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For Release: Tuesday, March 26, 2019

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 3/18 - 3/24/19

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 2018, DEC Forest Rangers conducted 346 search and rescue missions, extinguished 105 wildfires that burned a total of 845 acres, participated in 24 prescribed fires that burned and rejuvenated 610 acres, and worked on cases that resulted in 2,354 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 Lake Hadley
Saratoga County
Snowmobiling Recovery:
On March 20, the New York State Police (NYSP) reached out to DEC Forest Rangers to help find a missing 50-year-old Hadley man who failed to return from a snowmobile ride the night before. Six Rangers and two DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) responded, along with Saratoga County Sheriff's Deputies, NYSP Aviation, and Luzerne-Hadley firefighters. Officers searched the area where the snowmobiler's cell phone was last identified. Just after 11 a.m., two Rangers found the missing Hadley man deceased from an apparent snowmobile accident.

Town of Keene
Essex County
Wildland Search:
At 10 a.m. on March 21, NYSP asked Forest Rangers to help find a 17-year-old boy who ran away from Keene Central School. The Keene Valley Fire Department, eight Forest Rangers, and one ECO joined State Police in the search. A command post was established at the Keene Valley Fire House. Just before 1 p.m., the teenager was located at the 1,800-foot elevation mark on the Snowy Mountain Trail. The subject was treated for mild hypothermia and released to his family.

Town of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
On March 23, DEC's Ray Brook Dispatch received a phone call from a 59-year-old Rochester woman who suffered an injury while cross-country skiing on the Jack Rabbit Trail in the McKenzie Mountain Wild Forest. Two Forest Rangers responded by snowmobile and found the woman unable to walk on her own. Within 40 minutes of the call, the two Rangers located the injured woman, provided first aid, and evacuated her to a waiting Saranac Lake ambulance.

Town of Keene
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
On March 24, Ranger Jim Giglinto was on backcountry patrol in the Eastern Adirondack High Peaks when he came upon an injured skier. Giglinto provided first aid while a second Ranger brought a snowmobile to Marcy Dam. From there, the injured skier was transported by snowmobile to the Adirondak Loj parking area. Within two hours of the call, the 53-year-old Glenford man was back at his vehicle and well enough to seek further medical treatment 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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