When historians look through archival photos, it can be difficult to analyze an image’s authenticity. The question is not whether the image is genuine, per say, but how frank or candid the photo really is. This can be especially challenging when looking through photographs taken by government agencies who, understandably, have an agenda and often preserved images that were created with a certain narrative in mind. This is why, while the historic photos of Forest Rangers that graced the glossy pages of the Conservationist Magazine have become iconic, I tend to prefer to obtain photos from the rangers personal collections. » Continue Reading.
Posts Tagged ‘Forest Rangers’
In mid-February, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) opened the 21st Basic School for Uniformed Officers, the 28-week training academy in Pulaski that prepares recruits for positions as Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) and Forest Rangers.
The academy began with 34 ECO and 11 Ranger candidates. The recruits are from 28 of New York’s 62 counties and range in age from 22 to 44 years old. Graduation is tentatively scheduled for August 25. » Continue Reading.
UPDATE: DEC has released video of the summit helicopter rescue here.
Two hikers who had been missing in the High Peaks since Sunday have been found alive.
Blake Alois, 20, and Madison Popolizio, 19, both of Niskayuna, a suburban town west of Albany, were found less than a quarter mile from the summit of Algonquin Peak at 11 a.m. Tuesday.
The two were located by Forest Ranger Scott Van Laer and Lake Placid climber Don Mellor, who were among dozens of professional searchers looking for the pair. A state police helicopter transported them to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake, where they were treated for cold-related injuries.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced the graduation of 31 Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) and 17 Forest Rangers from the agency’s 20th Basic School for Uniformed Officers.
The 48 new officers received their diplomas in a formal ceremony at the Kallet Theater in Pulaski.
The Basic School was held at the Division of Law Enforcement’s Training Academy in Pulaski, which runs along the Salmon River. » Continue Reading.
Forest Ranger Rob Mecus got the call at 3:15 in the afternoon. A climber had fallen on Wallface. Rob had been at his Adirondack post for only a couple of years, but he knew what all longtime local climbers know — that Wallface was the worst-case scenario. It’s the biggest cliff in the state. It’s five miles from the road. There’s no nice trail to the top for a staging area. It’s blocky and loose. Three of the first four Adirondack climbing fatalities happened on this huge, remote piece of rock.
The cell-phone call from Summit Rock in Indian Pass reported that the fallen climber appeared to be hanging from a rope, unconscious. Yet despite the distance and the complexity of the rescue operation, that same climber would be wheeled into the emergency room at Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake at 8:10 that same evening. » Continue Reading.
State Police identified the victim as Joann N. Restko, 37, of Staten Island. Troopers said Restko, who was hiking with a friend, slipped while taking photos.
State forest rangers got an emergency call about 12:40 p.m. They found Restko lying face down in a pool of water, already dead. An autopsy concluded she died from multiple injuries suffered in the fall. » Continue Reading.
She had joined others from the Youth Ed-Venture and Nature Network, Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve, and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation for a day of hard work along the Hudson River. YENN volunteers from tye Capital District met me at the Adirondack Mountain Club Headquarters off of Northway Exit 21 (thanks to Danielle for hosting us). After a brief orientation to the Adirondack Park, we drove to Luzerne and then up River Road into the Town of Warrensburg. » Continue Reading.
Autumn of 1948 had been a particularly dry season. Forest Rangers of that era often remained at their headquarters awaiting a phone call reporting the location of a blaze. The radio system of that time was poor but most outposts and fire towers were connected via phone line.
Daniel McKenzie, a 27 year veteran, was the Forest Ranger for North Hudson at the time and he lived on the Blue Ridge Road. A Ranger’s work schedule was much different then. During dry periods they stayed available all the time and they worked until the work was done. Ranger McKenzie, by all accounts, wore his uniform almost all the time. The Northway was decades away from construction and North Hudson was a more isolated community. In fact, McKenzie first came to the area prior to becoming a ranger to help construct State Route 9. » Continue Reading.
For example, during the recent recovery of hiker Hua Davis on MacNaughton, a Forest Ranger was accidentally submerged up to his chest in a freezing mountain brook – a perilous situation when you are 13 miles by trail from the nearest road.
Although New York State Forest Rangers have an excellent safety record, there have been numerous fatalities in the line of duty and many injuries. What follows are just a few examples. » Continue Reading.
The body of 61-year-old Hua Davis of Wilmington, Delaware was discovered on the backside of MacNaughton Mountain, according to media reports.
Davis is said to have begun her hike on Friday and was reported overdue to Forest Rangers, who found her body about 4 p.m., Saturday afternoon.
It’s believed she became hypothermic and disoriented. Temperatures were well-below freezing Friday night and there is still deep snow in the higher elevations of the High Peaks. » Continue Reading.
Rescues involving personal locator beacons are rare in the Adirondacks, but one played a key role in the search-and-rescue of a 47-year-old Long Island woman on Mount Marcy during whiteout conditions in early February.
Maria Nobles had been hiking with a group of six people on February 6 when she lost her way near Schofield Cobble on her way to Marcy’s summit, which is less than a mile away. Realizing she was in trouble, Nobles sent a distress signal on her locator beacon. » Continue Reading.
The climber, a 40-year-old man from Stamford, CT, was on the second pitch of Screw and Climaxe when he slipped on thin ice, plummeting below his belayer and coming to rest only 15 feet or so above the ground.
Eight forest rangers, three volunteer rescuers, and a medic carried out a complicated rescue operation in the dark that took roughly four hours, from the time of the initial call to the time the victim was placed in an ambulance.
Forest Ranger Scott van Laer was driving back to Ray Brook from another incident — a climber had fainted in the Trap Dike on Mount Colden — when he got a call at about 4:30 on Saturday afternoon. He heard screaming in the background.
“We knew it was serious, it wasn’t a sprained ankle,” van Laer said. “We knew we had to get there as soon as possible.”
‘Tis the season for illegally cutting Christmas trees in the Adirondacks. That was the jingle, and it was followed by a stern warning from Conservation Department Commissioner Lithgow Osborne in December 1934 that his forest rangers would be on high alert for those attempting to steal their holiday cheer from the Forest Preserve:
“Forest Rangers are very much on guard this time of year because of the tendency of some persons to take trees from state land. Some of the newer forest plantations on state land offer a tempting array of Christmas trees and it is only by the exercise of constant vigilance on the part of the rangers that thefts can be prevented.” » Continue Reading.
Most people think of today’s Forest Rangers as the stewards of the Forest Preserve and experts in wildland firefighting and search and rescue. The Rangers share their origins with the Forest Preserve itself. The decal on the side of a Forest Ranger vehicle states “serving since 1885.”
It was in May of that year that Governor David B. Hill signed into law Chapter 283, which authorized the appointment of a wildland fire fighting force called Fire Wardens. These men, according to their appointment, would “take charge of” and “direct the work necessary for extinguishing” fires that occurred in their assigned areas. Fire Wardens were generally only paid when involved in actual suppression but they did have some police-like powers with respect to fire and establishing a fire fighting force. Their official warrant stated, “All persons in the territory, whom you may order to render you such assistance, are required by law, to obey your order, and any person who may refuse to act in obedience to your order is, by statute, liable to a fine of not less than five nor more than twenty dollars.” » Continue Reading.
On August 17, a climber fell 60 to 80 feet on the second pitch of Diagonal, the most popular route on the 700-foot-tall cliff. A state police helicopter, 12 forest rangers, and two volunteer climbers responded to emergency—and they were assisted by two other climbers who happened to be on the same route. » Continue Reading.