Most natural resources jobs require either a 2-year technical degree or a 4-year degree. Educational requirements vary by program and by institution. Moreover, salaries vary from state to state and vary by job title and responsibilities - so I really can't give you a good answer regarding salary. Salaries also vary by employer: state, federal, municipal, and private.
If you are interested in natural resources positions in New York, then I would strongly encourage you to contact NYDEC directly.
The State of New York does have several well known schools for forestry and natural resources: State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry; and Cornell University. SUNY-ESF also has a Ranger School that offers several 2-yr technical degrees in natural resources. Check them out on the internet.
For more information on forestry careers and educational requirements, please check out the following Web site: http://safnet.org/aboutforestry/forestrymajor.cfm
If I had to do it all over again, I would still pick forestry as my career...it truly is a rewarding way to live your life!
Best of luck!