New York Department of Environmental Conservation forest rangers say more rangers are needed to patrol park lands and conduct search-and-rescue missions.
According to an article on LakePlacidNews.com, the number of forest rangers in New York is 140, including supervisors and non-field staff. However, in recent decades, the state has added more than a million acres to the Adirondack Forest Preserve. In addition, more hikers in places like the High Peaks has led to state forest rangers conducting search-and-rescue missions almost daily.
While New York has added land, the DEC has generally not added forest rangers to patrol the additional land. The average ranger is now responsible for overseeing about 40,000 acres of land. And while the DEC touts the fact that there are more rangers than ever before, support positions such as backcountry caretakers, trail crew and assistant forest rangers have all decreased over the last 10 years.