Friday, December 23, 2011

Adirondack Forest Ranger Reports (Late Autumn)

What follows is the late-October through late-December Forest Ranger Activity Report for DEC Region 5, which includes most of the Adirondack region. Although not a comprehensive detailing of all backcountry incidents, these reports are issued periodically by the DEC and printed here at the Almanack in their entirety. They are organized by county, and date. You can read previous Forest Ranger Reports here.

These incident reports are a stern reminder that wilderness conditions can change suddenly and accidents happen. Hikers and campers should check up-to-date forecasts before entering the backcountry and always carry a flashlight, first aid kit, map and compass, extra food, plenty of water and clothing. Be prepared to spend an unplanned night in the woods and always inform others of your itinerary.

The Adirondack Almanack reports current outdoor recreation and trail conditions each Thursday evening. Listen for the weekly Adirondack Outdoor Conditions Report on Friday mornings on WNBZ (AM 920 & 1240, FM 105 & 102.1), WSLP (93.3) and on the stations of North Country Public Radio.

Clinton County

Town of Ellenburg, Private Land

On Thursday, November 10, 2011, at approximately 3:24 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from State Police reporting a missing hunter. Paul Stough, 74, of Lexington, NC, was hunting with his son on a skidder road from his camp in Ellenburg Center, when he became disoriented and took a wrong turn. Three DEC Forest Rangers responded and began searching. Mr. Stough was located by a passing motor vehicle at 5:20 pm on a town road. Mr. Stough had walked out to the road approximately one mile from his camp. He was cold but in good condition. Ellenburg Center Rescue Squad examined and released him. Know the area you plan to hike or hunt. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them. Carry a flashlight or headlamp at all times.

Essex County

Town of Chesterfield, Taylor Pond Wild Forest

On Sunday, October 30, 2011, at approximately 3:18 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a request from Essex County 911 for assistance with an injured climber. Mark Pugliese, 21, of Rochester, NY, was rock climbing on Pok-O-Moonshine when he fell approximately 70 feet off the rock ledge. Three DEC Forest Rangers responded as well as members of the Keeseville and Saranac Fire Departments. Mr. Pugliese had been wearing a helmet, and was conscious and alert when rescuers arrived. Fire department personnel provided initial evaluation, stabilization and packaging of Mr. Pugliese in a litter. Forest Rangers assisted in carrying him out to an ambulance. He was transported to Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital for further medical treatment. . Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and know how to obtain assistance in emergency situations. The DEC Forest Ranger emergency phone number is 518-891-0235.

Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness Area

On Sunday, November 6, 2011, at approximately 2:00 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from a man reporting that his wife Mary Ellen Eastridge, 79, of Lexington, MA, had gotten separated from him while hiking to Rocky Falls. Four DEC Forest Rangers responded and located Mrs. Eastridge at 3 pm. She was in fair condition and required no medical attention. When hiking in groups, even pairs, stay together – know the location of all group members at all times.

Town of North Hudson, Hammond Pond Wild Forest

On Sunday, November 13, 2011, at approximately 6:38 pm, DEC Dispatch received a call reporting two missing hunters. Raymond Tilley, 40, and his 12 year old son, both of Greenwich, NY, were hunting off of Ensign Pond Road when they failed to come out of the woods at dark. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded and began searching the woods in which the Tilley’s were last seen. At approximately 10:10 pm, Mr. Tilley and his son were located in good condition about 1 mile from the road. They were assisted out of the woods and back to their vehicle. Know the area you plan to hike or hunt. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them. Carry a flashlight or headlamp at all times.

Town of Schroon, Hammond Pond Wild Forest

On Monday, November 14, 2011, at approximately 4:16 pm, DEC Dispatch received a call reporting a hunter in need of assistance. Mark Cooper, 57, of Ticonderoga, NY, was hunting near the outlet of Gull Pond and had shot a deer. After hanging his deer, Mr. Cooper’s medical assistance device malfunctioned causing him distress. A DEC Forest Ranger responded and slowly assisted Mr. Cooper out of the woods with help from the Schroon Fire Department and Rescue. Mr. Cooper was then transported to Glens Falls Hospital for further evaluation and treatment. Emergencies can happen, know how to obtain assistance in emergency situations. The DEC Forest Ranger emergency phone number is 518-891-0235.

