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 Attica
Wyoming County
Public Outreach: On Oct. 5, Forest Rangers John Kennedy, Justin Thaine, and Nathan Sprague instructed the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision’s (DOCCS) Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT) in the Basic Wildland Search Course. Participants took part in various aspects of effective searches for missing or lost persons by participating in a mock search and locating clues in a search block using specialized techniques.

Town of Hunter
Greene County
Wilderness Recovery: On Oct. 6 at 4 p.m., Forest Rangers Mark Brand, Kenneth Gierloff, and Christine Nelson responded to a search for a missing 50-year-old male in Platte Clove. Based on information provided by a friend, the man was dropped off on Platte Clove Road and planned to hike down to the Plattekill Creek, camp, and then hike through to meet a friend at Saugerties Bridge on Becker Road. Using this information,

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