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For Release: Thursday, December 10, 2020

DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officer Highlights

Recent ECO Actions

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) enforce the 71 Chapters of NY Environmental Conservation Law (ECL), protecting fish and wildlife and preserving environmental quality across New York. In 2019, the 288 ECOs across the state responded to 25,704 calls and worked on cases that resulted in 16,855 tickets or arrests for crimes ranging from deer poaching to solid waste dumping, illegal mining, the black market pet trade, and excessive emissions violations.

Two-thousand-and-twenty marks 50 years for DEC and 140 Years for New York's Conservation Police Officers. In 1880, the first eight Game Protectors proudly began serving to protect the natural resources and people of New York State.

"From Montauk Point and Brooklyn to Buffalo, the ECOs patrolling our state are the first line of defense in protecting New York's environment and our natural resources, ensuring that they exist for future generations of New Yorkers," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "Our ECOs have worked arduous hours, both deep in our remote wildernesses and in the tight confines of our urban landscapes, for far longer than the 50 years since DEC was created. These officers are critical to achieving DEC's mission to protect and enhance our environment and I am confident they will continue this important mission for the next 50 years and beyond."

If you witness an environmental crime or believe a violation of environmental law occurred, please call the DEC Division of Law Enforcement hotline at 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-3267).

Help for Injured Hawk - New York County
On Dec. 2, ECO McCarthy responded to an injured Cooper's Hawk on a rooftop of NewYork-Presbyterian/Allen Hospital in Manhattan. The juvenile hawk had flown into a glass window and subsequently broke her wing. ECO McCarthy captured the injured hawk and transported it to the Wild Bird Fund where the hawk is being treated by professional rehabilitators and will be released back into the wild.

ECO and hospital staff pose for picture with a hawk wrapped in a pink towel
ECO McCarthy and hospital staff with juvenile hawk

Trapped Coyote - Putnam County
On Dec. 3, ECO Franz was on patrol in Putnam County when he received a call about an injured coyote stuck underneath a State Department of Transportation truck. The ECO arrived at the location and met with the caller and New York State Police personnel already on scene. Underneath the truck, between two rear tires, was an injured coyote too frightened to move. ECO Franz used his catchpole to coax the animal out from under the truck. The coyote quickly scampered off into a nearby wooded area and is expected to recover.

ECO kneeling under large vehicle attempting to rescue a coyote
ECO Franz rescuing an injured coyote

Connecticut Deer Seized to Protect Against CWD Spread - Dutchess County
On Dec. 4, ECO Eyler questioned a hunter about details of a buck he had posted on a social media site. The hunter reported that the deer was harvested in Connecticut, just over the state border, and brought the ECO to the deer hanging in his brother's shed about a mile way. The deer was hanging in the shed, replete with a Connecticut Deer tag and half gutted. ECO Eyler informed the hunter of DEC's Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) regulations that prohibit the transportation of white-tailed deer in this condition to New York State. The ECO gave the hunter a summons and took the deer to be incinerated.

In addition to following up on tips like this one provided to DEC, ECOs are conducting checkpoints this hunting season on roadways in communities along the state border to help keep Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) out of New York. Officers check hunters returning from an out-of-state hunt with a carcass of a deer, moose, elk, or other cervid known to carry CWD because hunters are required to follow State regulations that prohibit the transportation of certain parts of the carcass into New York. DEC allows the following parts of the carcass to be transported into the State: deboned meat; cleaned skull cap; antlers with no flesh; raw or processed cape or hide; cleaned teeth or lower jaw; and finished taxidermy products. Additional information about CWD can be found at DEC's website.

ECO poses next to vehicle with confiscated, deceased deer
Confiscated Connecticut deer

ECO stands in the road at a deer check station
ECO Crisafulli at CWD checkpoint in Brewster last month

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