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For Release: Monday, October 22, 2018

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 10/15 - 10/21/18

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 are 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 Fire:
On Oct. 18, DEC Forest Rangers and staff from the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducted a prescribed burn at the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. The burn was conducted in a grass field off Kings Road near the intersection of Morris Road. The objectives of the seven-acre burn were to increase openings for warm season grasses, forbs, and wild blue lupine, and reduce the woody shrub invasion. The goal is to improve habitat for the Karner Blue Butterfly within the Albany Pine Bush.

Crew member with fire gear Controlled burn crew
Crews perform controlled burn in Pine Bush Preserve to improve habitat for Karner Blue Butterfly

Town of Fort Ann
Washington County
Wildland Search:
On Oct. 20 at 5:42 p.m., DEC's Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Washington County 911 reporting a group of five that became disoriented while hiking Sleeping Beauty Mountain. The group members ranged in age from an eight-year-old female to a 35-year-old male. Cell phone coordinates provided by Washington County 911 placed the subjects near the Spectacle Brook drainage. Dispatch advised the group to stay where they were and build a fire. Forest Rangers Logan Quinn and Evan Donegan responded and were at the trailhead by 7:11 p.m. They hiked in through the Daci Clearing entrance, up the trail, and eventually spotted the group's fire by 8:05 p.m. The group was escorted back down Sleeping Beauty to the trailhead, arriving at 9:40 p.m.

Town of Keene
Essex County
Wildland Rescue:
On Oct. 20 at 3:45 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance for a 21-year-old female from Ottawa, Ontario, with an ankle injury three miles down the Lake Road access on the Indian Head Trail in the Adirondack Mountain Reserve. Her companion hiked out to get assistance. Ranger Giglinto responded to the Adirondack Mountain Reserve at 4:11 p.m., met up with the reporting party, unlocked the gate to the Lake Road, and drove to the injured hiker. After providing basic First Aid for the injured ankle, the hiker was transported by patrol vehicle back to the hiking party's vehicle to seek medical attention on her 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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