New York Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – March 5, 2021
ECOs Conduct Multi-Day Snowmobile Detail
On Feb.12, ECOs Manns, Hilliard, Shaw, Toth, and Pasciak began a series of multi-day snowmobile details to ensure riders are complying with state regulations. The officers started off conducting a snowmobile checkpoint on the trail system in the town of Broadalbin and shifted to trails in the village of Mayfield that evening after receiving complaints from landowners about snowmobilers going off trails and into fields, threatening crops in at least one case. ECOs received assistance from troopers from the New York State Police’s Mayfield Station. The following day, ECOs Pasciak and Klein conducted a snowmobile patrol and checkpoints in the town of Caroga. The two-day detail resulted in six tickets issued for unregistered snowmobiles and modified exhaust systems, and one warning for attempting to ride on a closed trail section.
On Feb. 14, Forest Rangers Temple and Thompson were on snowmobile patrol in the Jessup River Wild Forest. While on patrol crossing Lewey Lake, the rangers observed two abandoned snowmobiles that appeared to be broken down and stuck on the ice. The rangers took the information from the snowmobile’s registration stickers and did a cursory search of the area looking for any signs of the snowmobile operators. With no signs of anyone in distress and the snowmobiles frozen in the surface slush of the lake, the rangers continued their patrol and attempted to locate the operators through other means. On Feb. 15, Forest Rangers Thompson and Nally again patrolled the area and observed three individuals in a UTV attempting to recover the snowmobiles. The rangers interviewed the group and learned that one of the snowmobiles broke down and was being towed out by the second when it began to have mechanical issues causing both sleds to get stuck. Prior to the rangers’ arrival, the group attempted to remove the snowmobiles without proper equipment and got their UTV stuck in the surface slush, as well. Rangers proceeded to Moffitt Beach campground to gather equipment and returned, freeing all three machines from the slush. The rangers then escorted the group off the ice. Due to one of the snowmobiles not being registered, the operator was issued a summons returnable to the Lake Pleasant Court.
Truck Stuck in Snow
On Feb. 20 at 9:15 p.m., Forest Ranger Oldroyd was contacted by Chenango County 911 about a truck that went off the Civilian Conservation Corps truck trail in the Pharsalia Woods State Forest. The truck trail is part of a snowmobile trail system in the forest. The vehicle’s occupants attempted to rescue themselves by using a winch cable to get the truck back on the road but in doing so created an unsafe trail condition. Once the subjects realized this, they requested assistance. Forest Rangers Oldroyd and Oldroyd responded to their location with snowmobiles and brought the occupants out of the woods. Rangers treated the occupants from Marathon and Cincinnatus for mild hypothermia, placing them in a Sheriff’s vehicle until they warmed up.
On Jan. 29, Feb. 1 and 4, forest rangers participated in three sessions of steep/vertical ice training in the Adirondacks. The training focused on climbing steep ice, mixed snow/ice, and rock-covered terrain to prepare rangers for difficult and dangerous rescues on mountain slides and ice-filled gullies where wintertime accidents are frequent.
This year (2021) marks New York’s Conservation Police Officers’ 141st anniversary. In 1880, the first eight Game Protectors proudly began serving to protect the natural resources and people of New York State.
DEC Police Officers and Investigators enforce the 71 Chapters of NY Environmental Conservation Law, protecting fish and wildlife and preserving environmental quality across New York. In 2020, the 298 ECOs and investigators across the state responded to 29,673 calls and worked on cases that resulted in 11,952 tickets or arrests for crimes ranging from deer poaching to solid waste dumping, illegal mining, the black market pet trade, and excessive emissions violations.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents statewide. 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 from across New York State.
In 2020, DEC forest rangers conducted 492 search and rescue missions, extinguished 192 wildfires that burned a total of more than 1,122 acres, participated in eight prescribed fires that served to rejuvenate more than 203 acres, and worked on cases that resulted in 3,131 tickets or arrests.
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).