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For Release: Monday, December 11, 2017

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 12/4 - 12/10/17

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:

Town of Colonie
Albany County
Prescribed Burn
: On Dec. 8, Forest Rangers David Nally, Jason Scott, and Kevin Slade participated in a 14.3-acre prescribed burn at the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. The area, named the Axlegrease Unit, consisted of a heavy grass fuel model. Rangers assisted with firing, holding, and mop-up operations during the fire. Staff from the Albany Pine Bush center and DEC volunteers participated. The purpose for the burn was to manage the unique, fire-dependent ecosystem in the Albany Pine Bush.

Town of Nelson
Madison County
Madison County 911 contacted a DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officer (ECO) at noon on Dec. 9, reporting a 38-year-old male from Syracuse overdue from a hunting trip. The ECO located the man's parked vehicle and contacted a Forest Ranger Lieutenant for assistance. Two Forest Rangers responded along with Madison County Sheriff's Deputies. After a brief search, the subject was located in an unresponsive state. It was determined he was under the influence of narcotics. Rangers and members of the Erieville Fire Department transported the subject to a waiting ambulance and he was transported to a local hospital. All units were clear of the scene at 4:40 p.m.

Town of Keene
Essex County
DEC Dispatch received a call on Dec. 9 at 2 p.m., requesting assistance for a 22-year-old male who had possibly dislocated his right shoulder while descending Nippletop Mountain. A request was made by the party to have a Ranger meet them on Lake Road on Adirondack Mountain Reserve property. The subject's companions escorted him down the trail. The subjects met the Ranger on the Lake Road and he escorted the party to a local hospital, where the injured subject received medical care.

Town of Shandaken
Ulster County
DEC Dispatch received a call on Dec. 9 at 9:19 p.m., from Ulster County 911 reporting six hikers needing assistance on Friday Mountain in the town of Olive. The hikers were lost and needed help to find their way off the mountain. One of the hikers reported a lower leg injury. Additional Forest Rangers were requested along with cold weather rescue equipment from the Wilson Campground cache for a possible carry out. At 2:30 a.m., Forest Rangers reported that the hiking group had been located and there were no serious injuries. The group was escorted off the mountain and to their vehicle by 6:30 a.m. They refused further medical treatment and Forest Rangers were clear of the scene by 7:45 a.m.

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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