This month, two rangers have started patrolling the open space in the City of Carlsbad, including the preserves, trails, lagoons, beaches and parks. The pilot program, which includes two full time positions and a new off road vehicle, is being run by the City of Carlsbad Police Department. Rangers will have the power to issue citations, although they will also focus on providing information about the law and why it’s important to preserve these natural areas. Preserve managers will also continue to provide patrolling and enforcement, in addition to police officers, who will provide back up as needed.
The program officially began July 1, the start of the city’s new fiscal year. The rangers have been in training off and on in July and now are beginning their regular patrols. The pilot program is partially funded by the San Diego Association of Governments.
Among other duties, the rangers will patrol the city’s habitat preserves to help ensure the sensitive plant and animal species there are not disturbed by human activity. They will also help ensure trail users are aware of rules, such as keeping dogs on leashes.
Rangers will keep records of their activities so the City Council can evaluate the effectiveness of the program once the one year pilot period is over. The program costs include up to $235,000 in labor and about $65,000 to purchase and equip an off road vehicle. The SANDAG grant will cover about $100,000 of this cost.