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Executive Committee

The ERF is managed by an elected (volunteer) Executive Committee comprising:

President: Urs Reif
I was born 25.09.1980 in Germany. After doing some travelling after finishing my civil-work, I decided to study biology with focus on ecology and nature conservation. I did my studies in Marburg at the working group of Prof. Plachter how is known in nature conservation and was vice president of the WCPA.

After studying I worked in 2 agencies for nature conservation assessments. When in 2014 the Black Forest National park was established I got a job there as chief ranger. My duty was to establish and build up the ranger system in the new national park.

In 2015 I began helping in working groups of the German ranger association concerning international exchange and working groups. Our park was strongly supporting the new establishment of the ERF for which we organized a workshop in 2015, which was the baseline for the new establishment.


©Archiv Umweltakademie: Foto Thomas Niedermüller

©Archiv Umweltakademie

Vice-President: Ilan Yeger
I have worked at the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA) since 1991 and am head of the operation and anti poaching department in the law enforcement division. Among my previous positions with the Nature and Parks Authority are: regional nature conservation ranger in the Carmel Nature Park and researcher and coordinator of investigations at Green Patrol.

Since 2017 I have led a few international projects for the International and the European Ranger Federation (ERF): the Twinning project with the German ranger association, an international anti poaching course for rangers from all over Europe in 2019 and an anti poaching webinar program I created in 2021.

All programs could be successfully realized because of the good cooperation with rangers from the ERF.

Financial Officer: Michael Großmann

From 1990 to 2023 I was an employee of the Bavarian Forest National Park (Germany), the last 11 years as head of the ranger team. 

Besides I am continuously involved in the work of the German Ranger Association as well as of the European Ranger Federation and have been committed to their creation and success from the very beginning.

For many years I have also been pushing the topics of fundraising and professional training for rangers all over Europe. I focus on the funding of ERF training activities and financial resources so that rangers in need of support can participate in our educational programs.

In addition, I have taken on the task of ERF treasurer.

Secretary: Birgit Gruber

As a national park ranger, I have been working in Austria's smallest but most species-rich national park, the Thayatal National Park, since 2010. When the European wildcat was detected there for the first time in Austria, I was able to implement sustainable ideas within the framework of an EU project that still have added value for the region, such as a hiking trail, wildcat enclosure, events.

As a ranger I am mainly responsible for visitors and school groups. I pass on current research knowledge during guided tours. I increasingly incorporate elements from forest bathing/shinrin yoku, as refuelling, contemplation or just a conscious breath have become very important for many visitors.

After attending the World Ranger Congress in 2014, I found this kind of exchange and broadening of horizons so ingenious that I founded the Austrian Ranger Association together with colleagues.

Training Officer: Borja Díaz

I became a Ranger in 2000. In the two recent decades, I have been working as a ranger for the Basque province of Biscay covering the fields of forestry, hunting and fishing and management of protected areas. 

I am a certified forest fire investigator and legal expert in crimes against biodiversity. In the last decade, I have been very involved in the promotion of training courses for rangers, contributing to the development of a net of Basque rangers from different organizations.

In 2018, I was one of the co-founders of Aminta, a ranger association that aims to help the families of Spanish rangers who have fallen in the line of duty and to preserve their memory. 

In 2019, I participated in the World Ranger Congress that took place in Nepal and realized the importance of strengthening the ties between rangers on a global scale, facilitating the exchange of mutual support, knowledge, and solidarity.

Lately, I have been involved in various Spanish interregional and European training projects.

Project Officer: Adam J. Norton Turner

With a background in environmental science, I ventured to Costa Rica in 2013, where I volunteered as a research assistant on a leatherback turtle conservation project. Patrolling beaches to protect nesting females' eggs ignited my passion as a wildlife ranger. After military service in the UK, I pursued a master's degree in conservation biology in Sweden, where I've been working as a ranger since 2017.

The World Ranger Congress in Nepal in 2018 inspired me to co-found the Swedish Ranger and Conservation Association. As its chairman, I unite rangers for national and international events to enhance capacity and knowledge sharing. A member of the SMART Technology Council, I believe in technology's power to empower rangers and protect natural areas effectively.

As the Project Officer for the ERF, I support ongoing projects and initiate new ones to empower and inspire rangers in their vital roles, boosting nature protection across Europe. Together, we can make a lasting impact in conserving biodiversity and creating a sustainable future for generations to come.

Administrative Officer: Lars Scharfe

Protecting nature is the most important task of our time! Growing up in Berlin, nature always pulled me out of the big city and my affection for it was getting bigger and bigger.

Besides my Geology career, that opened up a deep understanding about the natural processes on earth for me, I gained experience in managing a nature protection area during my civilian service and am an expert in trail work in protected areas having been involved in the Iceland Conservation Volunteer Programm since 2014.

In 2022 I finally managed to jump into the Ranger World by getting a position in the Bavarian Forest National Park and thus the connection to the ERF. Additionally, I completed the Regio-Ranger Ranger certificate at the German Nature Online Academy in Spring 2023.

The Committee is professionally supported in its public relations work, managed by:

Press Office: Wiebke Bomas

I am a journalist focusing on conservation and the outdoors. I came into contact with the ranger profession through several months of volunteering, including in the Bavarian Forest National Park – and have since been convinced that it is one of the most important jobs of our time.

Influenced by my economics studies, which were always about the optimum for all players in our society, I think that rangers are working very hands on on exactly that. Because without the preservation of biodiversity and ecological habitats, the well-being of humans is not far off. And vice versa, conservation only works with humans.

I am therefore very happy to work with the ERF to ensure that rangers get all the support and recognition they deserve in their work as mediators between people and nature. As a journalist, I do this above all by giving them a face through interviews, reports and other formats, but also by creating networking opportunities – for a strong voice in the cause of nature and bundled knowledge for its protection.