Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

For Release: Tuesday, November 13, 2018

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 11/5 -11/11/18

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 Caroga
Fulton County
On Nov. 10 at 7:25 p.m., a Forest Ranger responded to a report of a 75-year-old lost hunter from Dix Hills. On arrival at Fisher Road in Caroga, the Ranger discovered that the missing subject was in phone contact with searchers from Caroga Fire Department. The hunter was located by his two sons. While responders were waiting for the hunter and his family to come out of the woods, they lost communications with the group. The Ranger entered the woods, found the group, and escorted them back to the road. The subject refused medical assistance and the incident concluded at 9:01 p.m.

Town of North Elba
Essex County
At 6:41 p.m. on Nov. 8, DEC's Ray Brook Dispatch received a phone call from the family of a stranded hiker on Mount Marcy. Dressed in cotton and inappropriate footwear, the unprepared hiker found himself in inhospitable conditions. The caller's coordinates placed him just under one-half mile below the summit. The 22-year-old male hiker was contacted via cell phone and placed in contact with Forest Rangers. The hiker stated that he had removed his socks and shoes in order to warm his feet. Rangers instructed the hiker to redress and start hiking, quickly and safely, down the trail back toward Marcy Dam. Rangers entered the woods moving toward the hiker's location. At 9:40 p.m., the hiker relayed through his family that he was running out of light on his phone, which was his only light source, and felt lost. At 10:22 p.m., Rangers located the subject and assisted him to his vehicle parked near Adirondak Loj. The incident concluded at 12:30 a.m.

Town of Hunter
Greene County
At 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 7, DEC's Central Office dispatch received a call from Greene County 911 reporting two lost hikers on the Indian Head Creek Trail nearly a mile from Platte Clove. The hikers were stuck because they did not have any lights. Cell phone coordinates indicated that the two subjects were on the Devil's Path just east of the junction with the Overlook Trail on Indian Head Mountain. Rangers hiked in from Platte Clove Road and located the subjects in good health, but cold. The hikers were warmed, provided lights, and assisted out to Platte Clove Road. The subjects stated they had gotten a late start and began hiking the Indian Head loop at 1 p.m. They were approximately two miles from the trailhead when it became too dark to continue. The pair was given a courtesy ride to their vehicle at the Prediger Road Trailhead.

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

  • Contact for this Page
  • Press Office - Benning DeLaMater
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-1016
    email us
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to all NYS regions