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For Release: Monday, September 11, 2017

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 9/4 - 9/10/17

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents statewide. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations, and volunteer search and rescue groups, Forest Rangers locate and extract lost, injured, or distressed people from the backcountry.

In 2016, DEC Forest Rangers conducted 356 search and rescue missions, extinguished 185 wildfires that burned a total of 4,191 acres, and worked on cases that resulted in nearly 3,000 tickets or arrests.

"Across New York, DEC Forest Rangers are on the front lines helping people safely enjoy the great outdoors," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "Their knowledge of first aid, land navigation, and technical rescue techniques is critical to the success of their missions, which take them from remote wilderness areas, with rugged mountainous peaks, to white-water rivers, and throughout our vast forested areas statewide."

Recent missions carried out by DEC Forest Rangers include:

Greene County
Town of Coxsackie
Wildland Search:
On September 6 at 4:30 p.m., the New York State Police contacted DEC to assist in the search for a 51-year-old Earlton man believed to be in the Vosburgh Swamp Wildlife Management Area. Four Forest Rangers and three Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) searched the wooded area around the parking lot and along Four Mile Point Road. On September 7, several Rangers checked Vosburgh Swamp by canoe, while ECOs checked the Hudson River shoreline by foot. State Troopers, four State Police K-9s, Greene County Sheriff's Deputies, Columbia County Sheriff's Deputies, and Hudson Police assisted in the search. On September 8, the intensive search continued and a State Police helicopter provided assistance from the air. A total of 1,100 search hours were expended by search teams that covered 200 acres. On September 9, the search force grew to 112 searchers, including volunteers, family members, and members of New York State Federation of Search and Rescue Teams. Unfortunately, the man's body was discovered at 3 p.m. roughly one mile south of the parking lot. A total of 889 acres were searched by 193 searchers from seven agencies and volunteers over the three-day period. New York State Police are continuing the investigation to determine the cause of death.

Volunteers and Search and rescue personnel are gathered a command post
Volunteers and search and rescue personnel are briefed at the
command post.

Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC's Hiking Safety and Adirondack Backcountry Information webpage for more information.

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