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 Keene
Wilderness Search: On November 25th at 3:10 pm, Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Essex County about two hikers on the Soda Range Trail who had lost their way and did not have headlamps or cold weather gear. The hikers were using a trail app, which was draining their cell phone battery. At 4:27 pm, Rangers Black and Evans found the hikers and helped them out to the trailhead. Resources were clear at 4:45 pm.
Town of Keene
Wilderness Search: On November 25th at 4:50 pm, Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Essex County about three hikers on the summit of Mount Marcy requesting a ride off the mountain. The hikers were wearing regular sneakers and complaining of frozen feet with at least eight inches of snow near the peak. Rangers Black and Evans responded. The hikers could not read a map properly, making it more difficult for Rangers to pinpoint their location. At 9:52 pm, Rangers reached the hikers and helped them to Marcy Dam and then to their vehicle. Resources were clear at 10:36 pm.
Town of Watson
Wilderness Search: On November 24th at 10:17 pm, Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Lewis County requesting Forest Ranger assistance in the search for a missing person from Lowville. The county indicated they found the subject’s vehicle at Francis Lake in the Independence River Wild Forest in the town of Watson. Rangers Hanno and McCartney responded and found the missing person at 12:29 am. Rangers determined the subject was likely suffering from hypothermia, packaged her into a litter, and carried her out of the woods to a Lewis County Search and Rescue ambulance by approximately 1 am.
City of Kingston
Wilderness Search: On November 26th at 3:55 pm, Ranger Franceschina received a call from ECO Johnson about a 46-year-old hunter who was disoriented and in need of assistance in Bluestone Wild Forest near Jockey Hill Road. The hunter from Lake Katrine sent a location pin drop, but did not trust the app to guide him out of the woods. Ranger Franceschina and ECO Johnson responded to assist. At 4:15 pm, Ranger Franceschina spoke to the hunter, who provided his coordinates. Ranger Franceschina entered the woods from the north side of Jockey Hill Road and ECO Johnson entered from the south side along Route 28. At 4:30 pm, Ranger Franceschina located the hunter in good health and led him out of the woods. Resources were clear at 5 pm.
Town of Bolton
Wilderness Search: On November 27th at 4:33 pm, Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Warren County about two hikers from the Syracuse area who were lost between Cat and Thomas mountains. Ranger Donegan responded to the location shared by the hikers and found the two women on the summit of Thomas Mountain. Ranger Donegan escorted the hikers back to the trailhead at 6:51 pm.
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.