Posts Tagged ‘Forest Rangers’

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Solar eclipse

girl scout wear eclipse glasses

Eclipse

Explorer staff and correspondents were stationed across the region to bring you solar eclipse coverage. Check out our website and social media accounts for updates, photos and more. Read our story here.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2024

4 High Peaks rescues, 3 days

Rescue on Basin Mountain

Ranger rescues

It’s officially mud season, and the state Department of Environmental Conservation has asked hikers to avoid climbs above 2,500 feet. Two weekends ago, forest rangers were already dealing with the difficulties of conducting rescues in the mix of mud, ice and snow. I spoke with a ranger about his assistance on four rescues that weekend, two of them involving a team of 30 rangers.

You can check out that story here.

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Friday, January 5, 2024

Forest Rangers’ Wives – A Story of Dedication

NYS forest rangers and their wives

By Louis Curth

Retired forest ranger Gary Lee’s recollections about the life that he and Karen shared at the West Canada Lakes Ranger Station tell an important story about the vital role of forest ranger wives back in the 1960s. In those days, [female] forest rangers were scarce to non-existent. It was no secret that the Conservation Department favored hiring married men for ranger positions. Married men were viewed as more reliable and better able to fit into the rural community lifestyle of most of the assigned ranger districts. On top of that, the department obtained the many additional services performed by the ranger’s wife for free! 

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Friday, August 25, 2023

Rangers, wildland firefighters deployed to help contain wildfires in Idaho and Montana

DEC engineers returned to New York on July 26, after spending a week in Vermont performing expedited visual safety inspections on non-hydroelectric and non-federally licensed dams following historic flooding.

Latest DEC Out-of-State Staff Deployment as DEC Water Engineers Return From Dam Safety Inspections in Vermont Following Floods

On Aug. 7, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced that DEC Forest Rangers and expert wildland firefighters were being deployed to assist with efforts to contain the Ridge Creek Fire in the Idaho panhandle and the Niarada Fire in northwestern Montana. The latest Forest Ranger deployments come as a team of DEC engineers recently returned from performing dam safety inspections in Vermont after being directed by Governor Kathy Hochul to assist in the recovery from the devastating flooding that inundated the Northeast last month.

New York State often deploys highly trained wildland firefighters to help battle wildfires as part of interstate and international firefighting compacts. The DEC Forest Ranger assisting in Montana will serve as a Task Force Leader and help coordinate the response to a fire that is currently estimated at 10,400 acres and zero percent contained. The fire on Bureau of Indian Affairs lands 12 miles west of Elmo, Montana, is currently threatening several structures. A pair of Rangers are also deploying to Idaho to assist with efforts to contain the Ridge Creek Fire north of Coeur D’alene.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Cranberry Lake campers charged with illegal tree cutting

forest ranger report

Recent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Clifton
St. Lawrence County
Campground Eviction:
 On July 18 at 2:30 p.m., Cranberry Lake Campground staff called Ray Brook dispatch to request Forest Ranger assistance with a group of campers who cut down a maple tree and did not register their site. Rangers Baldwin and Jansen informed the group of campground regulations and issued a ticket for illegally cutting down a tree.

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Saturday, December 31, 2022

Looking back at first days as a Ranger, keeping feeders stocked for over 50 Evening Grosbeaks

Male party evening grosbeaks

The first day of winter was very nice, but the next few days right through (and past) Christmas Day were wild in many parts of the country. The worst being right in our backyard in Buffalo where the snow is still falling and the wind [is] still blowing off Lake Erie. [It has been] reported that 55 people have died so far [as of December 26] as a result of the storm, many found dead in their snow-trapped cars and some [were found] out on the streets frozen to death.

 

The quick change in temperature from in the forties down to below zero in just a few hours and winds up to (and over) 70 MPH off the lake brought the snowfall of over five feet in some places again, and drifts of over 16 feet. Many people didn’t heed the warnings and they had to get out and do that last minute Christmas shopping, which could have been their last trip. We missed most of that here in the North Country, but just north of us in the Tug Hill area they had over four feet of snow, and it is still falling there as of this writing [December 26.]

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Saturday, December 17, 2022

Graduation of 38 NYS Forest Rangers brings back memories of becoming a Ranger in 1965

Graduating Forest Rangers

We had a trickle of winter white, but we could use more. I believe the ground froze, as we had a few nights around twenty [degrees] before this little snowfall. Some loons forgot to leave, and three were frozen in First Lake yesterday [Sunday, December 11]. Two flew out during the day, and I have not heard about the other one. There were [also] a couple Bald Eagles keeping watch and waiting for a snack. Please remind your children to stay off the ice until we have some really cold weather [for the sake of their safety]. This on-and-off warm then cold weather hasn’t made the ice safe yet, so stay off [it] as a fall through the ice can be life threatening.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Governor Hochul announces graduation of 38 New York State Forest Rangers

On Friday, December 2, Governor Kathy Hochul announced 38 new graduates from the 23rd Basic School for New York State Forest Rangers. As part of the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Division of Forest Protection, New York Forest Rangers protect the state’s natural resources and communities and stand ready to support states across the country in the face of emergencies like wildfires. The ceremony held in Lake Placid [the morning of Dec. 2] celebrated graduates from across New York State who followed extensive law enforcement and natural resources training in the classroom as well as in the field.


