Department of Environmental Conservation

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For Release: Thursday, June 2, 2022

Statement from DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos on the Death of Forest Ranger Captain Christopher Kostoss

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is mourning the loss of Forest Ranger Captain Christopher Kostoss who local authorities determined died by suicide on Tuesday. Captain Kostoss was a 23-year veteran of DEC's Division of Forest Protection, most recently responsible for overseeing Rangers on patrol in the Adirondack High Peaks.

Captain Kostoss was passionate about protecting public safety and deeply committed to the cause of conservation. He was also a tireless advocate for mental health awareness, particularly among his fellow Rangers. His death is a painful reminder of the critical need to promote wellness and destigmatize issues surrounding mental health that prevent individuals from seeking treatment.

If you or someone you know is in need of mental health assistance, please know help is available. The New York State Office of Mental Health has resources on its website or you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

The collective heartfelt thoughts of DEC's close-knit family are with Captain Kostoss' mother, two daughters, immediate family members and all who loved him. My sincere gratitude to members of the New York State Police and the Lake Placid Police Department for their strong support and professionalism throughout this tragedy.

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