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For Release: Tuesday, September 13, 2022

DEC Forest Rangers - Week in Review

Recent Statewide 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 2021, DEC Forest Rangers conducted 426 search and rescue missions, extinguished wildfires, participated in prescribed fires that served to rejuvenate hundreds of acres of land, and worked on cases that resulted in thousands of tickets or arrests.

"Over the last decade, as well as during the COVID-19 pandemic, DEC saw an increase in people visiting State lands to experience New York's abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "DEC's Forest Rangers continue to be on the front lines to help visitors get outside responsibly and get home safely, as well as to protect our state's irreplaceable natural resources. 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."

Town of Long Lake
Hamilton County
Wilderness Rescue:
On Sept. 8 at 2:45 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance for a subject with a possible arm fracture near the summit of Coney Mountain. Ranger Praczkajlo made phone contact with the hiker's companions and suggested the group continue walking down the trail until a Ranger could meet them. Ranger Milano met up with the group and determined there were two injured parties, but no broken arm. One of the hikers became disoriented due to medication. Rangers helped the hikers to the trailhead and resources were clear at 4:30 p.m.

Town of Newcomb
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
On Sept.10 at 10:45 a.m., Forest Rangers Quinn and Sabo were called about a hiker who injured their wrist near the summit of Couchsachraga Peak. Ranger Quinn spoke to the reporting party by phone and explained how to splint and sling the injured arm. Rangers met the subjects at Bradley Pond and hiked them out to the trailhead. The injured hiker was driven by a friend to Glens Falls Hospital. Resources were clear at 3 p.m.

Town of Long Lake
Hamilton County
Water Rescue:
On Sept. 10 at 11 a.m., while working the Adirondack Canoe Classic - the '90 Miler' race - Forest Ranger Dicintio encountered an injured kayaker. Ranger Dicintio picked up the subject and transported them down Long Lake to a Long Lake Rescue boat. The subject from Syracuse was treated on Long Lake beach.

City of Albany
Albany County
Wilderness Search:
On Sept. 10 at 10:34 a.m., Albany Police requested Forest Ranger assistance with the search for a 42-year-old woman. The subject's husband said she was last seen at 7 a.m. when she said she was going into the woods. Ranger Gullen assisted Albany Police and the Albany County Sherriff's Department with search tactics and crew assignments as they began searching the nearby Albany Pine Bush. New York State Police, Guilderland Police, and DEC's Division of Law Enforcement also assisted in the search. At 3 p.m., an Albany County Sheriff's bloodhound showed considerable interest in the wooded area near the purple trail. At 5:45 p.m., search crews located the subject and transported her by EMS and resources were clear at 7 p.m.

Town of Keene
Essex County
Wilderness Search:
On Sept. 11 at 4:45 p.m., Forest Rangers Curcio and O'Connor and Assistant Forest Ranger McLenithan responded to a report of a hiker with an unstable ankle injury on the trail descending Big Slide Mountain. At 5:30 p.m., Rangers reached the 26-year-old from Guilderland, splinted the injury, and helped her to the Garden trailhead. The subject advised she would seek medical treatment on her own and resources were clear at 6:30 p.m.

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.

If a person needs a Forest Ranger, whether it's for a search and rescue, to report a wildfire, or to report illegal activity on state lands and easements, they should call 833-NYS-RANGERS. If a person needs urgent assistance, they can call 911. To contact a Forest Ranger for information about a specific location, the DEC website has phone numbers for every Ranger listed by region.

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