Franklin County

Town of Brighton, Debar Mountain Wild Forest

On Friday, October 28, 2011, at approximately 7:31 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from State Police requesting assistance with locating two lost hunters. Tanner Crary, 27, of Gabriels, NY and Steven Smith, 21, of Rainbow Lake, NY, had been hunting off the Jones Pond Road in the general area of Osgood Pond. DEC Dispatch was able to contact them via text message before their cell phone lost power and advise them to stay in place and wait for assistance. DEC Forest Rangers and State Police responded. Forest Rangers located the two men and escorted out of the woods at 11:13 pm. Know the area you plan to hike or hunt. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them. Carry a flashlight or headlamp at all times.

Town of Tupper Lake, Saranac Lakes Wild Forest

On Wednesday, November 9, 2011, at approximately 8:00 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook was notified by Franklin County 911 of a stranded hunter. Donald Roberts, 61, of Tupper Lake, NY, who had been hunting since 6:30 am, became disoriented after dark and was unable to locate his boat on the shore of the Raquette River. He bushwhacked to the river and called for assistance. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded, located Mr. Roberts and returned him and his boat to the Raquette River Boat Launch at 10:15 pm. Know the area you plan to hike or hunt. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them. Carry a flashlight or headlamp at all times.

Hamilton County

Town of Inlet, Moose River Plains Wild Forest

On Sunday, November 6, 2011, at approximately 5:15 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting a group of overdue hikers. Devin Edmunds, Josh Blanchard, Katie Trombley and Katie Ostach, all 18 from Little Falls, NY, had been hiking in the Moose River Plains and were 5 hours past their planned return time. Three DEC Forest Rangers responded and were able to make contact with the subjects via cell phone. The group had gotten turned around for awhile but was able to work their way out on their own. No further assistance was needed. Know the area you plan to hike or hunt, understand the skills and physical abilities of all members of your group and plan accordingly. Carry a flashlight or headlamp at all times.

Town of Wells, Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area

On Saturday, November 12, 2011, at approximately 5:56 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting a group of lost hikers. Joseph Prisk, 61, and Patricia Prisk, 56, both of Schenectady, NY and Lawrence Beaver and Braelyn Beaver, both 24 and of Reading, PA, were hiking the Pine Orchard Trail when they were overcome by darkness. The group believed they were on a snowmobile trail, but were not confident as to the direction they were traveling in or as to what parking area they had signed in at. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded and began checking trailheads. The group’s vehicle was located on Dorr Road. The Forest Rangers began to hike towards Pine Orchard until the subjects were located at approximately 9:37pm, 5 miles from the trailhead. The four hikers were cold, but otherwise in good condition. The group was escorted out to the Rt. 8 trailhead and then transported to their vehicle on Dorr Road at 1:30 am. Know the area you plan to hike or hunt. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them. Carry a flashlight or headlamp at all times.

Town of Lake Pleasant, Jessup River Wild Forest

On Tuesday, November 15, 2011, at approximately 6:15 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from Hamilton County 911 reporting a lost hunter. Charles Primeau, 40, of Clifton Park, NY, had become disoriented and unfamiliar with his surroundings. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded and when able to make contact with Mr. Primeau via cell phone, advised him to remain in place. One Forest Ranger hiked to a high probability area where Mr. Primeau was thought to have been and discharged two gun shots to use as a sound locator. Mr. Primeau then discharged two rounds, and the Forest Ranger was able to determine his exact location. He was located at approximately 8:54pm in good condition. The Forest Rangers assisted Mr. Primeau back to his camp by 9:25 pm. Know the area you plan to hike or hunt. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them. Carry a flashlight or headlamp at all times.

