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For Release: Monday, November 13, 2017

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 11/6 - 11/12

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:

Town of Keene
Essex County
DEC Dispatch received a call on Nov. 5 at 10:57 a.m., from In-Reach Services, a GPS location company, reporting a 23-year-old male from Ballston Spa in need of assistance on Algonquin Peak. The subject was concerned about the icy and windy conditions on the south side of the peak. Cell-phone contact was made with the hiker and he was advised by Forest Rangers to continue downhill toward Lake Colden and meet up with the Lake Colden caretakers, who were en route to meet him. Upon reaching the summit of Algonquin, the caretakers couldn't locate the hiker. Four Forest Rangers were dispatched to the Adirondack Loj, and Essex County 911 placed the hiker on the north side of the peak, about .3-miles off the trail to the west. Phone communications between the hiker and Forest Rangers directed the subject to continue east to intersect the trail. Forest Rangers proceeded toward his location. At 4:15 p.m., the hiker contacted Ray Brook Dispatch and confirmed he was on the trail at the Wright Peak intersection and would be continuing out to the trailhead. It was confirmed he needed no more assistance and Forest Rangers cleared the scene shortly thereafter.

Town of Schroon
Essex County
On Nov. 5 at 5:46 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a 55-year-old male from Crown Point who became lost while hunting near Crane Pond Road. Dispatch directed the subject to contact Essex County 911 to obtain coordinates while one Ranger responded. The subject stated he had no injuries and had started a fire to keep warm. The Ranger entered the woods and located the subject, who was then assisted back to the rest of his hunting party. The Ranger was clear at 8:25 p.m.

Town of Jay
Essex County
On Nov. 7 at 4:36 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Essex County 911 requesting assistance for a 28-year-old male from Clarence who was lost off Jay Mountain. Essex County provided coordinates for the subject's location. The subject stated he was well prepared for the weather and had a flashlight. One Ranger responded and made cell phone contact with the subject. The Ranger directed the subject to begin hiking out and later intercepted him on the trail. The subject was then assisted down to his vehicle.

Town of Keene
Essex County
On Nov. 8 at 1:58 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance for a 50-year-old male from Niskayuna who was having difficulty navigating the Lower Wolf Jaw trail due to blow down. The subject was advised to call 911 for phone coordinates. The coordinates placed him at the junction of Lower Wolf Jaw and Hedgehog. One Forest Ranger was dispatched to the area. The subject found the trail and began heading toward the trailhead. The Ranger hiked in, located the subject, and walked with him to the trailhead.

Town of Hunter
Greene County
On Nov. 11 at 3:45 p.m., DEC Dispatch received a call from Green county 911 looking for assistance with a 46-year-old female from Miami Beach, Florida, who was hiking at Kaaterskill Falls when she injured her ankle. The injury occurred near the lower pool of the falls and she was unable to walk out on her own. Two Rangers responded, splinted the subject's ankle, and prepared her for a carryout. The Palenville, Tannersvile, Haines Falls, and Centerville fire departments assisted with the carry out. Once out to Rt. 23A, the subject was put in the Hunter Ambulance and transported to the hospital.

Town of North Elba
Essex County
On Nov. 11 at 4:28 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from New York State Police requesting assistance for a missing 17-year-old male from Central Islip. The subject was last seen entering a wooded area. Due to the poor weather conditions, three Rangers, two Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs), and several State Police responded. Two Rangers located the subject in fair condition. He was mildly hypothermic due to the loss of his boots and exposure from walking in a nearby brook. He was taken out to the road, where Lake Placid EMS treated him.

Town of Floyd
Oneida County
On Nov. 11 at 8 p.m., State Police contacted DEC Dispatch for assistance with 84-year-old male from Whitesboro who was lost while hunting. Three Rangers responded along with two ECOs. Three search crews were sent to key locations for firearm signal shots, all with negative results. A State Police helicopter was requested and also searched with negative results. The subject was located in good condition by a search crew at 1:12 a.m. The subject was walked out to a patrol vehicle and driven out to the road, where he was evaluated by AmCare Ambulance EMTs and released at the scene.

Delaware County
Town of Colchester
On Nov. 12 at 12:07 p.m., DEC dispatch received a call from a group camping at the Trout Pond lean-to in Delaware Wild Forest. A 64-year-old male from Hamilton, NJ, was complaining about an ongoing medical issue. Two Rangers responded along with Roscoe Ambulance personnel. The ambulance used a truck tail to drive to the lean-to, where the subject was provided basic first aid and transported to the hospital. All units were clear at 1:55 p.m.

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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