DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Highlights

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DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 12/16 - 12/22/19

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 the backcountry.

In 2018, DEC Forest Rangers conducted 346 search and rescue missions, extinguished 105 wildfires that burned a total of 845 acres, participated in 24 prescribed fires that burned and rejuvenated 610 acres, and worked on cases that resulted in 2,354 tickets or arrests.

"Across New York, DEC Forest Rangers are on the front lines helping people safely enjoy the great outdoors," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "Their knowledge of first aid, land navigation, and technical rescue techniques are critical to the success of their missions, which take them from remote wilderness areas with rugged mountainous peaks, to white-water rivers and throughout our vast forested areas statewide."

Town of Clifton
St. Lawrence County
Wilderness Rescue:
On Dec. 17 at 8:48 p.m., St. Lawrence County 911 contacted DEC's Ray Brook Dispatch regarding a distress signal from an InReach emergency beacon in the Five Ponds Wilderness Area at Cat Mountain Pond. Due to the remote location and winter conditions, 10 Forest Rangers utilizing two airboats responded to expedite personnel transport. Forest Ranger Nathan Shea hiked in from the Dead Creek trailhead, while the remaining Forest Rangers proceeded to the location with airboats using the SUNY ESF Ranger School beachfront area. The 38-year-old male hiker from West Point was found by Ranger Shea at 1:57 a.m., using the coordinates given by 911. Ranger Shea warmed the hiker, gave him fluids and food, and they began walking out to meet the rest of the search party. At 3:07 a.m., Forest Rangers met the hiker and Ranger Shea between the Cat Mountain junction and Cat Mountain Pond. They then hiked to Janacks Landing and were evacuated by airboat back to the Ranger School. The hiker declined medical care and was transported by family members to a hotel in Tupper Lake. All units were back in service at 4:45 a.m. on Dec. 18. The hiker stated he had left Cranberry Lake at 5:00 a.m., and attempted to hike the Cranberry Lake 50 trail, but was not fully prepared for the hike and did not have winter-weight boots or enough food.

Town of Bath
Steuben County
Community Outreach:
On Dec. 18, Forest Ranger TJ Carpenter participated in a Shop-With-a-Cop event in Bath. Multiple Steuben County police agencies participated to bring some holiday joy to 15 local children. The day's activities began with a meet and greet with the officers at the Bath Police Department and a chance to look at the various patrol vehicles. The group then visited local stores so the children could purchase gifts for loved ones. After the shopping was complete, the officers and kids returned to the Bath Police Department to wrap presents and enjoy lunch provided by area eateries.

Town of Jewett
Greene County
Wilderness Rescue:
On Dec. 22 at 2:00 p.m., Central Dispatch received a call from a woman reporting her daughter was lost hiking in the town of Jewett. Dispatch asked the caller to direct her daughter to call 911 in order to obtain cell phone coordinates. The 24-year-old hiker from Westing, Connecticut, reported that she was on a yellow trail and had parked her vehicle at Colgate Lake. Forest Rangers Chris DiCintio, Katherine Fox, and John Gullen responded. Forest Rangers DiCintio and Gullen located the hiker and escorted her out of the woods.

Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC's Hiking Safety and Adirondack Backcountry Information webpage for more information.

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Basil Seggos, Commissioner

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