New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) ticketed numerous poachers for violating hunting and firearm laws and regulation during the big game hunting season in DEC Region 5, which includes most of the Adirondack Park.
ECOs charged 152 individuals with a total of 270 total charges. The charges included 91 misdemeanors and 179 violations. » Continue Reading.
The most recent Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Report for DEC Region 5 includes most of the Adirondack region. Although not a comprehensive detailing of all backcountry incidents, these reports are issued periodically by the DEC and printed here at the Almanack in their entirety. They are organized by county, and date. You can read previous Forest Ranger Reports here.
These incident reports are a stern reminder that wilderness conditions can change suddenly and accidents happen. Hikers and campers should check up-to-date forecasts before entering the backcountry and always carry a flashlight, first aid kit, map and compass, extra food, plenty of water and clothing. Be prepared to spend an unplanned night in the woods and always inform others of your itinerary.
A recent spate of backcountry rescues has shone a light on some of those among us on the front lines of Adirondack Park stewardship and public safety – Forest Rangers. Until 1981 there were over 100 Forest Rangers patrolling the Adirondacks. Over the succeeding 30 years that number was gradually reduced to 40-45 and now continues to fall due to budget cuts, retirements, and defunding of the the Forest Ranger and Environmental Conservation Officer Training Academy. As Dave Gibson recently noted:
“These days, one is hard pressed to encounter a Forest Ranger on the trails or in the woods – at the very time when the recreating public is most in need of their services. And their jobs have become much more complex. Since becoming a part of the DEC Office of Public Protection around 1997, law enforcement has become a big part of their jobs, and Rangers are frequently pulled away from their patrols to enforce against substance abuse in crowded places like campgrounds.” » Continue Reading.
What follows is a guest essay contributed by the Adirondack Forest Preserve Education Partnership, a coalition of Adirondack organizations building on the Leave No Trace philosophy:
While fishing a fairly remote brook trout pond, a man in an official looking green uniform approaches and asks to see your fishing license.
While camping on a lake, a woman in a green uniform – a little different from the uniform you had seen before – comes into camp and makes some inquiries about your plans and practices for storing food and waste. » Continue Reading.
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