Forest Rangers Honor Col. William F. Fox

Final Update 05/08/2018 @ 0855

Forest Rangers Granted Full Police Status

In 2006, DEC forest rangers were granted full police officer powers under legislation approved by the state legislature and signed by Gov. George Pataki.

The legislation allows forest rangers to perform police duties, and came in response to the varied situations forest rangers encounter, particularly while patrolling state lands in the more remote areas of the State.

The job of forest ranger has evolved to its present status, that combines the skills of both the traditional firefighter and police officer. Forest rangers are responsible and authorized to enforce all the laws of the State of New York, with greater emphasis on the environmental conservation law. Due to the unique nature of their job, they are now afforded the protections of Section 1.20 of the Criminal Procedure Law.

Col. William F. Fox - The Father of the New York State Forest Rangers

Colonel William F Fox, Superintendent of Forests, was instrumental in the creation of the ranger force which came about in 1912, three years after his passing.

Fox visited Germany to study scientific forestry methods in the early 1870's and went on to become assistant secretary to the Forest Commission in 1885, and then the first Superintendent of Forests in 1892.

As early as 1898 Col. Fox was recommending "a more compact and systematic organization of the corps of firewardens" and the "appointment of an assistant who shall be designated as the supervisor of firewardens or chief firewarden." He went on to say "I would embrace this opportunity also to call attention to the urgent need of some efficient system for patrolling the Adirondack and Catskill forests. To this end I would suggest the organization of an adequate force of forest rangers who should be assigned to districts of a suitable area, which should be patrolled constantly and thoroughly."

In 2009 Deputy Commissioner Hamilton and a cadre of rangers gathered to honor Col. Fox's memory on the 100th anniversary of his passing.

An NYS DEC Photo         

2016-Graduates from the Latest Academy

Congratulations and welcome to following new members of the New York State Forest Ranger Force; Forest Rangers Yuko Ashida, Hopewell Junction, Forest Ranger Adam J. Baldwin, Tupper Lake, Forest Ranger Jared T. Booth, Morrisonville, Forest Ranger Katherine M. Fox, West Nyack, Forest Ranger John A. Franceschina, Fort Montgomery, Forest Ranger Andrew S. Lewis, Wilmington, Forest Ranger Dylan T. McCartney, Bainbridge, Forest Ranger Melissa L. Milano, Newcomb, Forest Ranger Peter F. Morehouse, North Creek, Forest Ranger Hannah R. O'Connor, Lake Clear, Forest Ranger Brandon S. Poulton, Newcomb, Forest Ranger William F. Roberts, Groton, Forest Ranger Zachary L. Robitaille, Depew, Forest Ranger Matthew J. Savarie, Schroon Lake, Forest Ranger Nathan J. Shea, Westernville, Forest Ranger Nathan M. Sprague, Williamsville and Forest Ranger Ryan P. Sullivan, Poland, NY.
A Fire Tower in Brooklyn

In 2016 a massive commercial and service project known as Industry City in Brooklyn became a reality providing a variety of retail and service opportunities to the area. A requirement of the project was to provide certain "open space" opportunities. One such space or "court yard" as it's called is a forested setting and the home of the former Moosehead Mountain Fire Tower that once stood in southern St. Lawrence County, making it the southern most fire tower in New York State and the only one with a clear view of the Statue of Liberty.

Photo Courtesy of Industry City
Forest Ranger Murray Honored - His name Added to the Fallen Firefighters Memorial

On October 10, 2017, Forest Ranger Raymond Murray was recognized and honored by having his name added to a group of 2523 others who lost their lives in the line of duty. The ceremony was held at the Fallen Firefighters Memorial at the Empire State Plaza in Albany. The ceremony honored Murray and five other firefighters who lost their lives, along with one hundred and twelve New York City Firefighters who seccumed to illnesses contracted due to their involvement during and after the fall of the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001.

A Murray Family Photo
Aerial detection got off to a rough start with a fatal accident on the first detection flight of the 1970 fall fire season in western New York. Just after take-off, the plane piloted by Jack Marvin crashed in the village of Hammondsport seriously injuring himself and District Ranger Bob Roche. The only immediate fatality was Forest Ranger Raymond Murray of Addison, New York. Several days later, pilot Marvin succumbed to his injuries.