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For Release: Tuesday, May 14, 2019

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 5/6 - 5/12/19

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."

Towns of Keene and North Elba
Essex County
Interior Outpost Resupply:
On May 6, DEC employees along with New York State Police Aviation unit spent the day resupplying High Peaks Wilderness Area interior outposts with propane, firewood, and lumber for the upcoming season. In addition, roofing materials for the restoration of the Hurricane Mountain Fire Tower were flown to the summit.

Helicopter hovering over some building materials in a field
Two men standing in front of a helicopter loading up wood
The New York State Police Aviation unit helped Forest
Rangers supply backcountry outposts last week.

City of Albany
Albany County
Prescribed Fire:
On May 8, DEC Forest Ranger Dylan McCartney joined staff from the Albany Pine Bush Preserve, National Park Service, State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, and several volunteer fire department personnel to conduct a 28.8-acre prescribed fire in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. This treatment will allow wild blue lupine to be planted and help increase the preserve's habitat for the Karner Blue Butterfly.

Forest Ranger standing at the edge of a prescribed fire, maintaining the blaze.
DEC Forest Ranger Dylan McCartney helped on a
prescribed fire in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve
last week.

Village of Montgomery
Orange County
Wilderness Search:
On May 9, Central Dispatch received a call from the daughter of a 52-year-old man from Brooklyn who had gone hunting in Stewart State Forest and had not been heard from since 10 a.m. The hunter's vehicle was located at a trailhead. At 11:56 p.m., Forest Ranger Lt. Ken Gierloff reported that the hunter had been located deceased. New York State Police (NYSP) and DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) assisted Rangers with the recovery. NYSP is continuing the investigation.

Town of Fremont
Sullivan County
State Land Enforcement:
On May 11, while patrolling Crystal Lake Wild Forest, Forest Rangers encountered an individual operating a pickup truck without a license. The subject is a convicted felon and had a shotgun in the truck. The man was arrested and transported to NYSP Roscoe for processing. He was issued appearance tickets for criminal possession of a weapon in the 4th degree and aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle in the 3rd degree. The tickets are returnable to the Town of Fremont Court on May 21.

Town of West Potsdam
St. Lawrence County
Multi-Agency Training:
Eight Forest Rangers from Region 6, along with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, St. Lawrence County Sheriff's Department, and NYSP attended a regional law enforcement training course at the St. Lawrence County Fire Training Center in West Potsdam from May 7 to 9. Sgt. Ryan Shelley with the St. Lawrence County Sheriff's Department and Lt. Mike Ames with the Potsdam Police Department led a cadre of instructors from local police agencies to conduct training in vehicle stops, deadly force scenarios, and an exercise where two-person teams practiced room-clearing techniques that included clearing a multi-floored building to locate and engage an armed subject.

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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