Suffolk County Ranger Receives “Officer of the Year Award” for Exemplary Service.
Suffolk County, NY - February 23. 2016 - New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Forest Ranger David Nally was named “2015 Environmental Enforcement Officer of the Year” by the Pine Barrens Law Enforcement Council (PBLEC). Each year the membership of the PBLEC gets to select individuals who they feel deserve to be recognized for their work within the Central Pine Barrens. PBLEC consists of more than 26 law enforcement organizations in Suffolk County.
Forest Ranger Nally was given this award in part for his participation in over 12 joint Pine Barrens Law Enforcement Council coordinated All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) enforcement patrols.
“Stopping illegal ATV riding on state properties continues to be a major focus for DEC and the Pine Barrens Law Enforcement Council,” said DEC Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos. “These enforcement actions by Ranger Nally and all the other members of the PBLEC show how DEC Forest Rangers and all other members of the PBLEC are constantly on the watch for these activities. Pine Barrens law enforcement personnel will continue to ensure speeding vehicles and ATVs do not destroy state properties or take away enjoyment of these properties from hikers, runners, bird watchers, dog walkers and other recreationalists.”
John Pavacic, Executive Director of the Central Pine Barrens Commission said, “I commend Ranger Nally for his accomplishments, dedication and commitment to the protection of the Central Pine Barrens. The efforts of law enforcement officers like Ranger Nally have helped ensure that this important region will continue to exist for future generations and we are truly grateful for the service he and his fellow law enforcement officers continue to provide each and every day.”
The Pine Barrens Law Enforcement Council (LEC), under the Central Pine Barrens Joint Planning and Policy Commission, was established in March of 1994 to develop and implement a comprehensive law enforcement plan to patrol and protect the 105,000 acres of pine barrens in central Suffolk County. This Council has grown to include over 26 law enforcement and emergency response agencies (including federal, state, county, town, and village agencies), all of which have some degree of law enforcement authority and/or public safety function within their geographical area of responsibility covering all or portions of the Central Pine Barrens.
Each day and regardless of weather, forest rangers patrol 5.0 million acres of Department-administered public lands and easements by vehicle, boat, ATV, snowmobile, aircraft, bicycle, foot, skis or snowshoes. Each ranger is required to reside within the ranger district in which she/he is assigned but emergencies and special events will require them to work anywhere and at any time. Quite often, rangers are asked to assist other agencies with complex emergency or law enforcement incidents that have occurred in or near a forested area. Since New York has 18.6 million acres of forested lands, rangers are busy year-round accomplishing their unique mission.
Ranger Nally has served with distinction in DEC’s Division of Forest Protection since graduating from DEC’s 19th Law Enforcement Training Academy in 2013 where he was assigned to patrol the eastern Towns of Suffolk County.
Ranger Nally’s patrol responsibilities include protection of natural resources from wildfire and enforcement against illegal ATV activities and off road vehicle use, illegal dumping activities and enforcement of hunting regulations. During his tenure as a Forest Ranger, Ranger Nally has been deployed on a western wildland firefighting incident in Washington state, assisted with the management of the New York Wildfire and Incident Management Academy and devoted over two months of time to southern pine beetle eradication efforts at the DEC-managed Henrys Hollow in Hampton Bays.
Ranger Nally, along with other regionally based Forest Rangers and Environmental Conservation Officers, also provided logistical and transportation support to other emergency response agencies during this winter’s storm Jonas and last winter’s storm Juno.
Ranger Nally spends his spare time with his family in the Town of Riverhead.
Other DEC law enforcement personnel recognized by the PBLEC include New York State Environmental Conservation Police Officer Mark Simmons, for Continuous Significant Environmental Enforcement Activity.