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For Release: Tuesday, December 18, 2018

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 12/10 - 12/16/18

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 Great Valley
Cattaraugus County
On Dec. 10 at 7:40 a.m., DEC Forest Rangers were contacted with a report of a hunter in McCarty State Forest experiencing a medical issue. Forest Rangers responded to the scene along with the Ellicottville Fire Department. Fire Department personnel and a Forest Ranger headed in on the trail with a UTV and were able to bring the subject out to a waiting ambulance.

Town of Fabius
Onondaga County
On Dec. 10 at 2 p.m., a lost hiker contacted Forest Ranger Chet Lunt directly to report that she and her companion were lost. The 28- and 29-year-old Syracuse residents were advised to remain in place. Forest Rangers Lunt and Ranger Alex Virkler responded. Both subjects were located in good health and escorted back out to their vehicle.

Town of Altona
Clinton County
On Dec. 13 at approximately 3 p.m., Forest Rangers were dispatched by DEC's Ray Brook Dispatch to Purdy Road for a report of two intoxicated individuals driving on seasonal access roads and discharging firearms from the roadway. The New York State Police were also notified and sent an additional unit. While conducting their patrol, the Forest Rangers observed a vehicle matching the suspect's description. The suspect was subsequently placed under arrest for Driving While Intoxicated, a misdemeanor, and having a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, also a misdemeanor.

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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