Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

For Release: Wednesday, July 5, 2023

DEC Forest Rangers - Week in Review

Recent Statewide Forest Ranger Actions

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 across New York State.

In 2022, DEC Forest Rangers conducted 359 search and rescue missions, extinguished 162 wildfires covering more than 1,300 acres, participated in 53 prescribed fires that served to rejuvenate nearly 900 acres of land, and worked on cases that resulted in hundreds of tickets and arrests.

"With more people visiting State lands and enjoying New York's myriad, world-class outdoor recreational opportunities, DEC's Forest Rangers are on the front lines to help visitors get outside responsibly and get home safely," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "Each day, these highly trained first responders are protecting irreplaceable natural resources and utilizing their expert knowledge of wildland fire suppression, wilderness first aid, land navigation, law enforcement, and technical rescue techniques to successfully execute critical missions, for DEC and our countless local, state, and national partners."

Town of Santa Clara
Franklin County
Wilderness Rescue:
On June 27 at 8:10 a.m., Forest Ranger Lieutenant Lapierre called Ranger Adams about a camper at Clamshell Pond reporting severe leg cramps while camping and canoeing. Assistant Forest Ranger (AFR) Colucci and Ranger Adams responded with an ATV, six-wheeler, and a canoe while Rangers Bronson and Corey followed in another six-wheeler. Ranger Adams reached the 45-year-old from Connecticut at 10:46 a.m. Rangers provided the subject with water and electrolytes and evacuated them on an ATV to another area of the campground where EMS was waiting. The subject's son, who has a medical condition that prevents him from walking on his own, was safely transported to his father. The subject refused further medical care from EMS. Resources were clear at 11:53 a.m.

Rangers and ATVs in parking lot during rescue
Rescue at Clamshell Pond

Village of Fort Ann
Washington County
Wilderness Rescue:
On June 29 at 4:25 p.m., DEC Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance with a hiker who suffered a knee injury more than one and a half miles up Buck Mountain. Ranger Carabetta reached the 58-year-old from Oakland Gardens and stabilized his knee. Rangers Donegan and Nahor arrived with a wheeled litter and helped transport the subject to the parking lot. The hiker was released to his family and refused further medical care. Resources were clear at 9:15 p.m.

Town of Ticonderoga
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
On June 29 at 4:53 p.m., AFR Phetteplace discovered a 17-year-old on the shore of Rock Pond. The subject from Pittsford had been swimming but was shivering and suffering from leg cramps that prevented him from walking. AFR Phetteplace and the swimmer's companions helped warm the subject. Ranger Arnold also responded and assisted the swimmer to Putnam Pond where he was transported by boat back to his campsite.

Town of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Search:
On July 1 at 2:44 p.m. AFR Patnode was alerted to a 12-year-old who became separated from her family near Adirondak Loj and had not been seen for more than an hour. Forest Ranger Lieutenant LaPierre and Ranger Evans responded. AFR Patnode located the subject in good condition near the junction of Street and Nye. Rangers reunited the subject with her family at 4:51 p.m.

Young hiker follows Ranger on trail in the woods
12-year-old hiker found by Rangers

Town of Hunter
Greene County
Wilderness Rescue:
On July 1 at 7 p.m., Greene County Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance for a hiker who fell on Artists Rock trail at North-South Lake Campground. Ranger Peterson arrived within 15 minutes and began patient care. The 60-year-old from New York City fell approximately 10 feet and suffered a one-inch laceration on the bridge of her nose. The subject was also having trouble breathing. Greene County Paramedics arrived and provided medical care. Rangers Dawson and Fox packaged the subject into a wheeled litter and delivered her to a waiting ambulance. Resources were cleared at 9:30 p.m.

hiker lies down on rocks while being evaluated by EMS and Ranger
Hiker injured on Artists Rock trail

Town of Arietta
Hamilton County
Domestic Incident:
On July 1 at 8:45 p.m., Forest Ranger Lieutenant Kerr and Rangers Nally and Thompson responded to a reported domestic incident at Little Sand Point Campground. Rangers arrived to find two intoxicated adults accompanied by a 10-year-old child. Rangers turned the child over to other family members. The two adults from Salisbury Center were permitted to remain at the campsite overnight, before being evicted the following morning.

Town of Redfield
Oswego County
Fatal Crash:
On July 2 at 5 p.m., Forest Ranger Petit responded to an overturned UTV on Little John Drive. Environmental Conservation Police Officer (ECO) Brown, New York State Police (NYSP), Oswego County Sheriff's Office, and Redfield Fire and Rescue responded. NYSP identified the operator as 59-year-old Charles Gronau Jr. (leaves DEC website), from Lacona, and reported he was not wearing a helmet or seatbelt at the time of the accident. The coroner arrived at 8 p.m., and transported the victim to the Onondaga County Medical Examiner.

overturned UTV in the woods
UTV crash in Redfield

Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC's Hike Smart NY, Adirondack Backcountry Information, and Catskill Backcountry Information webpages for more information.

If a person needs a Forest Ranger, whether it's for a search and rescue, to report a wildfire, or to report illegal activity on state lands and easements, they should call 833-NYS-RANGERS. If a person needs urgent assistance, they can call 911. To contact a Forest Ranger for information about a specific location, the DEC website has phone numbers for every Ranger listed by region.

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