Officers busted a large group of children who cut down trees on protected land to build a fort.

On Wednesday, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced a group of children were caught illegally cutting down protected trees.

The investigation was highlighted in this week's "DEC Forest Rangers - Week in Review" which reports on Recent Statewide Forest Ranger Actions.

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"Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents statewide. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations, and volunteer search and rescue groups, Forest Rangers locate, and extract lost, injured, or distressed people from across New York State," the DEC states.

Law Enforcement: Town of Brookhaven, Suffolk County, New York

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On March 22 at 5:43 p.m., Forest Rangers responded to a complaint of illegal tree cutting on Rocky Point State Pine Barrens Preserve.

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11 Children On Long Island Caught

Forest Ranger Hicks found 11 children between the ages of 14 and 16 cutting and piling small trees and limbs to build a fort.

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Instead of charging any of the children, Ranger Hicks told them "why this activity is illegal."

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He also educated the teens on the proper use of State land and removed the teen's fort.

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A number of children from across New York are missing. See if you can help with their photos and information below:

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