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For Release: Monday, October 6, 2014

Adirondack Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights: 9/29-10/3/14

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation 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.

"DEC Forest Rangers' knowledge of first aid, land navigation and technical rescue techniques are often critical to the success of their missions," said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. "Search and rescue missions often require Rangers to function in remote wilderness areas from rugged mountainous peaks to white-water rivers, and through vast forest areas from spruce-fir thicket to open hardwoods."

Recent missions carried out by DEC Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks include:

Essex County
Wilmington Notch, Town of Wilmington
Lost Hikers: On September 29, 2014 at 7:35 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a lost hiker's cell phone call to the DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook. The 30-year-old male caller from Dannemora, NY stated he was lost with a 25-year-old female friend from Potsdam, NY off the Wilmington Notch trail. Essex County provided coordinates from the cell phone call and two DEC Forest Rangers responded. At 9:00 p.m. Rangers located both hikers in good health, escorted them back to the road and provided a courtesy ride to their vehicle at 9:15 p.m.


High Peaks Wilderness, Town of Keene
Distressed Hiker: On September 29, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.,
Essex County 911 transferred a caller to the DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook requesting rescue of a 19-year-old female hiker from Michigan on the summit of the Brothers in the Town of Keene. Four DEC Forest Rangers responded by ground to Marcy Field to coordinate with State Police Aviation. Keene Valley Backcountry Rescue team members approached on foot to the summit of the second Brothers from the Garden parking area. At 4:00 p.m., two additional Forest Rangers, along with State Police Aviation and two North Country Life Flight paramedics responded to the summit. The hiker was assessed, hoisted into the helicopter and brought to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake at 4:45 p.m.

High Peaks Wilderness, Town of North Elba
Lost Hiker: On September 30, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.,
DEC Central Dispatch received a call reporting a missing member of a hiking party. The 48-year old female from Ontario, Canada had become separated from her hiking party after hiking to the summit of Mt. Marcy. A DEC Forest Ranger responded. The hiker was located at 2:45 a.m. on the trail near Marcy Dam. She had separated from her group and taken a wrong turn at the high water bridge. She had started to go back up Marcy when she realized her mistake and hiked down the correct trail, where she was met by the Forest Ranger. She was reunited with her group at the Adirondak Loj at 3:15 a.m.

High Peaks Wilderness, Town of Newcomb
Overdue Hiker: On September 30, 2014 at 5:30 p.m.,
A DEC Forest Ranger responded to a report of an overdue hiker at Upper Works. The 34-year-old female from Keene, NH was last seen at 1:30 p.m. coming out of Upper Works with her hiking group. When the group arrived at the parking lot she was not accounted for. The group leaders went to the point last scene and could not locate her. The Forest Ranger arrived on scene at 5:47 p.m. and began looking. The Ranger located the hiker on the cross over trail to Indian Pass. The hiker had taken a wrong turn, realized her mistake and doubled back. She was escorted out and reunited with her group at 6:37 p.m.

Washington County
Lake George Wild Forest, Town of Dresden
Lost Hiker: On October 3, 2014 at 6:04 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a report regarding a 31-year-old female hiker from Gansevoort, NY who had texted a relative that she was lost on Black Mountain. She texted that she was turned around and on the Southside of the mountain. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded to Black Mountain while another Ranger was dispatched by boat to check the backside of Black Mountain. Through texting, it was determined the hiker was on the trail and roughly one mile from the shoreline of Lake George. A Forest Ranger blew the siren on the boat which she heard. He made voice contact with the female at 8:57 p.m. Once she was located she was escorted down the mountain to the Forest Ranger in a waiting boat. The Rangers transported her to Hulett's Landing and then back to the Black Mountain Trailhead.

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

  • Contact for this Page
  • David Winchell
    NYSDEC Region 5
    1115 State Route 86
    P.O. Box 296
    Ray Brook, NY 12977
    518-897-1248
    email us
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