Saratoga County

Town of Galway, Private Land

On Sunday, October 30, 2011, at approximately 8:00 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from Saratoga County 911 requesting Forest Ranger assistance with an airboat for a possible drowning in Galway Lake. Three DEC Forest Rangers responded with an airboat to assist in a coordinated effort by multiple agencies and dive teams to located Jacob Miller, 23, of Galway, NY. Mr. Miller was swimming with friends when it was noticed he was missing. Searchers in boats and in the water searched through the night without any results. On Monday, October 31, Mr. Miller’s deceased body was located at approximately 2:20 pm. Emergencies can happen, know how to obtain assistance in emergency situations. The DEC Forest Ranger emergency phone number is 518-891-0235.

Warren County

Town of Johnsburg, Private Land

On Thursday, November 17, at approximately 1:20 pm Scott Cleveland, 45, of Bakers Mills, NY, was climbing into a tree stand on private lands in the Town of Johnsburg, Warren County when he fell 25 feet. The fall resulted in significant injuries to both his ankles and his right arm. He was unable to obtain cell service at the location he crawled and dragged himself for three hours to location approximately 1 mile from the tree stand. There he was able to obtain cell service and call a family member. The family member contacted Warren County 911 who in turned copy DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook at 4:43 pm. Warren County 911, who contacted Ray Brook Dispatch at 4:43 p.m. for assistance. Two DEC Forest Rangers and personnel from Bakers Mills Fire Department, Garnet Lake Fire Department, Johnsburg Fire Department, Johnsburg Emergency Medical Services and Minerva Emergency Medical Services responded. Mr. Cleveland was stabilized and carried on a litter a quarter mile through wet terrain and three stream crossings to Chatiemac Road at approximately 6:30 pm. He was transported from there to Johnsburg High School by Johnsburg Emergency Medical Services ambulance and then air lifted by a Lifeflight helicopter to Albany Medical Center for further evaluation and treatment. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and know how to obtain assistance in emergency situations. The DEC Forest Ranger emergency phone number is 518-891-0235.

Town of Lake Luzerne, Lake George Wild Forest

On Sunday, November 20, 2011, at approximately 8:21 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from Warren County 911 reporting an overdue hunter. John Stoothoff, 55, of Lake Luzerne, NY, was hunting in the Hudson River Recreational Area when he fell and hit his head at approximately 4:40 p.m. He had lost consciousness and broke his headlamp as a result of the fall. DEC Forest Rangers, State Police and Warren County Sheriff’s Deputies responded. Mr. Stoothoff was located at 10:15 pm by DEC Forest Rangers who escorted him to River Road. He was assessed by the Hadley-Luzerne Rescue Squad and released. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and know how to obtain assistance in emergency situations. The DEC Forest Ranger emergency phone number is 518-891-0235.

Town of Bolton, Lake George Wild Forest

On Monday, November 28, 2011, at approximately 9:55 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from Warren County Sheriff’s Office reporting overdue hikers at the Clay Meadow Trailhead. Charles Phones, 22, of Glens Falls, NY and Kaci Nowalk, 22, of Unadilla, NY, had thought the Clay Meadow Trail was a short loop. Unprepared for a long hike they were overtaken by darkness. The pair stopped on the trail along the shore and had started a campfire. Four DEC Forest Rangers responded, located the two hikers and transported them to Green Island where they were reunited with their families at 12:30 am. Know the area you plan to hike or hunt. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them. Carry a flashlight or headlamp at all times.

Town of Johnsburg, Wilcox Wild Forest

On Monday, December 12, 2011, at approximately 11:15 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting two overdue hikers. Ellen Harris, 51 and Sean Fitzsimmons, 29, both of Schenectady, NY were hiking Crane Mountain and expected to return by 6:00 pm. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded and spent the night traveling all of the trails on Crane Mountain with no success. Three additional DEC Forest Rangers and a State Police Aviation helicopter responded the following morning to continue with the search effort. At 7:55 am he subjects were located. They had spent the night in the woods, then at first light exited the woods and knocked on the door of the first residence they came to. No medical attention was required and they were released. Know the area you plan to hike or hunt. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them. Carry a flashlight or headlamp at all times.


Editorial Staff

Stories written under the Almanack's Editorial Staff byline are drawn from press releases and other notices.

To have your news noticed here at the Almanack contact our Editor John Warren at adkalmanack@gmail.com.




Comments are closed.