Steeliest of the dragons
Well, not really, when you look at the context. When the Ranger was created, as the forest Aragorn guy...well, 1) was being based on Aragorn, who was -as was Middle Earth- accustomed to fairly temperate foresty places.Clerics have a clear enough basic identity: fighting priests. You can subvert that by making them not part of a church or changing how they fight, but the basic trope still exists.
A wizard without a spellbook won't make people forget that wizards usually have spellbooks.
But rangers just have "often found on forests" as a core trope, which is... a weak thing to base a DnD class on.
2) D&D of the day was essentially in wooded, temperate terrain. Nearly universally. Deserts and jungles were rare, odd and just plain "alien" types of terrain/cultures to find. The people from such areas were exotic and mysterious. The D&D "default" was for a land of forests, mountains, rolling hills and fields -for the elves, dwarves, and halflings to live in, if nothing else- basically temperate/four seasons (that seemed nearly always to be in spring, summer, or early fall) in nature.
Given that, basing a class archetype on "a guy good at living/surviving/adventuring in forests" seems like a pretty central and solid idea.