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For Release: Tuesday, April 11, 2017

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 4/3 - 4/9/17

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation 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 mountainous peaks to white-water rivers, and throughout our vast forested areas statewide."

Recent missions carried out by DEC Forest Rangers include:

Town of Hurley

Ulster County

Search: On April 6 at approximately 1:30 a.m., the daughter of an 84-year-old male called Ulster County 911 to report her father missing. She stated her father has dementia and that she had found his door wide open with the key in the lock. The Ulster County Sheriffs Department responded and searched the house and the surrounding area. K-9 units also searched the area. When they couldn't locate the subject, they contacted DEC Dispatch requesting Forest Ranger assistance. Several Rangers responded, but as assignments were being developed, the subject was located by a Sheriffs Deputy at approximately 6:45 a.m. The subject was evaluated by EMS and taken to a local hospital for evaluation.

Town of Schroon

Essex County

Rescue: On April 8 at 6:30 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from two subjects on top of Pharaoh Mountain. The subjects were concerned that they would not be able to make it off the mountain in the dark. They started the hike late in the day and upon finding deep snow and wet conditions, it took longer to summit. During the call, they complained of being wet, cold, and tired but otherwise they were in good health. They did not have snowshoes to battle the deep, snowy conditions. However, they did have headlamps and began moving back down the trail toward Crane Pond, where they were parked. At 6:40 p.m., Forest Rangers Jacob Deslauriers and Benjamin Baldwin were dispatched to the Crane Pond Trailhead with snowmobiles to intercept the subjects on the trail. The subjects were met at Glidden Marsh and assisted back to the trailhead. By 9 p.m. they returned to the parking lot with no injuries.

City of Albany

Albany County

Prescribed Burn: On April 9, Forest Rangers David Nally and Hannah O'Connor participated in a seven-acre prescribed burn at the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. The area, named the Palm Unit, consisted of a light grass fuel model. This was the first prescribed burn at the Albany Pine Bush Preserve in 2017. An additional burn happened on Monday, April 10. Forest Rangers have participated in prescribed burns at the preserve for more than 10 years, providing subject matter expertise, tools, pumps, and wildland fire engines. Prescribed burning is a tool used to manage fire-dependent ecosystems in a manner that develops balanced, desired vegetation and helps accomplish ecological goals.

Forest Ranger Nally at Pine Bush prescribed burn.

Prescribed burn at Albany Pine Bush.

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

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