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For Release: Tuesday, January 2, 2018

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 12/25/17 - 1/1/18

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 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 Keene
Essex County
On Dec. 28 at 8 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a radio call from the Adirondack Mountain Club's John's Brook Lodge outpost concerning a 57-year-old male from Brooklyn who was having issues with his feet. The subject had hiked Little Haystack Mountain and when he returned to Camp Peggy O'Brian at John's Brook Lodge, he noticed discoloration in some of his toes. Basic first aid was administered for cold exposure by John's Brook staff. Based on observations and weather conditions, Rangers determined it was necessary for the subject to spend the night in the heated cabin. On Dec. 29 at 7:58 a.m., Forest Rangers planned a rescue to retrieve the subject so he could receive medical attention. First aid was continued by John's Brook Lodge staff as instructed by a Forest Ranger, and Rangers drove utility task vehicles (UTVs) to John's Brook Lodge and walked to the subject. The subject was evaluated, packaged in a rescue sled, and transported downhill to the UTV. The subject was then transported to the trailhead and transferred to a Keene Valley Ambulance at 2:45 p.m.

Town of Deerpark
Orange County
State Land Protection:
On Dec. 29 at approximately 2:45 p.m., Forest Ranger Philip Parlier noticed a vehicle operating illegally in Huckleberry Ridge State Forest. When Ranger Parlier approached the vehicle, he noticed the subject was in possession of wood recently cut along a pipeline right of way. While the Ranger was checking the subject's information through Central Dispatch, an Orange County Sheriff Deputy stopped to assist. The officers discovered that the subject was wanted by family court in St. Lawrence County, and the Sheriff advised they would extradite the subject back to the county. The subject was arrested, cited for illegal operation of a motor vehicle on state land, and turned over to the Orange County Sheriff for the outstanding warrant.

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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