The history of Slovak Rangers Association
The idea to create a special association of protected area rangers dates back to the times when the first protected areas were established in the former Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. Already at that time the 'Union of Volunteer Rangers' was envisioned and the creation of such an organization considered. The initiative stemmed from the professional rangers of the Protected Landscape Area Slovenský raj.
At the 1st World Congress of Rangers, held from 21 to 27 May 1995 in Zakopané (Poland), where Vladivoj Vančura and Zdeněk Pochop toot part, the idea of a professional ranger association in Slovakia was rekindled and internationally proclaimed.
The Slovak Rangers Association, firstly just a section of the Association of national parks and protected areas of Slovakia (ZNPCHUS), later (1999) transformed into an independent organization, was established during at the first meeting of protected area rangers of Slovakia held on 11 and 12 April 1996 in Predná hora in the Protected Landscape Area Muránska planina. From the 36 founding members who participated at the meeting - 25 were professional rangers and 11 were specialists working in nature conservation.
The first tasks of the new organization were to appoint a chairman, to become a full member of the International Ranger Federation (IRF) and to recruit more professional rangers as members of the association. Regular meetings were scheduled to be held twice a year (in spring and autumn).
In 2000 at the 9th Meeting of SRA in Račkova dolina (Tatra National Park), attended by the vice-president of IRF Mike Marshall, a long-term 'Cooperation Agreement' was signed between the Slovak Rangers Association and the Association of Protected Areas Rangers of the Czech Republic.
SRA was accepted as the full member of IRF, and Vladivoj Vančura was appointed to act as the coordinator for international relations of the association.