New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents in the Adirondacks. 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.
What follows is a report, prepared by DEC, of recent missions carried out by Forest Rangers.
Graffiti on rocks: DEC Forest Rangers in Region 6 are investigating graffiti painted on rocks at the top of Bald Mountain near Old Forge. Hikers said the drawings were located off the main trail near the fire tower and included language making light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Forest Rangers, already aware of the graffiti, are encouraging anyone with information to call DEC’s non-emergency dispatch at 518-897-1300. If caught, those responsible could face a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail.
Bash Bish Falls State Park
Vandalism: On May 2, Massachusetts State Police and Department of Conservation and Recreation Rangers responded to vandalism at Bash Bish Falls State Park on the New York-Massachusetts border. Vandals destroyed barricades, shredded ribbons and strewing the area with beer bottles. Vandals also targeted the parking area across the New York State border in Columbia County, tossing the barriers into the water. The Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation has closed the park until further notice, given the state-of-emergency and its focus on social distancing during the pandemic.
Town of Brookhaven
ATV and Dumping Enforcement: On May 1, Forest Ranger Scott Hicks responded to several public complaints of illegal off-roading activity within the Rocky Point Natural Resource Management Area in Brookhaven, Suffolk County. Ranger Hicks’ proactive patrol netted seven operators of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), resulting in 18 related summonses for the offenders. Charges included: trespassing on posted lands; operating an ATV on public land; operating a 4×4 vehicle off-road on public land within the county of Suffolk; operating an ATV without a helmet; operating an unregistered ATV; failure to display a plate on an ATV; and operating an ATV without liability insurance in effect. In addition, on May 3, Ranger Hicks participated in a multi-agency ATV detail with the Central Pine Barrens Commission’s Law Enforcement Council to deter off-road activities. He also began investigations into five illegal dumping complaints at Rocky Point.
Be Prepared: Properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hiking Safety webpage.