New York Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – September 18, 2020
The year 2020 marks 50 years for DEC. “From Montauk Point and Brooklyn to Buffalo, the ECOs patrolling our state are the first line of defense in protecting New York’s environment and our natural resources, ensuring that they exist for future generations of New Yorkers,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said.
Jogger Treed by Black Bear With Cubs
On August 18 at 7:30 p.m., a 19-year-old woman left her residence in Old Forge for a 5-mile run and did not return home when expected. At 10 p.m., the woman’s parents called police and at midnight. Twelve forest rangers responded along with 24 New York State Police Officers from Patrol, Special Operations, K9, and Aviation, and six State Police Criminal Investigators. Also assisting were six Town of Webb police officers, more than 100 volunteers from the Inlet, Eagle Bay, Big Moose, and Old Forge fire departments, and area residents. Search teams found the subject the next day in Old Forge at approximately 10:30 a.m. The woman said she had been running on the Big Otter Trail in the HaDaRonDah Wilderness Area when she encountered two bear cubs. The mother bear chased the woman through the woods and the subject climbed a tree to escape. After darkness came, the bears seemed to have left, but the woman stayed in the tree until daylight and used the morning sun to navigate back to the trail and walk back to Old Forge where she was found by the search team.
On Sept. 5, Orange County 911 requested the assistance of Forest Ranger Parlier with a wildland fire on private property in the town of Deerpark. The unattended brush fire had spread and was later contained to approximately two acres through the use of an excavator the landowner had on site and the assistance of the Cuddeback, Huguenot, Otisville, Westbrookville, Sparrowbrush, and Port Jervis fire departments. The fire was declared out at approximately 3:45 p.m.
On Aug. 8, ECOs Milliron and Garrand investigated a possible obstruction to a navigable waterway in Hamilton Beach, Queens. A privately owned floating dock was positioned to obstruct a navigable channel in Hawtree Basin near Jamaica Bay. Upon arrival, the ECOs confirmed a 30-foot section of dock was impeding the channel and preventing vessels from passing through it. In addition, neighbors expressed concerns about the dock possibly damaging the moorings and pillars of their property as the dock was not properly secured. The owner agreed to move the dock as soon as possible.
ECOs Respond to Extensive Illegal Clamming Activity
On Aug. 23 at approximately 9 p.m., ECOs McCarthy and Brussell planned an evening patrol in Queens in response to numerous complaints about people taking uncertified shellfish in Jamaica Bay during low tide. ECO McCarthy, dressed in plain clothes and carrying his own net and bucket to blend in with the crowd, observed approximately 30 individuals with buckets and rakes digging and placing the shellfish and undersized blue crabs into five-gallon buckets. The ECO also observed a lookout vehicle in the area to alert the group of police activity, preventing ECO Brussell from driving a marked police car into the immediate area. Eventually, ECO McCarthy followed the individuals back to their parking spots on a nearby side street and notified ECO Brussell of the location. Once the officer drove up in the marked patrol unit, the group of illegal clammers tried to run the buckets to three different cars and make a quick getaway. However, ECO Brussell blocked the subjects’ path and seized more than 600 pieces of shellfish and blue crabs. ECOs issued summonses for taking shellfish from uncertified waters and processing undersized blue crabs to all participants in the illegal activity.
State Swiftwater Task Force Training (Warren County )
On Aug. 26 and 27, the Governor’s Swiftwater Task Force, which consists of State Police, Office of Fire Prevention and Control, Park Police, and DEC’s Divisions of Law Enforcement and New York State Forest Rangers participated in general boat operation training at the confluence of the Sacandaga and Hudson rivers.
ECOs Locate Marijuana Grow Operation (Greene County)
On Aug. 28, ECOs Arp and Palmateer responded to an anonymous tip about a marijuana grow on New York City Department of Environmental Protection property in the town of Ashland. The ECOs located five large marijuana plants growing on the public property. The officers confiscated the plants and delivered them to the New York State Police Catskill barracks. The marijuana plants were turned over to State Police Investigators and logged into evidence.
U.S. Airforce Training
The United States Air Force’s 20th Air Support Operations Squadron stationed at Ft. Drum recently conducted training on DeBar Mountain Wild Forest Area in Franklin County with the support of DEC’s Region 5 Divisions of Lands and Forests and Forest Protection. The three-day training had the squadron working communication links in the field, as well as back to Ft. Drum, while camping out and practicing survival training in the backcountry.
If you witness an environmental crime or believe a violation of environmental law occurred, please call the DEC Division of Law Enforcement hotline at 1-844-DEC-ECOS(1-844-332-3267).