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For Release: Monday, April 3, 2017

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 3/27 - 4/2/17

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 are critical to the success of their missions, which take them from remote wilderness areas, with rugged mountain peaks, to white-water rivers, and throughout our vast forested areas statewide."

Recent missions carried out by DEC Forest Rangers include:

Town of Ward
Allegany County
On March 27, two Forest Rangers responded to a complaint of underage drinking on state land. Upon arriving at approximately 9:45 p.m. at Vandermark State Forest, the Rangers found a gathering of college students from a nearby campus. Several violations were noted and tickets issued for setting a fire on state land, depositing rubbish on state land, and underage alcohol possession on state land. The young people were advised to put the fire out and clean up the site. The Forest Rangers departed the area after the students complied with these directions.

Town of Theresa
Jefferson County
On March 28, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch was contacted by New York State Police from the Watertown office requesting assistance with a missing 28-year-old male suspected of a drug overdose. At 7:30 a.m., six Forest Rangers, including two Airboat operators, responded to assist State Police K-9 and SORT Team members. Forest Rangers prioritized assignments and organized several crews with members from each participating agency. The search effort began from the subject's last known point. At about 10 a.m., search crews found clothing belonging to the subject. The subject was located deceased at 11:50 a.m., approximately 1,200 feet from his home on private property.

Village of Corinth
Saratoga County
On March 29 at 7:41 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Saratoga County Dispatch requesting assistance for a missing 13-year-old female who had left her home in Corinth. The subject was believed to have gone into the woods behind her home with camping gear. Four Rangers responded and searched the wooded area behind the home along with the New York State Police and Saratoga County Sheriff's Office. During the investigation, the Sheriff's Deputies discovered that a 15-year-old boyfriend was believed to be in the company of the missing teen. After a negative search of the area, the Sherriff's Office declared the incident a runaway situation and took over the case.

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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