We don’t often get an opportunity to hear from local Department of Environmental Conservation forest rangers, so yesterday’s interview with 26-year veteran DEC Forest Ranger Mark Kralovic by Gloversville Leader-Herald reporter Kayleigh Karutis is worth noting here on the blog.
Although Kralovic, who is stationed in Wells, Hamilton County, notes that he has not seen an Adirondack moose yet, he has seen some strange and dramatic things:
Kralovic said he has seen anywhere from five to over a dozen rescues a year, and each presents its own unique challenges.
One incident several years ago necessitated the use of a helicopter to search for a couple lost in the Silver Lake Wilderness area. Kralovic dropped down from the helicopter into an adjacent swamp and located the pair, escorting them back to civilization.
Other searches are less successful, and some lost explorers are never found. Rain and snow make things, predictably, a bit more difficult. And there’s no specific demographic for a lost person – they could be 10, or they could be 70, or anywhere in between.
“You see some very strange things,” said Lt. Stephen Preston, zone supervisor for Fulton and Hamilton counties. “You become immune to it.”
Preston, a Benson resident who has been in the area as a supervisor for four years and a ranger for 15, remembers one search and rescue decidedly different from the norm: the disabled individual was a 150-pound Newfoundland dog.
While we’re at it, here is the complete roster of local DEC Forest Rangers.
Have you had an experience with a DEC Ranger that was notable? Let us know in the comments.