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For Release: Monday, November 5, 2018

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 10/29 - 11/4/18

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 2017, DEC Forest Rangers conducted 346 search and rescue missions, extinguished 55 wildfires that burned a total of 191 acres, participated in 29 prescribed fires that burned and rejuvenated 564 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 are 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
On Oct. 29 at 6:01 p.m., a call came in to DEC's Ray Brook Dispatch from a 46-year-old female from Saratoga who was lost in the mountains in Keene Valley. She was hiking solo and, on the descent, lost the trail markers and rather than retracing her steps, continued downhill and became confused. One Ranger responded, and the female hiker continued down the mountain along a stream bed until it became rocky and slippery. The Ranger directed the subject to remain at her current location. By 7:25 p.m., the Ranger reached the subject in the beaver swamp near Route 73. By 8 p.m., woman was back at the trailhead.

Town of Ellery and Busti
Chautauqua County
Heavy rain response:
On Nov. 1 at 5 p.m., a Forest Ranger was assigned to patrol along the southeast shoreline of Chautauqua Lake, west of Jamestown, in response to persistent rains and the lake reaching minor flood stage. A second Forest Ranger was assigned to inspect DEC's Bemus Point Boat Launch and associated infrastructure along the north shore. No damage was noted. Additional Forest Rangers, along with DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) and State Parks Police, staged at Long Point State Park throughout the night to track flood waters. Water levels increased slightly during the evening, and with the passage of the cold front and lake levels steady, all resources were released the morning of Nov. 2.

Town of North Elba
Essex County
On Nov. 3 at 11:08 a.m., DEC's Ray Brook Dispatch received a call regarding a 20-year-old male from Lake Placid who became separated from his hunting party. The group was hunting in an area near the Northville-Placid Trail when the hunters were separated. Six Rangers were dispatched to look for the subject. Three Rangers arrived on scene at 12 p.m., and entered through the north side of the Northville Placid Trail toward Moose Pond. The Rangers conducted searches of the trails around the last known point. Cell phone coordinates placed the subject in the area of Moose Pond, about two miles south of where the hunting party was supposed to have met up. Weather deteriorated to near-blizzard conditions. A Ranger located the subject at approximately 10 p.m. The hunter was assessed and escorted out of the woods. By 10:45 p.m., the subject was out of the woods and en route to his residence.

Town of Chesterfield
Essex County
On Nov. 4 at 10 a.m., a call came into DEC's Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a 55-year-old female from Keeseville who had taken a wrong step and injured her ankle on Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain in the Taylor Pond Wild Forest. Five Forest Rangers responded to assist. With assistance, the hiker was able to walk about half way down the observer's trail to a waiting ATV. At 3:08 p.m., the group was at the trailhead and the subject was transported to the local hospital for further medical care.

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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