-employment drug screening. 
Conditions of employment for this position require the successfully completion of a physical agility test and behavioral assessment. In addition, successful completion of a physical exam is required to be identified as suitable for the position prior to beginning employment. 
Ability to work in diverse conditions including exposure to the outdoors, weather in all seasons, dust, animals and insects. Ability to perform heavy manual labor to include standing, bending, pulling, climbing, and frequent lifting up to 50 lbs. 
Must possess or have the ability to obtain a valid driver’s license, certifications in CPR, First Aid, or other certifications as required. 
This position requires shift work, which includes weekends, holidays, and overtime. As a non-exempt position, Chief Ranger of Operations with LE is covered by the FLSA minimum wage and overtime requirements. DCR has elected to grant overtime leave instead of overtime pay when non-exempt employees work more than 40 hours in any workweek. When 80 hours of overtime leave have been accumulated, hours worked over 40 in a workweek will be compensated by time & one-half rate of pay. These positions are required to wear state-issued uniforms and equipment. On occasion, critical agency business needs may require position reassignments within the salary range. 

Chief Ranger incumbents must reside in state-owned housing to provide security and operational efficiencies during non-working hours, which requires entering into a lease agreement and acquisition of liability and personal property insurance. 

Special Instructions to Applicants

DCR is an Equal Opportunity Employer and all qualified applicants will be afforded equal opportunities without regard for race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, veteran status, political affiliation, genetics, or disability. 

The Commonwealth of Virginia requires all Executive Branch employees, including new hires, rehires or transfers to disclose their vaccination status upon hire. Disclosure of vaccination status (and for those fully vaccinated, proof of vaccination) will be required during new employee orientation on your first day of work. If you are not vaccinated for any reason or choose not to disclose your vaccination status, you will be required to be tested for COVID-19 once per week on an indefinite basis. If you have questions, please contact the Human Resource Office.

Reasonable accommodations are available to applicants with disabilities, if requested, during the application and/or interview process. 

If accommodations are needed with the application and/or interview process, please contact the Office of Human Resources at 804-786-7964. 

Women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.