Posts Tagged ‘Forest Rangers’

Monday, September 18, 2017

Body of Missing Hiker Found Near Wallface Pond

Alex Stevens, Hiker Missing Sept 2017State Police and Forest Rangers have announced that around noon Monday, September 18, 2017, the body of missing hiker Alex Stevens was located in the vicinity of Wallface Mountain, near Wallface Pond.

Essex County Coroner Francis Whitelaw responded to the scene and authorized the removal of the body to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake for an autopsy expected to take place Tuesday.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers and the New York State Police have been searching for Stevens since September 10th, when he was reported missing by a family member. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

NYS Forest Ranger Ranks Stagnant While Workload Rises

Forest Ranger Rob Praczkajlo covers the district just east of the High Peaks Wilderness, namely the towns of Jay, Elizabethtown, and part of North Hudson. Due to the high rate of search and rescue operations in the adjacent High Peaks, he is just as likely to be found there as he is patrolling his own district.

The High Peaks district had more than 100 emergency incidents in 2015 and they do not occur in a vacuum. They are not handled exclusively by the half dozen rangers stationed there. Rangers from all parts of the Adirondacks, and the Forest Preserve they protect, are affected by the drain from so many incidents. The following chronicles one week in July for Ranger Praczkajlo. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, May 14, 2017

1967 Stony Creek Search for 11-Year-Old Debbie Butler

Search for 11-Year-Old Debbie ButlerWhen historians look through archival photos, it can be difficult to analyze an image’s authenticity. The question is not whether the image is genuine, per say, but how frank or candid the photo really is. This can be especially challenging when looking through photographs taken by government agencies who, understandably, have an agenda and often preserved images that were created with a certain narrative in mind. This is why, while the historic photos of Forest Rangers that graced the glossy pages of the Conservationist Magazine have become iconic, I tend to prefer to obtain photos from the rangers personal collections. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

ECO and Forest Ranger Recruits Starting Basic Police Training

Forest Ranger and ECO recruits marching at the academyIn mid-February, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) opened the 21st Basic School for Uniformed Officers, the 28-week training academy in Pulaski that prepares recruits for positions as Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) and Forest Rangers.

The academy began with 34 ECO and 11 Ranger candidates. The recruits are from 28 of New York’s 62 counties and range in age from 22 to 44 years old. Graduation is tentatively scheduled for August 25. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Two Hikers Found Alive After Two Days In High Peaks

UPDATE: DEC has released video of the summit helicopter rescue here.

Two hikers who had been missing in the High Peaks since Sunday have been found alive.

Blake Alois, 20, and Madison Popolizio, 19, both of Niskayuna, a suburban town west of Albany, were found less than a quarter mile from the summit of Algonquin Peak at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

The two were located by Forest Ranger Scott Van Laer and Lake Placid climber Don Mellor, who were among dozens of professional searchers looking for the pair. A state police helicopter transported them to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake, where they were treated for cold-related injuries.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, September 12, 2016

Newest Class of ECOs, Forest Ranger Graduates

DEC LogoNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced the graduation of 31 Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) and 17 Forest Rangers from the agency’s 20th Basic School for Uniformed Officers.

The 48 new officers received their diplomas in a formal ceremony at the Kallet Theater in Pulaski.

The Basic School was held at the Division of Law Enforcement’s Training Academy in Pulaski, which runs along the Salmon River. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

When Adirondack Climbers Come To The Rescue

The Trap Dike on Mount ColdenForest Ranger Rob Mecus got the call at 3:15 in the afternoon. A climber had fallen on Wallface. Rob had been at his Adirondack post for only a couple of years, but he knew what all longtime local climbers know — that Wallface was the worst-case scenario. It’s the biggest cliff in the state. It’s five miles from the road. There’s no nice trail to the top for a staging area. It’s blocky and loose. Three of the first four Adirondack climbing fatalities happened on this huge, remote piece of rock.

