BARK Rangers monitor a Lake Michigan beach, often with their dog to educate Park visitors with dogs about the importance of keeping their pet on a leash and taking the pet only in approved areas. One of the main objectives is to minimize the interaction of the endangered Piping Plover shore bird with dogs. The presence of dogs or people near Plover nesting sites has a negative impact on the ability of the birds to successfully nest, hatch, and fledge their babies.
BARK Rangers often take their dogs along with them to patrol beaches which allow dogs. The dogs get a uniform to wear also! You don’t need to have a dog to be a BARK Ranger, because some of the beaches we want to patrol do not allow dogs, but we sometimes get visitors on these beaches with their pets.
Training is provided by NPS staff and volunteers report their experience after each beach patrol using an input form on our web site.