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Old 03-13-2018, 07:45 PM   #1
Terasec
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Your experience with dec?

Just curious what others experience is with dec lately
Have always had good experiences with dec
Lately communication has been horrible
They dont reply to emails or phone calls
Responses have been haphazard as if they are guessing
Anyone experience similar lately?
25 yrs dealing with dec never recall such poor responses
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Old 03-13-2018, 08:33 PM   #2
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Just an observation but the weekly email shot they send out is expansive to say the least, twitter posts (or whatever they are caused). So it’s obvious they are putting resources into social media, maybe email is becoming obsolete? I don’t do social media, have only had a Facebook account for a short while which I rarely use and get scared by forums. I suppose I am boomer and DEC probably is seeing their boomers retiring. Just a sign of the times maybe
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Old 03-13-2018, 09:39 PM   #3
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Whenever I call a DEC ranger I usually have to leave a message, as they are not often in the office. if their cell phone is listed, that often has better results. They do most always answer my email messages or calls. But I do know personally many of the rangers from my extensive work with SAR and other events, so maybe they are more responsive to my name.
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:00 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Wldrns View Post
Whenever I call a DEC ranger I usually have to leave a message, as they are not often in the office. if their cell phone is listed, that often has better results. They do most always answer my email messages or calls. But I do know personally many of the rangers from my extensive work with SAR and other events, so maybe they are more responsive to my name.
My inquiries arent as urgent
Mostly recreational rules/regs stuff at new places i plan on hiking/camping

In the past they have been good about calling back usually within 24 hrs
Lately say past year seen a change in responses
And when they do call back answers arent as clear as in the past as if ranger im speaking to is guessing
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:06 PM   #5
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My inquiries arent as urgent
Mostly recreational rules/regs stuff at new places i plan on hiking/camping

In the past they have been good about calling back usually within 24 hrs
Lately say past year seen a change in responses
And when they do call back answers arent as clear as in the past as if ranger im speaking to is guessing
As have been most of my inquiries over the years. I just happen to know many of them as an aside. Their work load has significantly increased over past years. Fewer rangers to share the load where there used to be two or more of them in certain areas. Every weekend there seems to be more and more search events that they successfully handle with just rangers.
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:44 PM   #6
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wldrns

Iím curious about what you think are the core reason for the call outs and I am sure this work load is at the core of what the OP is experiencing. Iíll give my two peneworth. When I first started going into the hills I was expected to be able to use a map and compass and to carry basic survival gear, bivvy bag and rations as a minimum. There were no cell phones so the expectation was get into difficulties get yourself out if you can. As a last resort get someone out to bring in Mountain Rescue ( you may guess form that term I did my climbing hiking in northern England Wales and Scotland the elevations are nothing like in the High Peaks but get it wrong and it bites you).

So my rose tinted glasses are thinking is the expectation that a cell phone or sat phone or emergency beacon seen as the answer to any issue and a lot of the incidenents that Rangers are resounding to would not have happened before the digital age, or is because of increasing use of the ADKs?

I have to say I am an old git these days I was heart broken when I replaced my 40 year old Berghaus ruck sack for one the waist strap actually fitted my expanding wisdon
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:55 PM   #7
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I'm sure there are a combination of reasons, but your point of having instant digital access (come help me, because I can't figure it out for myself) is one I have thought of often as primary cause for at least some of the "incidents".
I've been navigationally confused from time to time. Just by sitting and thinking for a few minutes with map in hand and relating past recent locations, I worked it out for myself. Kind of fun and very satisfying doing it that way actually.

I heard of one case in which a couple (somewhere in a western state) used their cell phone (pre smart phone days) to call a ranger to ask how to use the GPS that they had just purchased on the way to the trailhead and it was still in the box. Other cases of calling a ranger to ask about a trail junction with no map and which way to go. Or "I'm cold and tired, could you please send a helicopter?"

Anyone can sign up on the DEC website (DEC Delivers) to receive email periodic reports of SAR and dozens of other relevant information bits.
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Old 03-14-2018, 06:54 AM   #8
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Like Wldrns, I'm fortunate to know several ECO's on a personal basis and am friends with the local Forest Ranger who lives up the road from me. They're on the go constantly and their overtime is limited as well. They used to attend County Sportsman Federation meetings but hardly do anymore because of the overtime.

