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For Release: Monday, February 26, 2018

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 2/19 - 2/25/18

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 2017, DEC Forest Rangers conducted 346 search and rescue missions, extinguished 55 wildfires that burned a total of 191 acres, participated in 29 prescribed fires that burned and rejuvenated 564 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 Windham
Greene County
Mountain Rescue:
On Feb. 19 at approximately 11 a.m., a 55-year-old father and his 14-year-old son from Wayne, N.J., were hiking to the summit of Blackhead Mountain. Upon reaching the summit, the father discovered the trail was covered with thick ice. He recognized that it was unsafe to descend in a timely manner. Without the proper equipment to spend the night, he contacted Greene County 911 Dispatch for assistance. Four Rangers responded to locate the pair, taking two different trail routes to the summit. At approximately 7 p.m., the duo was located and rescued. Rangers provided appropriate foot gear and assisted the father and son back to the trailhead, where they arrived by 10 p.m.

Town of Keene
Essex County
Mountain Rescue:
On Feb. 24 at 4:28 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Bill O'Connor, caretaker for the Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR). He reported that a 48-year-old man from New Vernon, N.J., suffered a lower leg injury when he lost his footing while descending Lower Wolf Jaw Mountain in the High Peaks Wilderness Area. O'Connor requested assistance back to the trailhead. Forest Ranger Daniel Fox was dispatched to the reserve with an ATV. At 6:15 p.m., Ranger Fox arrived and assessed the hiker's injury. The Ranger assisted the subject back to Canyon Bridge where the ATV was staged, and then transported the man to his vehicle. The hiker decided to seek medical assistance on his own.

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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