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 Poland
Wilderness Recovery: On May 23rd at 1:21 pm, Forest Ranger Captain Plaisted and Ranger Hettenbaugh responded to a request for assistance with a recovery in the town of Poland. A canoeist drowned in the Conewango Creek. Additional responders included DEC Operations staff, New York State Police, Chautauqua County Tech Rescue, County Sheriff’s Office, and Emergency Services, and the Kennedy, Frewsburg, and Ellington fire departments. By approximately 4:30 pm, the body was removed from the water and turned over to the Chautauqua County Coroner. Resources were clear at 5:30 pm.
Town of Essex
Wilderness Rescue: On May 21st at 9:37 pm, Forest Ranger Praczkajlo responded to a report of an overdue hiker who had planned to climb Gothics Mountain. At 11:43 pm, Ranger Praczkajlo located the subject’s vehicle in the Roaring Brook parking lot. Ranger Praczkajlo was joined by Ranger Mecus, and the two Rangers searched in the Roaring Brook Valley through the night with negative results. Twelve Rangers and volunteers from the Adirondack Climbers’ Coalition joined the search the following morning. At 10:10 am, Rangers located the subject approximately two miles from the Roaring Brook trailhead. The 53-year-old from Saratoga Springs had two unstable leg injuries. Twenty-one Rangers from Regions 4, 5, and 6 assisted with the carry out. New York State Police Aviation, with Ranger DiCintio serving as hoist operator, hoisted the injured climber to safety. Due to weather conditions, the helicopter was forced to land in Ray Brook. The hiker was taken by Saranac Rescue to the hospital. Resources were clear at 7:30 pm.
Town of North Elba
Wilderness Recovery: On May 22nd at 2:35 pm, New York State Police reported a man in his fifties was unconscious on Scarface Mountain. CPR was administered on the trail and the hiker began breathing again, but was still in unstable condition. Forest Ranger Lieutenant LaPierre, and Rangers Curcio, DiCintio, Martin, Mecus, Piersma, and Sabo responded with State Police Aviation, Saranac Lake Fire and Rescue, and a SARNAK search team. The hiker was pronounced deceased at 4:46 pm. A hoist operation ensued to recover the body of the man from Little Falls. The body was turned over to the Essex County Coroner. Resources were clear at 9:53 pm.
Town of Hunter
Wilderness Rescue: On May 18th at 9:30 pm, Greene County requested Forest Ranger assistance with a call for an injured hiker at Kaaterskill Wild Forest. Rangers Allwine and Dawson responded and discovered two hikers from Washington, D.C., were lost approximately one-half mile from Long Path. Rangers hiked in from Steenburgh Road, reached the two hikers, and helped the pair back to the trailhead by 3:30 am.
Town of Hunter
Wilderness Recovery: On May 22nd at 12:35 pm, Forest Ranger Allwine responded to Platte Cove Road for a report of a fallen hiker. Ranger Allwine was joined by New York State Police, Greene County Paramedics, and Ranger Lieutenant Slade, Rangers Dawson, Ellis, Fox, Jahn, and Kreft. Rangers conducted a technical rope recovery after the individual was pronounced deceased at the scene. The Hopewell Junction woman’s body was transferred to the custody of the Greene County Coroner. Resources were clear at 6:40 pm. The New York State Police is leading the investigation.
Town of Patterson
Wilderness Rescue: On May 21st at 8:55 pm a hiker called Ranger Pries for help when she could not find her way out of the Michael Ciaiola Conservation Area. The hiker was visiting the 9/11 memorial and became lost looking for the trailhead on Haviland Road. After 10 minutes of attempting to guide her out of the woods by phone, Ranger Pries responded and walked up to the tower and found the 68-year-old from Katonah before helping her back to the trailhead by 10:40 pm.
Town of Bolton
Wilderness Rescue: On May 19th at 2:30 pm, Forest Rangers Kabrehl and Morehouse responded by boat to a report of an injured hiker on First Peak in the Tongue Mountain Range, not far from Northwest Bay. Rangers reached the hikers by 4:30 pm, and determined the 55-year-old from Tupper Lake couldn’t put any weight on his knee. Five Rangers helped carry the hiker to the boat. The group reached Green Island by 7:48 pm, and the hiker sought further medical attention on his own.
Town of Fort Ann
Wilderness Rescue: On May 18th at 12:47 pm, Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance after two hikers called for help advising they were dehydrated and lacked energy as they were summitting Buck Mountain. Forest Ranger St. Claire responded and reached the pair, who were in good condition, by 3:17 pm Ranger St. Claire walked the hikers down and out of the woods to safety by approximately 5 pm.
Read past Forest Ranger search and rescue reports here.