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For Release: Monday, March 12, 2018

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 3/5 - 3/11/18

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:

Albany and Schoharie counties
Snowmobile Patrols:
From March 9 to 11, several Forest Rangers conducted snowmobile safety checks and enforcement patrols on state lands in Albany and Schoharie counties. The areas included Burnt-Rossman Hills State Forest and Partridge Run Wildlife Management Area. Forest Rangers concentrated on checking for safety equipment, loud exhausts, and registration and insurance compliance checks. A total of 69 snowmobiles and operators were checked and the Rangers issued a total of 10 violations.

Town of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Search:
On March 11 at 4:45 p.m., Ray Brook's DEC Dispatch received a call transferred from Essex County 911 reporting a 23-year-old male lost while wilderness skiing on the open slopes on Wright Mountain. Essex County provided the subject's cell phone coordinates. Two Rangers and a local guide responded and began searching for the subject in the area of the coordinates with no results. The subject called 911 again and provided updated coordinates. Rangers located the subject in good health just after 8:30 p.m., and assisted him to the Adirondack Loj on foot and with snowmobiles. All units were clear by 9:16 p.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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