Thursday, February 10, 2022

No Major Changes for Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks

The current New York State budget being negotiated by Governor Kathy Hochul and the State Legislature contains significant new spending on a number of things, like $29 million for a new headquarters for the Adirondack Park Agency, and a new $30 million building for the Olympic Regional Development Authority at the North Creek Ski Bowl, yet funding for Forest Rangers in the Adirondack Park and across the state is flat.

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Friday, October 15, 2021

Adirondack Reflections

paw patrol

Fantastic fall foliage. NYS DEC Forest Ranger rescue tales. A hike along Paul Smith College VIC trails with wife, family, and our own troop of “Paw Patrol” canine companions. Adirondack memories reflected, shared, and new ones made at the VIC.   

I recently took time before heading full on into hunting season to spend some weekend time at Paul Smith College’s Visitor’s Interpretive Center, aka: “The PSC VIC.”

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Monday, June 21, 2021

Adirondack Wild applauds dedicated forest ranger academy

ranger truckLeaders of the nonprofit advocate Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve are hailing the recent announcement of an independent Training Academy for the NYS DEC Forest Rangers to be held next year. The welcome announcement was made by Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos and Acting Forest Ranger Director John Solan.

“We are pleased that this training academy will be 100% dedicated to Forest Ranger recruits,” said Adirondack Wild’s David Gibson. “It’s something we have long sought.”

For decades, Forest Ranger recruits have had to share a training academy with Environmental Conservation Office recruits, where law enforcement and policing became the training emphasis. The two positions are very related, but also very distinct.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

The last patrol

Scott van Laer

The May/June Adirondack Explorer now landing in subscribers’ mailboxes contains two profiles of forest rangers, Julie Harjung and Scott van Laer, by reporter Gwendolyn Craig. Both of these rangers have worked the woods for 25 years and are now retiring. Gwen visited van Laer as he wrapped up is work, and shot the short video that you can view here.

These stories honor the work these public servants have done to keep us and every Adirondack visitor safe and educated. Gwen revisits their careers, including the lives they saved, the rescues that sadly turned to recoveries, the work that van Laer did in advocating for the ranger corps, and the paramedic experience that Harjung put to work in training colleagues and others to become wilderness first responders.

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Friday, January 29, 2021

Adirondack Wild’s Comments on the Governor’s Environmental Budget

forest ranger logo

Budget testimony from Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve to the New York State Legislature, January 27, 2021

Adirondack Wild applauds Governor Cuomo’s executive budget for not cutting environmental protection, stewardship and related staffing despite steep projected reductions in budget revenues.  We applaud the Governor’s and the State Legislature’s ongoing emphasis on climate protection and mitigation. We believe that the following targeted and relatively modest budget increases are needed to respond to climate and resource-based opportunities and urgent needs that should also be confronted during this year of budget challenges.

 

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Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Forest rangers rescue hikers on Marcy and Azure mountains

forest ranger logoRecent DEC forest ranger actions:

Town of Waverly
Franklin County
Wilderness Rescue
: On Sept. 5 at 4 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiker reporting that his wife had injured her ankle about a half mile from the trailhead of Azure Mountain. Forest Ranger Lt. Harjung responded along with Forest Rangers Balerno and Evans, the St. Regis Falls Fire Department, and EMS. Once on scene, Lt. Harjung splinted the injury and the group started slowly making their way down the trail. The injured hiker was able to get down off the steeper slope with the assistance of hiking poles and leaning on the shoulders of rescuers. The responders then placed the subject in a litter and carried her the remainder of the way to the trailhead. The hiker declined additional medical treatment and said she would seek treatment on her own.

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Thursday, June 11, 2020

More Than Ever, We Need Rangers to Be Ambassadors for the Forest Preserve

The Coronavirus pandemic is asserting its influence on Adirondack summer recreation, amplifying worries about public safety and the increased number of visitors, especially in the High Peaks.  There are many questions: will there be more hikers this season?  Fewer?  Will choked trail heads be COVID vectors? Will novice visitors seeking to escape both the coronavirus and social isolation mean an increase in unprepared hikers and rescues?  Will a decrease in the usual resources such as open facilities, trail stewards and shuttles cause our visitor management challenges to be overwhelming?  No one knows.  Understandably, concern is high.   

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