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 2019, DEC Forest Rangers conducted 337 search and rescue missions, extinguished 74 wildfires that burned a total of 212 acres, participated in 29 prescribed fires that burned and rejuvenated 645 acres, and worked on cases that resulted in 2,507 tickets or arrests.

“DEC celebrates our 50th anniversary this year, but our Forest Rangers have been on the front lines for even longer, protecting New York’s wildlife, natural resources, residents, and visitors for more than a century,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “The State’s brave Forest Rangers have a vast knowledge of first aid, land navigation, and technical rescue techniques that are critical to the success of their missions in remote wilderness areas, rugged mountainous peaks, white water rivers, frozen lakes, and forested areas statewide. We are proud of the work our Forest Rangers perform and look forward to another 50 years and beyond of highly trained service.”

Town of Patterson
Putnam County
Community Outreach: On Sept. 26, Forest Ranger Pries, along with ECOs Tompkins and Crisafulli, joined the Putnam County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs for the annual youth pheasant hunt at the Great Swamp Wildlife Management Area. Every year, children aged 12 to 15 have the chance to experience pheasant hunting the weekend prior to the opening of the season. This gives first-time youth hunters a better chance at a successful hunt and helps keep young people engaged in the sport. Annually, the federation sponsors a youth hunt on this weekend after obtaining a permit from DEC to buy and release pheasants

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