Many state Department of Environmental Conservation forest rangers and environmental conservation officers around the state received new territories in mid-November.
The DEC employees were given the opportunity to apply for transfers to other regions earlier this year as a result of the agency holding a training academy that allowed new recruits to backfill positions. The people who transferred filled positions that were open due to retirements and promotions, among other reasons.
In DEC's Region 5, there were 10 forest rangers and six ECOs who filled open positions. Some moved from within the region.
Among those filling open spots was forest ranger Pete Evans, who will now cover the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness and surrounding areas. He had previously been based out of Lake Clear and the St. Regis Canoe Area. He replaces Joe LaPierre, who is moving to Saratoga County.
In addition, forest ranger Rob Mecus will now cover Keene and the surrounding areas, and Tom Edmunds will cover the St. Regis Canoe Area and surrounding areas.
As for ECOs, Jennifer Okonuk will now cover northern Franklin County and Jeff Hovey will now cover northern Essex County.
The DEC's staff was bolstered with the graduation of 47 men and women from its Office of Public Protection Academy in Pulaski in mid-October. Thirty-one were ECOs, and 16 were forest rangers.
This was the first academy for forest rangers since 2007 and the first for ECOs since 2008.
|FOREST RANGER||NEW COVERAGE AREA|
|Benjamin Baldwin||Southwestern Essex County|
|Jacob Deslauriers||Southeastern Essex County|
|Megan Dominesey||Saranac Lake Wild Forest, surroundings|
|Tom Edmunds||St. Regis Canoe Area, surroundings|
|Jamison Martin||Southeastern Essex|
|Jenifer Temple||Raquette Lake/Blue Mt. Lake area, surroundings|
|Michael Thompson||Fulton County|
|Rob Mecus||Keene and surroundings|
|Joe LaPierre||Eastern Saratoga County|
|Pete Evans||Eastern High Peaks Wilderness, surroundings|
|ECO||NEW COVERAGE AREA|
|Thomas Wensley||Northern Washington County|
|Brian Toth||Saratoga County|
|Christopher Lagree||Clinton County|
|Jennifer Okonuk||Northern Franklin County|
|Keith Manners||Fulton County|
|Jeff Hovey||Northern Essex County|