Also, perhaps what has happened to the press with DEC, and other state agencies, is trickling down to the public.

The press can't just call a DEC biologist anymore. They have to go through the regional press office or Albany. Often, the questions have to be presented in an email and are then answered in a very constructed manner. Setting up an interview isn't impossible, but there are steps that need to be taken. It's the same with DOT, A&M, and so on, under the Cuomo administration rules.
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Old 03-14-2018, 08:45 AM   #9
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I called up a ranger a few weeks ago and he answered right away. Over a 20 minute convo he gave me some extremely detailed info regarding a route I was interested in. He told me to call back if I needed more info.
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Old 03-14-2018, 09:53 AM   #10
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I called up a ranger a few weeks ago and he answered right away. Over a 20 minute convo he gave me some extremely detailed info regarding a route I was interested in. He told me to call back if I needed more info.
mind if I ask what region that was?
I generally had similar responses when calling region 6 Lowville office,
but not lately
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Old 03-14-2018, 11:02 AM   #11
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mind if I ask what region that was?
I generally had similar responses when calling region 6 Lowville office,
but not lately
Newcomb-Long Lake.
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Old 03-14-2018, 11:13 AM   #12
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Newcomb-Long Lake.
thanks
was just curious,
that would be region 6 where most of my communication involves
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Old 03-14-2018, 11:40 AM   #13
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In Region 6, John Scanlon (recently retired, unfortunately) was always full of information and of excellent help (Terry Perkins before him too). Marty Candee also is a great guy along with Luke Evans, Howard Thomes, and Jen Snyder out of the Lowville office. I also am in semi-frequent contact with Greg Hoag, Chad Richardson, Bob Coscomb, Rob Piersma, and Dave Cornell from the Herkimer office. In Regions 5 and 4 I know fewer, but still several as well and ride with them in their truck whenever I can when assigned with them on SAR. I do not know so well some of the younger Rangers more recently hired, but am getting there.
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Old 03-17-2018, 04:48 PM   #14
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In the 80s I had excellent rapport and responses from anyone in the DEC in the ADK's but since moving to the southern tier, response has been terrible always and I gave up. Much poaching around here and other but calling DEC is worthless.
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Old 03-17-2018, 05:02 PM   #15
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In the 80s I had excellent rapport and responses from anyone in the DEC in the ADK's but since moving to the southern tier, response has been terrible always and I gave up. Much poaching around here and other but calling DEC is worthless.
For those kinds of specific violations, Have you tried this?

http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/393.html

Call 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-3267) to report poaching and polluting complaints to a DEC dispatcher. They are open 24/7.
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Old 03-17-2018, 06:21 PM   #16
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For those kinds of specific violations, Have you tried this?

http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/393.html

Call 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-3267) to report poaching and polluting complaints to a DEC dispatcher. They are open 24/7.
I tried and even had 'personal ph #'s but after much frustration I gave up. Let 'em poach, pollute, feed deer and grow pot, I now have blind eyes.
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Old 03-17-2018, 06:21 PM   #17
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As others have said, budget cuts over the years have left the DEC understaffed, at least in the offices with which I am familiar. And in the field as well.
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Old 03-17-2018, 09:49 PM   #18
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As others have said, budget cuts over the years have left the DEC understaffed, at least in the offices with which I am familiar. And in the field as well.
I believe that is often the reason for my experiences. Blame our governors!
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Old 03-17-2018, 10:40 PM   #19
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About two years ago a ranger told me that when rangers are fully staffed they should number 104 in the state, but at that time they actually numbered about 80. Some districts that once had two rangers assigned now had only one. I know there has been at least one graduating academy class since then, so numbers are somewhat higher now with several new relatively inexperienced rangers. I have noticed recently that I do see a lot of new faces who I don't yet know well at SAR incidents when there might be a couple of dozen rangers on scene.
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Old 03-18-2018, 07:08 AM   #20
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In the 80s I had excellent rapport and responses from anyone in the DEC in the ADK's but since moving to the southern tier, response has been terrible always and I gave up. Much poaching around here and other but calling DEC is worthless.
I agree. Took a DEC Conservation Officer by the hand, showed them a illegal deer / bear baiting site, with shooting house , solar powered feeder, tree stands, salt lick, and game cameras. When they confronted the perpetrator they did nothing. Perp had political connections. Will never call DEC again.
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