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."
New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Center: On Jan. 9, two Forest Rangers were deployed to assist the State's efforts to stand up a mass vaccination site at the SUNY Albany Campus. Forest Rangers fill critical roles in the Incident Command System (ICS) structure that are crucial in the success of the mission, including serving as Operation and Planning Section Chiefs. On Jan. 15, the mass vaccination site was established, capable of handling more than 1,000 patients a day. At this site and others across the state, Rangers are joined by other DEC staff from more than a dozen divisions, as well as representatives from multiple state agencies.
Forest Ranger Gullen at the SUNY Albany Mass Vaccination Site
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.