Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

For Release: Tuesday, February 2, 2021

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 2020, DEC Forest Rangers conducted 492 search and rescue missions, extinguished 192 wildfires that burned a total of more than 1,122 acres, participated in eight prescribed fires that served to rejuvenate more than 203 acres, and worked on cases that resulted in 3,131 tickets or arrests.

"During New York's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are enjoying the outdoors than ever before and our Forest Rangers are on the front lines to help people get outside responsibly and get home safely," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "Rangers' knowledge of first aid, land navigation, and technical rescue techniques are critical to the success of their missions, which for more than a century have taken them from remote wilderness areas with rugged mountain peaks, to white water rivers, and throughout our vast forests statewide."

Village of Speculator (Lake Pleasant)
Hamilton County
Wilderness Rescue:
On Jan. 30 at 2:35 p.m., Forest Ranger Lt. Kallen received a call from Hamilton County 911 reporting a snowmobile accident in the area of Hatchery Brook Road. Coordinates placed the snowmobiler approximately five miles into the trail system from the nearest road. The 41-year-old woman from Wallington, New Jersey, reportedly lost control of the snowmobile and crashed into trees off the side of the trail, dislocating her shoulder. Forest Ranger Lt. Kallen, along with Forest Rangers Thompson and Kerr, Hamilton County Sheriff's Deputies, Speculator Volunteer Ambulance Corps, and medics from Greater Amsterdam Volunteer Ambulance Corps, responded to assist. Once on scene, medics were able to safely provide first aid to the woman. She was then packaged up and evacuated to a waiting ambulance for transport to a local hospital for further medical treatment. Forest Rangers and Hamilton County Deputies remained on scene to conduct the accident investigation and remove the snowmobile.

New York State DEC staff continue to serve in leadership roles at COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites across the state. For information about efforts to vaccinate New Yorkers and to check eligibility for vaccinations, go to New York State Department of Health's COVID-19 Vaccine website.

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

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