New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents throughout New York State. 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 Piercefield
St. Lawrence County
Wilderness Search: On Nov. 2 at 8:36 p.m., a woman called Ray Brook Dispatch to report her husband overdue from hunting on the western side of Tupper Lake in the Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest. Forest Rangers, Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs), NYSP, and volunteers were part of the search team. On Nov. 3, Rangers used Type 1 and Type 2 searches, while ECOs searched the shoreline and water, and NYSP K-9 units searched the ground. On Nov. 4, with a Ranger acting as crew chief, 178 search, fire, rescue, and police personnel continued the search, including eight NYSP drones and a NYSP helicopter. Around 12 p.m., a search crew found the hunter’s body. He had been dragging a deer he shot while hunting. At 2:39 p.m. the subject’s body was recovered, flown out, and turned over to the coroner.
Town of Shandaken
Wilderness Rescue: On Nov. 3 at 10:45 p.m., Central Dispatch received a call regarding three lost hikers from Brooklyn and Queens on Slide Mountain. The hikers were dressed appropriately and had two cell phones with adequate battery charge, allowing Ulster County to ping their location. Forest Rangers Brand and Martin reached the hikers at 1:57 a.m. The hikers were in good condition. Rangers Brand and Martin gave the group food and water and helped them back to the trailhead. Resources were clear at 5:15 a.m.
Town of Hunter
Wilderness Rescue: On Nov. 6 at 3:40 p.m., a hiking group returning down the Pecoy Notch trail at Twin Mountain called 911 after a member of their group tripped over a tree root and hurt her ankle. After carrying the 65-year-old woman from Elmhurst down the trail, the hikers realized they had another mile to go and needed help. Rangers Gullen and Dawson hiked in with a wheeled litter and reached the hiker at 5:05 p.m. After stabilizing the leg injury and warming the hiker in a hypo-wrap, Rangers Gullen and Dawson packaged the hiker in the litter. With the help of Ranger Petit and other hikers, the subject was wheeled to the trailhead. Ranger Dawson re-examined and re-splinted the injury, the hiker declined further medical attention, and the incident concluded at 7:30 p.m.
Town of Wilmington
Wilderness Rescue: On Nov. 6 at 4:35 p.m., Forest Rangers were called to assist two hikers stranded on a trail on Whiteface Mountain near the summit. At 7:06 p.m., Rangers Russell, Curcio, Black, and Mecus reached the hikers from New Jersey approximately 100 feet off the trail, in snow and icy conditions. Rangers warmed and fed the hikers before assisting the pair across the steep, ice-covered terrain to the summit. The hikers were taken by ATV to their vehicle at 9:09 p.m.
Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hike Smart NY, Adirondack Backcountry Information, and Catskill Backcountry Information webpages for more information.
If a person needs a Forest Ranger, whether it’s for a search and rescue, to report a wildfire, or to report illegal activity on state lands and easements, they should call 833-NYS-RANGERS. If a person needs urgent assistance, they can call 911. To contact a Forest Ranger for information about a specific location, the DEC website has phone numbers for every Ranger listed by region.
Read past Forest Ranger search and rescue reports here.