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For Release: Tuesday, December 29, 2020

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Highlights

Recent Forest Ranger Actions

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 across New York State.

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 Hunter
Greene County
Wilderness Rescue:
On Dec. 23 at 12 p.m., DEC's Central Dispatch received a report of a 64-year-old man from Yorktown Heights with a lower leg injury in the Platte Clove area. Forest Rangers Fox, Brand, Donegan, Jackson, Martin, Petit, Rusher, Seeley, Slade, and Lt. Morse responded to assist the injured ice climber, along with Tannersville Rescue, Hunter Fire Department, Hunter Ambulance, Greene County Paramedics, Ulster and Greene Deputy Coordinators, an off-duty Mohonk Preserve Ranger, DEC's Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigation, and the Office of Fire Prevention and Control. The climber was evaluated by a medical professional who was recreating in the area and fire department personnel. A Forest Ranger descended into the gorge to provide further first aid and assist in packaging the man into a litter while Forest Ranger Slade rigged a high angle rescue system to haul the climber out of the gorge. The man was then carried out to the road and transported by ambulance to a local hospital for additional medical treatment at 4:15 p.m.

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.

View looking down an icy ridge at Forest Rangers rescuing climber below
Rangers rescue ice climber
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