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Lake County Forest Preserves | Preservation, Restoration, Education and Recreation

Your Preserves

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Ranger Police & Preserve Safety


Our qualified and dedicated Police Officers and Community Service Officers help keep the preserves safe for you and the natural resources they protect. They devote their time and attention to the enforcement of ordinances, rules and regulations of the Lake County Forest Preserves and the laws of the state of Illinois.

Our Police Officers receive the same professional, rigorous law enforcement training as other police officers throughout Illinois and work hard to ensure the safety of all preserve visitors and neighbors by patrolling 365 days a year and offering assistance.

As visitors and neighbors of the Lake County Forest Preserves, you play an important role in protecting our natural resources and keeping the preserves safe. There are many ways to get involved and do your part.

Trail Courtesy

As you share the many multiuse trails in your Lake County Forest Preserves with others, please follow these rules of common sense and be courteous to all trail users.

Safety Alerts and Tips

Before heading out to enjoy your Lake County Forest Preserves, please read these Safety Alerts and Tips. Learn how to secure your property from crimes of opportunity, and to be safe when using the preserves. 

Living Near a Preserve

By reporting concerns or unusual activity you may see, you can help preserve and protect your own backyard and adjacent Forest Preserve land by serving as our extra eyes and ears.

Boundary Guidelines and Encroachments
You develop a special connection with nature when you live near a forest preserve. We want to be a good neighbor. You can, too. Our Boundary Guidelines explain how you can live comfortably and enjoyably alongside your natural neighbors.

Your Lake County Forest Preserves are for everyone's use and enjoyment. When an individual intrudes onto Forest Preserve property for their sole use without authorization, it affects everyone. Encroachments are prohibited and include such things as self-made paths connected to trails, constructing buildings or structures, and mowing or cultivating on Preserve property. Learn more »

Controlled Burns
Every spring and fall, you will see our ecologists safely burn hundreds of acres to improve natural habitats near you. Why? Because fire is one of the things these natural lands need to regain a healthy diversity of species. Learn more »

Community Preserve Watch Program

Our community Preserve Watch program invites you to help our Rangers keep watch over forest preserve land. Similar to a Neighborhood Watch, our program urges you to get involved by immediately reporting any unusual or unlawful activity on Forest Preserve property.

Report a Concern

By Phone
To report an emergency, call 911. For nonemergency public safety issues, call our Ranger Police Department at 847-968-3404, or call the Lake County Sheriff's Department Dispatch at 847-549-5200 and ask to speak to a Ranger.


You can use the form below to report nonemergency situations that do not immediately threaten life or property, such as dogs off-leash, fishing or hunting violations, dumping, encroachment or anything else you feel we should know. You can also upload images related to the incident you are reporting.

Include Details
When reporting a concern, please remember to include the name of the preserve, the type of activity that occurred and the general location within the preserve. The following information is especially helpful to include:

  • Automobile—vehicle make and model, color, year, license plate number and state, and any distinguishing features.
  • Individual(s)—number of people involved, physical description (height, weight, race, gender, age), description of clothing.
  • Location—your location and the location of the activity you are reporting.

Preserve Watch Form

Please fill out and submit the form below to report a nonemergency situation. Include as many details as possible and attach related images or files.

* Field is Required


Were you issued a parking ticket or other civil citation?

You can submit your payment online within 60 days of your citation date.

Make Payment


For questions, permits or citation information, call our Ranger Police Department at 847-968-3404, weekdays from 6:30 am to 3 pm.

To report an emergency, call 911. For nonemergency public safety issues, call the Lake County Sheriff's Department at 847-549-5200 and ask to speak to a Ranger.


Check here for closures, construction alerts, controlled burn locations and preserve planning projects.


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