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For Release: Monday, August 28, 2017

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 8/21 - 8/27/17

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents statewide. 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 from the backcountry.

In 2016, DEC Forest Rangers conducted 356 search and rescue missions, extinguished 185 wildfires that burned a total of 4,191 acres, and worked on cases that resulted in nearly 3,000 tickets or arrests.

"Across New York, DEC Forest Rangers are on the front lines helping people safely enjoy the great outdoors," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "Their knowledge of first aid, land navigation and technical rescue techniques is critical to the success of their missions, which take them from remote wilderness areas, with rugged mountainous peaks, to white-water rivers, and throughout our vast forested areas statewide."

Recent missions carried out by DEC Forest Rangers include:

Essex County
Town of Keene
Rescue:
On August 21 at 4:30 p.m., Essex County 911 called DEC Ray Brook Dispatch requesting assistance for a 40-year-old female reported to have a broken leg near the intersection of Algonquin and Wright mountains. The subject was descending Algonquin when she felt a pop in her ankle. Two Forest Rangers responded with New York State Police Aviation, and one Ranger was lowered down to the subject's location. After stabilizing the injury, the woman was secured into a harness, hoisted to the helicopter, and flown to the Adirondack Medical Center (AMC) in Saranac Lake, where she received further medical assistance.

Franklin County
Town of Harrietstown
Search:
On August 21 at 5:38 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a woman who got lost while attempting to navigate Donaldson Mountain, a trail-less peak in the Adirondack High Peaks region. The subject, using Google Maps and an IPhone compass, believed she had missed a cairn that would lead her to Calkins Brook. After speaking with a Ranger, the subject re-summited Donaldson Mountain, found the trail, and began her descent. The Ranger responded, hiked in, and located the subject on the trail. The Ranger rehydrated the subject and assisted her out to the trailhead.

Warren County
Town of Stony Creek
Rescue:
On August 22 at 5:38 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call requesting assistance for a subject who sustained a leg injury while attempting to climb a waterfall. The subject was off Warrensburg Road but the exact location was unknown at the time of the call due to poor cell phone service in the area. Two Rangers responded to the Stony Creek Ranch. Upon arrival, the subject was located and assisted out by an individual on an ATV. It was determined that the subject had been staying at a camp on Warrensburg Road, had hiked into the woods, and located a horse trail near a waterfall where the fall occurred. Rangers splinted the injury and assisted the man out to the road. The subject sought further medical attention on his own.

St. Lawrence County
Town of Morristown
Search/Recovery:
On August 23 at 5:15 p.m., three Forest Rangers with a boat and an Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) responded to a report of an overturned boat believed to have two people on board on Black Lake. One subject was located deceased, and by 7:55 p.m. with light fading, the Sheriff's Department called off search efforts for the day. On August 24, Rangers assisted search efforts by supporting dive operations and searching water surfaces and shoreline areas with negative results. Around 8:30 a.m. on August 25, the second subject was located and recovered by Forest Rangers and other search personnel. The body was turned over to the St. Lawrence County Coroner. The St. Lawrence County Sheriff's Department is continuing to investigate the incident.

Franklin County
Town of Harrietstown
Rescue:
On August 24 at 9:20 a.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiker at the Ward Brook Lean-to in the Seward Range, advising his companion had injured his foot and was unable to walk out on his own. A Forest Ranger responded with an UTV to extract the subject, who was about 6.5 miles from the trailhead. Reaching the subject at 11:15 p.m., the Ranger provided necessary first aid and transported the subject to the Corries Road Outlet. The subject was then transported to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake, where he received medical treatment.

Essex County
Town of North Elba
Rescue:
On August 25 at 5:40 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch was contacted by the Marcy Dam caretaker requesting assistance for a 33-year-old male from Harrisburg, Penn., who had sustained a lower leg injury while hiking the trail above Marcy Dam. The subject continued to walk but the injury appeared to be getting worse. A Ranger was dispatched with an UTV to retrieve the subject at Marcy Dam. At 6:39 p.m., the Ranger met up with the subject and transported him back to the Adirondack Loj parking lot, where he advised he would seek medical attention on his own.

Warren County
Town of Bolton
Rescue:
On August 25 at 8:11 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Warren County 911 reporting four subjects stranded at the cabin on top of Thomas Mountain. The subjects reported they were out of water and had no flashlights. A Forest Ranger responded, hiked up to the cabin, and located the subjects at 10:10 p.m. After giving them water and lights, the Ranger escorted the subjects back to the trailhead.

Franklin County
Town of Harrietstown
Rescue:
On August 26 at 4:41 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a report of a male hiker in his 70s on a solo hike and having trouble descending Ampersand Mountain in the High Peaks Wilderness. The difficult terrain and lack of sufficient food and water rendered him unable to continue. The subject was being slowly helped down the mountain by concerned hikers on the trail. Four Forest Rangers responded and reached the subject at 5:50 p.m. Forest Rangers aided him with food and water and continued to assist him on his descent. Approximately one mile short of the trailhead, a backpack litter was utilized to carry the subject the remainder of the distance. At 8 p.m., the crew made it to the trailhead, where Saranac Lake Rescue Squad began an evaluation and transported him to the Adirondack Medical Center for further medical treatment.

Essex County
Town of Keene
Rescue:
On August 27 at 3:50 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch was contacted by radio from the Cascade Summit Steward reporting a 50-year-old female hiker with an ankle injury at the upper viewing area just below the Porter Trail intersection. The subject was not able to bear weight on the ankle. NYSP Aviation was requested due to the long distance from the trailhead. A Forest Ranger was inserted to apply a splint and harness to the subject. At 5:11 p.m., the hiker was airlifted to Adirondack Medical Center for further treatment.

Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC's Hiking Safety and Adirondack Backcountry Information webpage for more information.

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