Forest range officer

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A Forest Range Officer (FRO) is an officer to a state forest service in the Government of India. In some states, he or she may also be referred to as a "Range Forest Officer" (RFO).[1]


Forest range officers are responsible for the forests, environment and wildlife-related issues of a forest range within a state or Union Territory of India. The officer is assisted by other state forest officials including subordinate forest beat officers (also known as Forest Guards) and Forest Section Officers (also known as Forester/Round Officer). In most states, the FRO is a Gazetted Officer. He or she wears a prescribed khakhi uniform.


FROs are invariably trained in forestry and allied subjects in forest academies or forest rangers colleges established and administered by the Government of India or the State Government, as the case may be. The training course of Forest Range Officers is prescribed by the Government of India. The training duration is of 18 months which includes about 35 subjects related to forestry, agriculture, etc.

Importance & Relative Ranks[edit]

Forest Range Officers hold an important role in India. They are responsible to safeguard the forest resources in their range. They are equivalent to Tahsildars in the administrative domain and Circle Inspectors in policing.

Detailed Responsibilities[edit]

They have to undergo training in one of the Central Forest Training Academies or any of the State Forest Training Academies.

Forest Range Officer is the officer in executive charge of the Range and he or she is responsible for the efficient management of the Range, for the custody and condition of all Government Property in his charge and for the discipline, conduct and work of all his subordinate staff. He is responsible for the execution of all works in the Range, with the help of Forest Section Officers and guards, according to the instructions and orders of Divisional Forest Officer.

He is responsible for the collection and credit of Forest Revenue and for prompt and correct payment of all sums due for the works executed. He must carry out his inspections in detail and see that all this subordinates do their work properly.

In the event serious misconduct of any subordinate, the Range Officers should report the case to Divisional Forest Officer for disciplinary action.

He should maintain all accounts, relating to revenue, expenditure, timber and other forest produce, and submit his accounts and reports punctually to Division Office.He should take effective measures to protect the forest Wealth in his custody.

Where illicit fellings are observed, the stumps should be examined to find out if they bear the impression of the guards hammer mark and if they were reported through guards dairy book and preliminary offence report (P.O.R).

Range Officer is responsible for the protection and he should investigate Forest Offences in his Range, and file charge sheets for the cases ordered for prosecution by Divisional Forest Officer.

He is responsible for the correct posting of works Registers, ledgers Journals, Plantation registers and other stationary registers maintained in the Range. He should always wear the prescribed uniform whenever he is on duty, and he should see that all Section Officers, guards and watchers wear the uniform when on duty.

All correspondence connected with the works in the Range should pass through Range Officer or other superior. Officer may do so only through him.

Court summons issued to any subordinate should similarly be served through the Forest Range Officer, who has to arrange for the duties of the subordinate being carried out during his absence.


  1. ^ "Welcome to AP Forest Department". Environment, Forests, Science and Technology Department. Retrieved 17 March 2017.