Open Space and Mountain Park Rangers work to protect the over 150 miles of trails and 45,000 acres of rich and diverse public landscapes that have been preserved in Boulder.

Every year, OSMP lands see more than 6 million visits – that’s more than Rocky Mountain National Park! Rangers take pride in safeguarding the city’s natural and cultural resources, along with protecting the thousands of visitors who access Boulder’s public lands every day.

In order to provide the best service possible, all Rangers are required to maintain several certifications that allow them to respond and handle the variety of calls that occur every day. They are required to be state certified peace officers, emergency medical responders and red carded wildland fire fighters. They are also trained environmental educators, which enables them to serve as stewards of the land, helping to educate the public about Boulder’s rich wildlife habitats and its diverse ecosystems.

Need to contact a Ranger?

For non-emergencies call our Main Office at 303-441-3440 or contact Non-Emergency Dispatch at 303-441-3333 and request a Ranger. Or learn about Community Rangering below and contact a Ranger for a specific area through our online form.

For emergencies, please call 911.

What do Rangers do?

Search and Rescue

Rangers, with the assistance of Rocky Mountain Rescue and Fire Fighters, assist with hundreds of search and rescue calls every year. These calls range in severity from a person stuck on a rock to serious falls and other medical emergencies. If you find yourself in need of assistance, do not hesitate to call for help. Agencies involved in the rescue response DO NOT charge fees for rescue services. There are NO COSTS associated with rescue unless your injuries require an ambulance ride to the hospital (you would be responsible for medical expense accrued during ambulance transport and while at the hospital).

Rangers during search and rescue training

Wildland Fire Response

In addition to handling small grass fires and illegal campfires every year, Rangers have been among the first responders on every major wildland fire in Boulder County for the last 10 years. That includes the 2012 Flagstaff Fire and the 2016 Cold Springs Fire. Most recently, Rangers helped to fight the Calwood and Left Hand fires in 2020.

Rangers responding to wildfire

Law Enforcement

OSMP Rangers work closely with the Boulder Police Department and the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office to handle hundreds of law enforcement reports from municipal violations to warrant arrests. In addition, we are proud to have six Rangers that are instructors in the following disciplines: Firearms, Defensive Tactics, Driving, CPR and First Aid.

Ranger at Chautauqua

Environmental Education

Rangers work closely with the OSMP education and outreach team to provide natural selections programs and hikes for the public as well as schoolchildren in the area. Visit for more information and opportunities offered year round!

Ranger helping child fish
Andrea Paras

Ranger Naturalists lead environmental education programs

Ecosystem Management

OSMP Rangers partner closely with local organizations and the OSMP volunteer program to organize and promote events that help keep Open Space and Mountain Parks pristine. Rangers routinely close social trails, restore heavily used areas in need of rehabilitation, clean up trash, camps, and rehab fire pits, as well as organize forestry events and trail clean-up opportunities. Rangers clean up and dispose of anywhere from 500-1,000 pounds of trash from the OSMP system each month.

Homeless Outreach

Rangers routinely encounter individuals experiencing homelessness on the OSMP system. Whenever possible Rangers find opportunities to provide resources which provide food, clothing, shelter and medical services. We partner with the Boulder Homeless Shelter and Bridge House to find opportunities for individuals to find employment.

Video: OSMP Rangers: Pride and Duty to the Resource and the Community

Community Rangering

Here at OSMP our Rangers have adopted a “Community Rangering” model. Community Rangering is practice which allows us to work cooperatively with the public to help facilitate proactive problem-solving techniques. By partnering with the public our goal is to empower a sense of community on and around OSMP and to find practical, efficient, and long lasting solutions to problems that users may encounter on or around their OSMP areas.

With our Community Policing model, your community is entirely up to you. Do you enjoy biking at Marshall Mesa and would like to see more programs in that area? Do you walk your dog at Boulder Valley Ranch and want to share concerns about that area? Our community is broad, vast, and dynamic. Our goal is to promote interactive partnerships with OSMP users which allow everyone to take shared ownership and pride in this amazing resource we call OSMP.

Areas are split up as follows:

  • Boulder Valley Ranch/Left Hand
  • Chautauqua
  • Doudy Draw/Flatirons Vista
  • East Boulder/Gunbarrel
  • Flagstaff
  • Marshall Mesa
  • National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and Shanahan
  • Red Rocks/The Peoples' Crossing Area
  • Sanitas Area
  • South Mesa
  • Wonderland Lake/Joder
  • Other OSMP Areas

When contacting OSMP we want to make sure you get the right resource at the right time. Please make sure to read the below information carefully so that we may address your needs quickly and appropriately.

  • For non-emergencies please contact City of Boulder dispatch at (303)-441-3333 and request an OSMP City Ranger, or contact our main office at (303)-441-3440 Monday-Friday 8am-5pm.
  • To contact a Ranger in your community select “Contact a Ranger” (please keep in mind, Ranger schedules vary and you may not receive a response for up to three days).

City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks is over 45,000 acres of public owned property and a resource we all share and take pride in. Community Rangering is a philosophy which allows each Ranger the ability to take a full service approach to understanding the issues within their community. Each of our Rangers is assigned a specific community within OSMP, increasing their ability to understand and establish a unique approach for the needs of that community. We want to hear what you have to say. Some common requests include:

  • Education programs in your area
  • Increased patrols
  • Complaints or Concerns
  • Questions
  • Organize Ranger Meet Ups
  • Report offenses (non-emergency)