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 acres of land, and enforced the State Environmental Conservation Law and regulations. Some of these incidents result in injuries, property damage, or even death, so starting in 2021, the "Ranger Highlights" will be transitioning to a new title, "DEC Forest Rangers - Week In Review."
"In the last decade, even before the pandemic, we saw more and more people experiencing the great opportunities provided by New York's outdoors," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "Oftentimes, that means our Forest Rangers are called into action. Their knowledge of the remote wilderness and terrain makes them the most qualified in the state to help people when they need it the most. They patrol DEC lands and protect the public using their expert training in communities across the State to help everyone recreate responsibly and return home safely."
Town of Johnsburg
Wilderness Rescue: On Jan. 5 at 6:25 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Warren County requesting Forest Ranger assistance to locate a 30-year-old stranded off trail on Crane Mountain. Forest Ranger Perryman responded to the coordinates provided and reached the hiker within the hour. The hiker was in good condition, but had lost the trail with only a phone for light. Ranger Perryman provided the hiker with a headlamp and assisted her back to the trailhead. Resources were clear at 7:42 p.m.
City of Claryville
Training: On Jan. 6 and 7, Forest Rangers took part in a Wilderness First Responder training at Frost Valley YMCA in Claryville. Forest Rangers are the only law enforcement members in New York State required to be certified as Wilderness First Responders. Forest Rangers who also work for Wilderness Medical Associates International lead the training. These Rangers travel across the country to train other members of the force here in New York. A total of 25 Forest Rangers took part in the two-day training.
Ranger Oldroyd takes part in Wilderness First Responder training
Ranger Parlier takes part in Wilderness First Responder training
Ranger Franke Jr. takes part in Wilderness First Responder training
Town of Charlton
Wildland Search: On Jan. 7 at 4:46 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from the Saratoga County Sheriff's Department requesting Forest Ranger assistance with a search for a 33-year-old missing for approximately 24 hours. Two Forest Rangers responded to speak with family members. Three Rangers searched the woods with negative results. On the morning of Jan. 8, Forest Rangers were joined by members of the Saratoga County Sheriff's Department Special Operations Team, New York State Police Aviation, and Charlton Police and Fire Departments. At 1:30 p.m., a Forest Ranger-led crew found the subject's body. Responders packaged the body in a wheeled litter and turned him over to the coroner. The Sheriff's Department is the lead agency for the investigation and does not suspect foul play.
Command Center in Charlton
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.