New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents in the Adirondacks. 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.
What follows is a report, prepared by DEC, of recent missions carried out by Forest Rangers.
Town of Keene
Wilderness Rescue: On September 14th, at 11:14 am, Essex County 911 contacted DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a hiker with a knee injury on the summit of Hopkins Mountain in the Giant Mountain Wilderness. Rangers Lewis, Morehouse, Martin, and O’Connor responded. Rangers Lewis and Morehouse stabilized the hiker’s knee and carried him down the trail where he was transferred to a 6×6 UTV. The hiker was taken to the trailhead where he was met by his spouse and then driven to a hospital. Resources were clear at 4 pm.
Town of Keene
Wilderness Rescue: On September 14th at 3:08 pm, Essex County 911 contacted DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a 32-year-old hiker from Texas with a head injury on Giant Mountain. Lt. Dubay requested New York State Police (NYSP) Aviation assistance to insert Rangers into the location. Two Forest Rangers were inserted by NYSP one-half mile from the hiker’s coordinates. The hiker was located at 7:45 pm, evaluated, and treated for his injuries. Rangers helped the subject hike down to reunite with his hiking partner at 12:23 am.
Town of North Elba
Wilderness Rescue: On September 17th at 2 am, DEC’s Central Dispatch received a call from a hiker requesting assistance locating and helping his partner out of the woods. The caller, who hiked ahead of the group from Illinois to get cell coverage, reported the subject was dehydrated, experiencing cramps, and could not continue. The caller believed the group was near Marcy Dam. Ranger O’Connor located the hiker, provided an assessment, and assisted her back to the trailhead at 4:30 am.
Town of Hunter
Wilderness Search: On September 15th at 7:45 pm, Greene County 911 contacted DEC’s Central Dispatch requesting Forest Ranger assistance with a 30-year-old man from Saugerties lost near the Prediger Road trailhead in the Indian Head Wilderness. Rangers Fox and Gullen responded, joining a Hunter Police patrol and NYSP Officer at the trailhead. Rangers bushwhacked toward cell phone coordinates collected by Greene County 911. Rangers located the hiker, provided him with a flashlight, and escorted him back to his vehicle. Resources were clear of the scene at 10:15 pm.
Town of Indian Lake
Wilderness Rescue: On September 18th at 10:15 am Hamilton County 911 contacted DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a 34-year-old hiker from Baldwinsville with a knee injury on the Castle Rock Trail in Blue Mountain Lake Wild Forest. Forest Rangers Lomnitzer and Milano reached the subject at 11:12 am, and assisted him back to the trailhead. At 11:30 am, he advised he would seek medical attention on his own.
Town of Pinckney
Wilderness Rescue: On September 16th at 8:30 pm, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch notified Lt. Hoag of a pair of climbers from Fort Drum in need of assistance at Inman Gulf in Tug Hill State Forest. Ranger Thomes responded to the scene where he met NYSP and a Lewis County Sheriff’s Deputy. The climbers were looking for a nearby waterfall and ended up stranded, approximately 180 feet down in the shale substrate gulf. Rangers Hanno, McCartney, and Candee also responded to the scene and set up a technical rope rescue system to lower a Ranger to the climbers. The climbers were individually raised to the top of the gulf using the rope system. Lewis County 911, NYSP, Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, Lewis County Search and Rescue, and the Martinsburg and Copenhagen fire departments assisted with this rescue. Resources were clear of the scene by 2:20 am.
Town of Steuben
State Land Protection: On September 18th at 10:30 pm, Ranger McCartney located an underage drinking party at a popular scenic overlook on Penn Mountain State Forest. There were approximately 20 people and a large fire in the parking area. Ranger McCartney issued three tickets, extinguished the fire, and dispersed the group by 11:44 pm.
Town of Naples
Wilderness Rescue: On September 18th at 4:30 pm, Ranger Dormer received a call from ECO Crain reporting a 47-year-old hiker from Florida with a lower leg injury at the High Tor Wildlife Management Area. The hiker twisted her ankle while descending steep terrain at Conklin-Parish Gully. Ranger Dormer responded, and with assistance from local agencies, wrapped the hiker’s ankle and assisted her out. She declined further medical treatment and responders were clear at 6:30 pm.
Town of Providence
Wilderness Search: On September 19th at 9:24 pm, Saratoga County 911 contacted DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a hiker lost in the woods on the county trail system. Ranger Nally responded with Sheriff’s Deputies and located the hikers in a swampy area. The pair was escorted back to their vehicle by 11:30 pm.
Town of Shandaken
Wilderness Search: On September 19th at 10:10 pm, Ulster County contacted DEC’s Central Dispatch reporting a 69-year-old overdue hiker from Pine Plains on Wittenberg Mountain in the Slide Wilderness Area. Rangers Martin and Franceschina responded with State Police, Shandaken Police, Ulster Emergency Management, New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Phoenicia FD, and Shandaken Ambulance. The missing hiker was last seen by his family at the intersection of the Wittenberg and Terrace Mountain trails. Ranger Russell located the hiker, uninjured, approximately one mile from the trailhead. The hiker stated he had taken the trail to Terrace Mountain and, after realizing his mistake, returned to the red trail to rest from fatigue. Ranger Martin assisted him out of the woods and resources were clear at 1:40 am.
Town of Bolton
Wilderness Rescue: On September 19th at 5:22 pm, Warren County 911 contacted DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch to report two hikers lost on Tongue Mountain in the Lake George Wild Forest. The hikers did not have food or water and had hiked down to the shore on Lake George. Ranger Donegan responded by boat from Green Island and brought the pair back to the boat launch. From there, they were given a courtesy ride to the trailhead. Resources were clear at 8:10 pm.
Town of Fort Ann
Wilderness Search: On September 18th at 6:30 pm, Washington County 911 advised DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch there was a lost hiker on Buck Mountain in the Lake George Wild Forest. The hiker from Wynantskill lost the trail near the summit during a thunderstorm. After contacting 911, the hiker used an app to help him move toward the trail. Without a flashlight and a dying cell phone battery, he waited for help. Forest Ranger Donegan located the lost hiker at 8:15 pm, and gave him water and a light. They walked out to the trailhead and were clear at 9 pm.
Read past Forest Ranger search and rescue reports here.