The New York State Forest Rangers protect NYS Public Lands and keep visitors to these wild areas safe. The Ranger force, with just 109 field-level rangers, oversees five million acres of state public land and 42 public campgrounds. Additionally, there are over 18 million acres of forest and wild lands within New York’s borders where the Forest Rangers often assist with search and rescue, or fire suppression operations. With search and rescue episodes exceeding 350 in 2017 and a higher trend in 2018, the Ranger Force is spread very thin. In 1970 the average acreage a Forest Ranger was responsible for patrolling was 28,516. Today that number is 53,752. The force has been exceeding overtime targets, which can cause fatigue and injuries. In the New York State Budget, there must be funding allocated for 40 additional Rangers and a Law Enforcement Academy to train them.