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For Release: Monday, November 27, 2017

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 11/20 - 11/26/17

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:

Town of Salem
Washington County
Three Forest Rangers helped county volunteer firefighters extinguish a wildfire that burned through three acres of woodlands. The fire was caused by a resident dumping woodstove ashes outside without first making sure there were no burning coals. The homeowner was issued a ticket for leaving burning materials outside in a manner that can cause a wildfire.

Town of Bolton
Warren County
Wildland Rescue:
At 4:45 p.m. on Nov. 25, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from two New York City hikers lost on Thomas Mountain. The hikers could not find the trail but eventually made their way to a cabin near the summit. Unprepared to navigate at night, the pair remained at the cabin while Forest Ranger Art Perryman hiked to their location, provided necessary flashlights, and escorted the hikers back to their vehicle. By 7 p.m., all were back at the parking lot and the incident was concluded.

Town of Mayfield
Fulton County
Wildland Search:
At 6:28 p.m. on Nov. 25, Environmental Conservation Police Officer (ECO) Shane Manns was alerted to a hunter lost on Tolmantown Road. The 16-year-old male hunter became separated from his hunting party and was disoriented. Manns, Fulton County Sheriff's Deputies, and Forest Rangers Dave Kallen and Andrew Lewis searched the area. At 9:26 p.m., the hunter was found and escorted out of the woods without further need of assistance.

Town of Indian Lake
Hamilton County
Wildland Search:
At 4:15 p.m. on Nov. 25, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch was notified of a 70-year-old man hunting in the Jessup River Wild Forest who had not returned to his hunting party. Four Forest Rangers began their search, which included a boat patrol along the shore of Indian Lake while Sheriff's Deputies patrolled the state highway. At 11:08 p.m., the hunter was found in good health and escorted back to his vehicle.

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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