Local forest ranger named top environmental officer in NY


David Nally, a local New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Ranger, was honored by the Pine Barrens Law Enforcement Council as the 2015 Environmental Officer of the Year.

Mr. Nally, of Laurel, was chosen in part for his participation in over 12 joint Pine Barrens Law Enforcement Council coordinated All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) enforcement patrols, according to the DEC.

ATV riding is illegal on the lands, which were protected under a state law created in the 1990s to preserve Long Island’s underground drinking water.

“Stopping illegal ATV riding on state properties continues to be a major focus for DEC and the Pine Barrens Law Enforcement Council,” Basil Seggos, DEC acting commissioner, said. “These enforcement actions by Ranger Nally and 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.”

Mr. Nally served with distinction in the DEC’s division of forest protection since his graduation from the DEC’s 19th law enforcement training academy in 2013. There he was assigned to patrol the eastern portion of Suffolk County, with his primary patrol area being the Rocky Point Pine Barrens State Forest.

His patrol responsibilities include protection of natural resources from wildfire, illegal dumping activities, enforcement of hunting regulations and enforcement against illegal ATV activity and off-road vehicle use.

“I commend Ranger Nally for his accomplishments, dedication and commitment to the protection of the Central Pine Barrens,” John Pavacic, Executive Director of the Central Pine Barrens Commission, said. “The efforts of law enforcement rangers 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.”

Additionally, he can respond anywhere the country that needs his help.

This could include land on the North Fork, Otis Pike Preserve or any other state owned property. He was also involved in a western wild land 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 the southern pine beetle eradication efforts at the DEC-managed Henrys Hollow in Hampton Bays.

The Pine Barrens Law Enforcement Council, under the Central Pine Barrens Joint Planning and Policy Commission, was established in March 1994. The goal of the council is to develop and implement a law enforcement plan to patrol and protect the 105,000 acres of Pine Barrens in central Suffolk County. It is comprised of over 26 law enforcement and emergency response agencies on the federal, state, county, town and village level.

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Photo Caption: David Nally, the Pine Barrens Law Enforcement Council’s 2015 Environmental Officer of the Year. (Credit: Courtesy)