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For Release: Monday, April 9, 2018

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 4/2 - 4/8/18

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 2017, DEC Forest Rangers conducted 346 search and rescue missions, extinguished 55 wildfires that burned a total of 191 acres, participated in 29 prescribed fires that burned and rejuvenated 564 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:

Town of Hague
Warren County
Wilderness Rescue
: On April 6, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a cell phone call from two Fairport men ages 20 and 23, stranded on the steep ledges near Rogers Rock Campground along Lake George. The two subjects were following a mobile mapping application but determined they could no longer travel safely on the route. Four Forest Rangers responded and because the lake still had ice, determined the best course of action was for the pair to walk to the shoreline for retrieval by airboat. Within three hours of the initial call, the pair made their way to the shoreline for Ranger pickup. The men were returned to their car and no injuries were reported.

Town of Keene
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue
: On April 7, Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC Ray Brook Dispatch from a 28-year-old Avon man hiking on Wright Peak. The hiker was unable to find the trail due to harsh winter weather and his unfamiliarity with the mountain. Phone coordinates placed the man on the trail about halfway between the summit and the treeline in a location that would be easy to talk him off the mountain. As one Forest Ranger guided the subject by phone over the trail and down the steep rock slab, two additional Rangers began hiking in to find him. The hiker slowly made his way down the trail where he met up with the Rangers who then escorted him back to the Adirondack Loj parking lot. Within two and a half hours of his first call, the hiker was back at his car without injury.

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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