Betty White is a Forest Ranger


photo via AP

Actress Betty White has had an usual career renaissance, with a starring role this year on "Saturday Night Live" and a couple guest spots in recent films. Now she's taking on a new role: Defender of Forests. White, once the star of "The Golden Girls" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," is now an honorary forest ranger, a job she dreamed of as a girl.During a ceremony at the Kennedy Center, where White appeared to honor Tina Fey, she met Smokey Bear, who gave her the famous Ranger Stetson hat and a big bear hug. White said she grew up camping with her family and doing countless trips in Yellowstone.

Said White:

"Wilderness is harder and harder to find these days on this beautiful planet, and we're abusing our planet to the point of almost no return. In my heart I've been a forest ranger all my life, but now I'm official."

The Forest Service is 105 years old, which means that it only has a few years on the 88-year-old White. When she was younger, White wanted to be a ranger but women were not allowed. Women now comprise 38 percent of the Forest Service's workforce. The Forest Service now helps to manage and protect 193 million acres.

More on the Forest Service:

U.S. Forest Service Takes Aim at Global Warming : TreeHugger
Forest Service Takes Aim at Nature Deficit Disorder

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