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 Mooers
Wilderness Search: On October 10th at 9 pm, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Plattsburgh Police Department requesting assistance with a 60-year-old hiker from Albany lost near the Gulf Unique Area. Ranger Black responded along with the New York State Police (NYSP) and NYSP K9. Troopers conducted a search of the trail with the K9. Ranger Black, with the assistance of a local landowner, located the hiker at 11:30 pm. The hiker was in good condition and escorted out of the woods at 11:59 p.m.
Town of Keene
Wilderness Rescue: On October 6th at 10:11 pm, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiker who reporter another hiker with an ankle injury on Giant Mountain in the Giant Mountain Wilderness Area. The caller stated that the injured hiker was less than a half-mile up the trail. Forest Rangers Lewis, Curcio, Martin, and Sabo responded to assist. Ranger Lewis made contact with New York State Police Trooper Mendelsohn, who was flagged down and was with the 54-year-old hiker from Saratoga Springs about three-tenths of a mile in on the trail. While Ranger Lewis hiked in, Rangers Martin and Sabo retrieved a litter and backpack carriers from the Keene Valley Fire Department and brought them to the injured hiker’s location. Rangers stabilized the injury and packaged her in the litter for carry out. Once out of the woods, the hiker declined additional medical treatment. Resources were clear of the scene at 12:11 am.
Town of Caroga
Wilderness Search: On October 9th at 7:18 pm, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch was notified by Fulton County 911 about a 34-year-old woman and her two-year-old daughter lost on Kane Mountain in the Shaker Mountain Wild Forest. The hiker reportedly went up an old, closed trail and was on the way down when it got dark. Ranger Thompson located the two hikers and assisted them back to their car by 8:30 pm.
Town of Hunter
Wilderness Search: On October 9th, at 6:30 pm, Greene County 911 contacted Forest Rangers for assistance with two lost hikers from Brooklyn at Kaaterskill High Peak. Rangers Dawson and Gullen responded. The hikers were on an ambitious day hike covering 12 miles, leaving them without headlamps after dark. As Rangers hiked in, they received calls about two other hiking groups needing assistance on the Becker Hollow trail at Hunter Mountain and on the Long Path near Platte Clove Road, also due to darkness and hikers not having lights. Rangers Ellis and Martin responded to search for these groups, while Rangers Gullen and Dawson proceeded to bush whack in to locate the Brooklyn hikers approximately one mile in on the trail. Ranger Dawson hiked the group out while Ranger Gullen proceeded to locate the other hiking groups. Ranger Gullen made contact with the lost hikers on the Long Path and determined this group was able to hike out with the use of cell phone lights. Rangers Martin and Ellis responded to Becker Hollow. As they prepared to hike in, the separated members of the hiking group came out to the trailhead. All three search calls were concluded at 9:15 pm.
Town of Hunter
Wilderness Rescue: On October 10th, at 6:10 pm, Greene County 911 requested Ranger assistance at Kaaterskill Falls for a report of a 40-year-old hiker with a head injury. Ranger Gullen responded and located the hiker. Ranger Gullen provided first aid and assisted the subject to the trailhead. The hiker refused additional medical care.
Town of Hunter
Wilderness Rescue: On October 11th, at 4:20 pm hikers called Greene County 911 to request medical assistance for a 70-year-old hiker experiencing a heart-related problem two miles in on the Huckleberry Point Trail. Rangers Dawson, Fox, Gullen, and Assistant Forest Ranger (AFR) France responded, along with Tannersville Rescue and a Greene County paramedic. Tannersville drove the paramedic in by UTV most of the distance, with a short hike at the end to reach the hiker. A Ranger truck was staged a mile in for communication relay and to provide additional resources. The hiker was evaluated by the paramedic and able to walk out to the UTV. The hiker and rescuers were driven out to the Kaaterskill High Peak trailhead where the subject was further evaluated by Hunter Ambulance EMS. At 6:45 pm, the hiker declined further medical attention.
Town of Webb
Boater Rescue: On October 9th at 8:06 pm, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch was contacted by Big Moose Fire Department requesting Forest Ranger assistance with a stranded boat on the Stillwater Reservoir in Independence River Wild Forest. The two boaters from Oriskany were reportedly in good health but stranded north of Beaver River. Rangers Lee and Hanno, along with a Webb Police Officer, took a boat approximately seven miles down the reservoir toward Beaver River Station. At 10 pm, the stranded boat was spotted near shoals in the boat channel. The two boaters were unfamiliar with the reservoir and were having trouble navigating the boat using only a cell phone flashlight. They were able to follow the rescue boat back to the boat launch area by 11:30 pm.
Town of Fabius
Wilderness Search: On October 4th at 7:40 pm, Environmental Conservation Police Officer (ECO) Damrath contacted DEC’s Central Dispatch after hearing radio traffic from Onondaga County reporting a missing 48-year-old in the Highland Forest County Park. The subject was collecting mushrooms with his sister-in-law when they became separated at approximately 6 pm, and he was still unaccounted for after sunset. A family member contacted 911. Onondaga County Park Rangers, Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office, Fabius, Apulia, Pompey Hill, and Delphi Falls fire departments, and Onondaga and Oswego County Search and Rescue teams all responded. Forest Ranger Chappell responded and documented all resources on scene and their assignments. While assisting the Fabius Fire Chief with plans, a search crew from the Apulia Fire Department located the man in the park at 9:18 pm. The subject was taken to the command post where he was evaluated by paramedics, treated for hypothermia, and reunited with his family. Responders were clear at 9:50 pm.
St. Lawrence County
Town of Clifton
Wilderness Rescue: On October 7th at 2 pm, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from the wife of a sick kayaker on Cranberry Lake. The caller reported that her husband was suffering from the effects of possible food poisoning. Director Solan and Forest Ranger Benzel responded via boat. At 3:12 pm, Director Solan and Ranger Benzel assisted the 61-year-old from Long Island with his belongings and gave him and his companions a courtesy ride off the water and back to their vehicle. At 4:14 pm, the group was back at the dock where Rangers rehydrated the kayaker.
Read past Forest Ranger search and rescue reports here.