New York Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – August 20, 2021
Rattlesnake on the Loose
On July 27, ECO Johnson responded to a 911 radio call in the town of Wawarsing to assist the Ulster County Sheriff’s with a rattlesnake residential property. The ECO arrived to find the rattlesnake had coiled itself around a small tree in the front yard. Using snake tongs, ECO Johnson was able to secure the rattlesnake in a plastic container and remove the snake from the property. As a threatened species in New York State, best efforts are made to relocate rattlesnakes to a safe location in the proximity of where they are found.
On July 12, ECOs Helmeyer and Franz responded to a radio call reporting a capsized sailing vessel with two boaters in the water in the proximity of the Rhinecliff Train station. The ECOs contacted the boaters and confirmed there were no injuries. The Officers helped the boaters and, with the assistance of the New York State Police, secured the vessel and maneuvered it to shore.
On July 18, ECO Jackson received a report about a boat in distress on South Sandy Creek in the town of Ellisburg. Heavy rains the previous evening caused flood conditions on the river, with high waters and a fast-moving current. A 12-foot aluminum boat with three adults and two children on board became pinned to a partially submerged tree laying across the flooded river. The boat was taking on water and in danger of tipping over. ECO Jackson responded to the DEC boat launch on South Sandy Creek where he met with State Police, Belleville Fire Department, Adams Fire Department, and the South Jefferson Rescue Squad. Officer Jackson launched a specialty watercraft known as a “mud boat” equipped with a surface drive outboard. With the assistance of a State Trooper, ECO Jackson navigated downstream to locate the distressed family. Taking advantage of the durability and capabilities of the mud boat, ECO Jackson ran the hull up onto the downed tree in the river, providing a stable platform to transfer the family of five into the mud boat with the Trooper’s help. Once the family was secure, the Officers verified there were no injuries and brought the family up-river to the boat launch. Belleville Fire and State Police pulled the rescued family’s boat to shore with a rope and found that the outboard motor had lost the propeller in the incident. The incident serves as a reminder of the dangers of swift-moving floodwaters and debris. Boaters are reminded to always have the proper safety equipment and gear on board their vessel and ensure the boat can handle the water conditions prior to leaving the safety of shore.
State Land Enforcement
(St. Lawrence County)
On July 30 at 9:20 p.m., Forest Ranger Shea responded to the Upper/Lower Lake Wilderness Management Area for a report of a party on State land that was also connected to an ongoing criminal mischief investigation from June 21. Ranger Shea witnessed an individual using a pick-up truck to break a chain that locked the gated access to the area, providing access to an additional 50 party-goers. The gathering was quickly dispersed, and the area was cleaned up. A 20-year-old male was taken into custody on a criminal mischief charge and transported to State Police Canton for processing. Assisting with this enforcement action was Forest Ranger Benzel, New York State Police, and the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office.
Baby Owl Rescue
On July 2, contractors working at a historical site in the town of Clarkson came across a baby owl and contacted DEC. ECO Thibodeau responded, located the bird, and unsuccessfully canvassed the area for the owl’s nest. The ECO safely captured the owl and transported it to Trailside Museums and Zoo at Bear Mountain State Park. The owl was identified as an Eastern screech owl.
First Responders on the Water
(Marine District NYC)
While on a recent ‘Secure the City’ detail, ECOs responded to a report from the New York Police Department’s Special Operation Bureau about a jet ski in distress in New York Harbor. Two individuals participated in a jet ski tour that launched from Liberty Landing and one of them suffered an arm injury while riding. DECs Division of Law Enforcement’s Unit Vessel, crewed by ECOs Pansini, Veloski, and Lovgren, responded within five minutes. Officer Lovgren administered first aid to the injured rider with a triangular sling and transported them back to Liberty Landing. When they arrived back at the marina, the party sought further medical treatment at Jersey City Medical Center.
Great Blue Heron Rescue
On July 22, ECO Grose received a call regarding an injured great blue heron in New Paltz. Grose arrived on scene and located the bird alongside the roadway. Officer Grose captured the male bird and transported to a local wildlife rehabilitator for further evaluation.
Nuisance Wildlife Training
On July 23, Region 3 Division of Fish and Wildlife staff provided information about nuisance bears to Forest Rangers, and stewards in the Sundown Wild Forest Area of the Peekamoose Valley Riparian Corridor. Topics included bear behavior and bear hazing methods to help change bear behavior and avoid conflicts with humans. Recently, this area has experienced an up-tick in contact with nuisance bears because of food and garbage left behind by recreating visitors. While the DEC training was taking place, one of the problem bears showed up and was hazed with rubber buckshot.