Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

For Release: Tuesday, March 10, 2020

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions from March 2 to March 8, 2020

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 2019, DEC Forest Rangers conducted 337 search and rescue missions, extinguished 74 wildfires that burned a total of 212 acres, participated in 29 prescribed fires that burned and rejuvenated 645 acres, and worked on cases that resulted in 2,507 tickets or arrests.

"DEC celebrates our 50th anniversary this year, but our Forest Rangers have been on the front lines for even longer, protecting New York's wildlife, natural resources, residents, and visitors for more than a century," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "The state's brave Forest Rangers have a vast knowledge of first aid, land navigation, and technical rescue techniques that are critical to the success of their missions in remote wilderness areas, rugged mountainous peaks, white water rivers, frozen lakes, and forested areas statewide. We are proud of the work our Forest Rangers perform and look forward to another 50 years and beyond of highly trained service."

Town of Long Lake
Hamilton County
Wilderness Rescue:
On March 2 at 10:10 a.m., Forest Ranger Jenifer Temple responded to a snowmobile accident on Uncas Road in Raquette Lake. Forest Ranger Temple arrived with Raquette Lake Ambulance to find a 54-year-old woman from Manlius had suffered multiple serious injuries to her extremities and torso. Ranger Temple assisted with packaging the woman for transport by Raquette Lake Ambulance to an area hospital in Utica for further treatment.

Rockland County
Community Outreach:
On March 5, Forest Ranger John Franceschina attended the AJCO Camp Expo with Community Search and Rescue (COMMSAR), a search and rescue team based out of Rockland County. The event had a tremendous turnout, with an estimated 500 people stopping by the display. Many of the people Ranger Franceschina spoke to are directors and managers of summer camps. Some had previous interactions with Rangers and learned even more at the event about the duties Rangers perform and services they provide to New Yorkers.

More pictures from the event can be found on DEC's Twitter page and Facebook page.

Forest Ranger poses for picture in front of the informational table at the expo
Forest Ranger John Franceschina attends AJCO Camp Expo

Town of Colonie
Albany County
Prescribed Fire:
On March 5, Forest Rangers Jason Seeley, Tyler Mitchell, and Steve Jackson joined Albany Pine Bush Preserve staff and additional volunteers to conduct a 15.2-acre burn near the intersection of Kings and Morris roads, the preserve's first prescribed burn of the year. This treatment will increase openings for warm season grasses, forbes, and wild blue lupine, and reduce fuel loads for potential fire events. This management technique will also improve the habitat for the endangered Karner Blue butterfly.

Forest Ranger stands in front of a large field monitoring the prescribed fire.
Forest Ranger takes part in the Albany Pine Bush prescribed burn

view of prescribed fire burning along the treeline
Prescribed burn near the intersection of Kings and Morris roads in Albany County

Town of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
On March 7 at 3 p.m., two hikers coming off Algonquin Mountain in the High Peaks Wilderness Area called DEC's Ray Brook Dispatch for help. A 45-year-old woman from Montreal took a wrong step while descending the mountain and sustained an ankle injury. Six Forest Rangers responded to assist the hiker off the mountain, arriving at 5:26 p.m. The Rangers stabilized the injury and carried the injured hiker out to a waiting snowmobile. At 8:20 p.m., the hikers and Rangers were back to the trailhead at the Adirondak Loj. The hiker sought further medical attention on her own.

Town of Shandaken
Ulster County
Wilderness Rescue:
On March 7 at 9:35 p.m., DEC's Central Dispatch received a call regarding two overdue hikers. The last contact the caller had with the hikers was at 5:15 p.m. Forest Rangers Russell Martin and Mark Brand responded to the scene. Ulster County Sheriff's Deputies located the hiker's vehicle at the Oliverea Road South (Slide Mountain Trailhead) Parking Area and a Deputy stayed at the location in case the hikers came out before Rangers arrived. On March 8 at 3:38 a.m., Forest Ranger Martin located both hikers and helped the pair out to the trailhead. At 5:51 a.m., Forest Rangers and hikers were out of the woods.

Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC's Hike Smart NY and Adirondack Backcountry Information webpage for more information.

  • Contact for this Page
  • Press Office - Jomo Miller
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-1016
    email us
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to all NYS regions