The DEC initiated a prescribed fire in Sonyea State Forest for the first time this month

The 70-acre prescribed fire of shrubs and grasses aimed to promote the regrowth of native, warm-season grasses

From News Reports
For the first time ever, the DEC initiated a prescribed fire on Sonyea State Forest this month.

Sonyea State Forest in the Town of Groveland, Livingston County, witnessed a first this month. 

On April 6, Region 8 Forest Rangers and DEC Wildlife and Forestry staff worked together on a 70-acre prescribed fire of shrubs and grasses to promote the regrowth of native, warm-season grasses.

This is the first time DEC initiated a prescribed fire on Sonyea State Forest. The presence of Groveland Correctional Facility to the north and Interstate 390 to the east made smoke management crucial during this burn. Led by Forest Ranger Carpenter, the prescribed burn was successfully implemented.

In addition to conducting prescribed fires, DEC 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. 

"During New York’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are enjoying the outdoors than ever before and our Forest Rangers are on the front lines to help people get outside responsibly and get home safely," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "Rangers’ knowledge of first aid, land navigation, and technical rescue techniques are critical to the success of their missions, which for more than a century have taken them from remote wilderness areas with rugged mountain peaks, to white water rivers, and throughout our vast forests statewide.”