SUNY-ESF Ranger School

SUNY-ESF Ranger School
Type Public
Established 1912
Director Michael Bridgen
Location Wanakena, NY, USA
Campus Rural
Mascot Mighty Oaks

The SUNY-ESF Ranger School (formerly the New York State Ranger School), on the east branch of the Oswegatchie River near Wanakena, New York, offers A.A.S. degrees in forest and natural resources management. Established in 1912, the school is affiliated with the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF). The Ranger School commemorated its centennial in 2012-13.[1]


The Ranger School is situated in the northwestern part of the Adirondack Park, on the east branch of the scenic Oswegatchie River, which flows directly into Cranberry Lake. The campus is about 65 miles (105 km) from Watertown, New York and 35 miles (56 km) from Tupper Lake.

In addition to classrooms, offices, dormitory and kitchen facilities, the school's properties also include the 3,000-acre (12 km2), James F. Dubuar Memorial Forest.[2]


The New York State Ranger School was founded in 1912, under the administration of the New York State College of Forestry at Syracuse University, to train forest rangers and other personnel for the still-young Adirondack Park.

Shortly before its establishment, the school received a gift of 1,800 acres (7.3 km2) from the Rich Brothers Lumber Company.[3]

Eugene S. Whitmore, the Ranger School's first graduate, completed his studies the same year that school was founded, in 1912.[4]

Professor James F. Dubuar served as director of the Ranger School for 37 years, from 1921-1957.[5]

In 1923, Governor Alfred E. Smith, later to become President of the Board of Trustees of the New York State College of Forestry, signed an appropriation bill for the construction of the Ranger School's new building; the structure was dedicated in 1928.

The International Paper Company added to the school's properties with a gift of 500 acres (2.0 km2), in 1929.[3]

More than 3000 students have completed their degrees at the Ranger School since it opened.[2]


Today, the Ranger School is a unit of the SUNY-ESF. Michael Bridgen, Professor of Forest and Natural Resources Management, is director.[6]

After "spending a year at a college of their choice,"[2] students spend an academic year or summer at the residential school, studying forest technology, surveying, or environmental and natural resources conservation, earning an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree upon completion. Students can continue their studies at the main ESF campus, in Syracuse, to earn a bachelor's degree.[2]

The Ranger School celebrated its centennial anniversary in 2012-13.[7]



  1. "Ranger School Celebrates Its 100th," SUNY-ESF, August 6, 2012. Accessed: August 6, 2012.
  2. 1 2 3 4 SUNY-ESF: SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry - The Ranger School
  3. 1 2 Reznikoff, Charles, ed. 1957. Louis Marshall: Champion of Liberty. Selected Papers and Addresses. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, p. 1123.
  4. SUNY-ESF. 2008. Alumni Directory. 100th Anniversary Edition. Syracuse, NY, p. 455.
  5. Allen, Mart. 1996. "Ranger School's a Testimony to James Dubuar's Dedication," July 9. Accessed: June 24, 2012.
  6. "Ranger School Directory," SUNY-ESF Ranger School. Accessed: July 14, 2013.
  7. Ellen, Martha. 2012. "Ranger School marks its centennial year," Watertown Daily Times, May 12. Accessed: May 15, 2012.

Further reading

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Coordinates: 44°08′48″N 74°54′04″W / 44.146588°N 74.90115°W / 44.146588; -74.90115

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