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 North Hudson
Wilderness Rescue: On July 6th at 2 am, Forest Rangers were called to search for a group of campers returning from a hike to Mount Marcy. The 21- and 19-year-old group leaders were with a 15-year-old, two 13-year-olds, and a 12-year-old. Despite rain in the forecast and the group’s general lack of hiking experience, their plan was to hike Marcy and Algonquin in one day. The group brought a spot beacon to stay in touch with people back at the camp and reached the summit of Marcy at 4:30 pm. On the way down, the group lost the trail and ended up behind Lake Colden in waist deep water. They turned around and sent an SOS from the beacon at 12:15 am. The Lake Colden caretaker reached the campers at 4 am. Rangers Martin and Quinn reached the group at 5:15 am. The group did not have enough food and blankets. Rangers helped the group to the Colden outpost and provided dry clothes, as well as food, drink, and beds. The group slept until approximately 11 am, before Rangers helped them back to the trailhead by 4 pm.
Town of Minerva
Underage Drinking: On July 4 at 1:10 p.m., Forest Rangers responded to a report of a large group of off-duty camp counselors at an underage drinking party off the Boreas Trail in Minerva. Rangers issued 24 tickets for underaged possession of alcohol on State land and shuttled the subjects back to their camps. Resources were clear at 4:35 p.m.
Village of Tupper Lake
ATV Dumped: On July 7th at 1:30 pm, Forest Rangers DiCintio, O’Connor, and Praczkajlo were on boat patrol on Tupper Lake when they found an ATV submerged near the shoreline. Rangers looked at the tracks and determined someone drove the vehicle off the railroad bed and down a 20-foot embankment. The crashed vehicle still had fishing poles attached to it, as well as a 25-inch walleye hanging from the back rack. Rangers searched for an injured driver with negative results. A New York State Police trooper went to the owner’s residence but was told the 41-year-old from Tupper Lake was out of town. Police eventually found him with a stolen winch he was planning to use to retrieve the ATV. ECO Newell issued three tickets to the owner and Rangers removed the ATV from the water.
Town of Hunter
Wilderness Rescue: On July 9th at 12:15 pm, Forest Rangers Dawson, Fox, and Skudlarek responded to Kaaterskill Falls for an injured hiker who had fallen off the stone staircase and down a steep slope. Ranger Dawson located the 12-year-old from Brooklyn, treated his unstable arm injury, and determined the subject could walk without bringing in additional rescue personnel for a carry-out. Ranger Dawson helped the subject and his family to the Route 23A trailhead where Hunter Ambulance was waiting to take him to Albany Medical Center. Resources were clear at 2:33 pm.
Town of Hunter
Wilderness Rescue: On July 9th at 7:45 pm, Central Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance for a hiker experiencing persistent vomiting and weakness on the Kaaterskill Falls Trail. Ranger Fox responded with Haines Falls Fire, Tannersville Rescue, Cedar Grove and Centerville Fire, Hunter Ambulance, and Greene County Paramedics. Ranger Fox reached the 23-year-old from Philadelphia by 8:30 pm, and helped carry her out to Laurel House Road where the group was met by an ambulance to take the subject to the hospital.
Town of Easton
Wilderness Recovery: On July 10th at 1 pm, Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance in the search for a six-year-old boy with autism last seen at his home in Easton at 10:10 am. Forest Rangers and an ECO Lieutenant joined members of New York State Police (NYSP), Albany County Sheriff’s Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Department, Greenwich Police, Middle Falls Fire/EMS, Argyle EMS, Greenwich Fire/EMS, and Northeast Mobile Search and Rescue. At 2:25 pm, Rangers organized the search efforts with NYSP using aviation and a dive team at a pond where an angler reported seeing the boy at 11 am. Ranger Donegan followed several footprints in the area. At 6:35 pm, Ranger Lieutenant Kerr followed the footprints to the water’s edge of a smaller adjacent pond and saw something in the water. Lieutenant Kerr dove in and recovered the boy’s body, which was turned over to the NYSP Greenwich Bureau of Criminal Investigations and the Washington County Coroner. NYSP Greenwich Bureau of Criminal Investigations is leading the investigation.
Town of Johnsburg
Wilderness Rescue: On July 10th at 11:30 am, Warren County 911 requested Forest Ranger assistance with an injured climber on Crane Mountain. Ranger Morehouse reached the trailhead when the caller reporting the incident said the 36-year-old from Ballston Spa made it out on her own. While at the trailhead, someone else requested assistance for a broken wrist. The Forest Ranger splinted the wrist of a 58-year-old from Stillwater. Ranger Morehouse then found the original climber, who still needed help with their ankle and knee injury. The Ranger administered first aid and helped the climber back to the trailhead.
Read past Forest Ranger search and rescue reports here.