SPECULATOR -- Ten forest ranger and six environmental conservation officer positions have been filled in the region.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation filled the open positions following a training academy that graduated 47 men and women in mid-October: 16 forest rangers and 31 ECOs.
Current employees had first dibs on the open positions, meaning some transferred from one area to another.
ECOs enforce NYS Environmental Conservation Law, including those relating to environmental quality, hunting, fishing and trapping and protection of natural resources. Forest rangers organize and conduct wildland search and rescue missions, prevent and suppress forest fires and act as stewards of public lands.
Jennifer Temple is the new ranger for Raquette Lake, Blue Mt. Lake and surrounding areas. She transferred from Region 3, the lower Hudson River Valley.
Other Hamilton County forest rangers are Jim Waters in Long Lake, Robert Zurek in Long Lake, David Kallen and Ian Kerr in Northville, Bruce Lomnitzer in Indian Lake, Gary Miller in Raquette Lake and Jason Scott in Blue Mt. Lake.
Hamilton County's ECOs are still Keith Kelly in Inlet, Peter Buswell in Speculator and Scott Pierce in Arietta.
DEC's Office of Public Protection Academy had not held ranger school since 2007 and ECO school since 2008.