The cell-phone call from Summit Rock in Indian Pass reported that the fallen climber appeared to be hanging from a rope, unconscious. Yet despite the distance and the complexity of the rescue operation, that same climber would be wheeled into the emergency room at Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake at 8:10 that same evening. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Hiker Dies In Fall From Top Of Roaring Brook Falls

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA hiker from New York City died after falling 80 to 100 feet from the top of Roaring Brook Falls in St. Huberts on Saturday afternoon.

State Police identified the victim as Joann N. Restko, 37, of Staten Island. Troopers said Restko, who was hiking with a friend, slipped while taking photos.

State forest rangers got an emergency call about 12:40 p.m. They found Restko lying face down in a pool of water, already dead. An autopsy concluded she died from multiple injuries suffered in the fall. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Planting Trees Along The Hudson With YENN, Adirondack Wild, And Forest Rangers

DEC Forest Rangers working with YENN and Adirondack Wild“I never thought I’d be getting my hands dirty and planting trees in such a big forest,” said Jody last Saturday.

She had joined others from the Youth Ed-Venture and Nature Network, Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve, and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation for a day of hard work along the Hudson River.  YENN volunteers from tye Capital District met me at the Adirondack Mountain Club Headquarters off of Northway Exit 21 (thanks to Danielle for hosting us).  After a brief orientation to the Adirondack Park, we drove to Luzerne and then up River Road into the Town of Warrensburg. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

More Stories About The Dangerous Work of NYS Forest Rangers

ranger grover smith & dan mckenzieAutumn of 1948 had been a particularly dry season. Forest Rangers of that era often remained at their headquarters awaiting a phone call reporting the location of a blaze. The radio system of that time was poor but most outposts and fire towers were connected via phone line.

Daniel McKenzie, a 27 year veteran, was the Forest Ranger for North Hudson at the time and he lived on the Blue Ridge Road. A Ranger’s work schedule was much different then. During dry periods they stayed available all the time and they worked until the work was done. Ranger McKenzie, by all accounts, wore his uniform almost all the time. The Northway was decades away from construction and North Hudson was a more isolated community. In fact, McKenzie first came to the area prior to becoming a ranger to help construct State Route 9. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Dangerous Work Of Adirondack Forest Rangers

Forest Rangers DEC PhotoForest Rangers are often thought to have an idyllic profession and it is an exceptional job, but not without risks. The terrain is often difficult and assistance hours away.

For example, during the recent recovery of hiker Hua Davis on MacNaughton, a Forest Ranger was accidentally submerged up to his chest in a freezing mountain brook – a perilous situation when you are 13 miles by trail from the nearest road.

Although New York State Forest Rangers have an excellent safety record, there have been numerous fatalities in the line of duty and many injuries. What follows are just a few examples. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, March 6, 2016

Adirondack Hiker Dies At MacNaughton Mountain

Adirondack High Peaks March 4 - 2016 by John WarrenThe body of 61-year-old Hua Davis of Wilmington, Delaware was discovered on the backside of MacNaughton Mountain, according to media reports.

Davis is said to have begun her hike on Friday and was reported overdue to Forest Rangers, who found her body about 4 p.m., Saturday afternoon.

It’s believed she became hypothermic and disoriented. Temperatures were well-below freezing Friday night and there is still deep snow in the higher elevations of the High Peaks. » Continue Reading.


Monday, February 22, 2016

Personal Locator Beacon Key To Mount Marcy Rescue

KatieTylerwebRescues involving personal locator beacons are rare in the Adirondacks, but one played a key role in the search-and-rescue of a 47-year-old Long Island woman on Mount Marcy during whiteout conditions in early February.

Maria Nobles had been hiking with a group of six people on February 6 when she lost her way near Schofield Cobble on her way to Marcy’s summit, which is less than a mile away. Realizing she was in trouble, Nobles sent a distress signal on her locator beacon. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Ice Climber Breaks Leg In 100-Foot Fall: An In-Depth Report

S&C for AlmanackAn ice climber fell about a hundred feet and broke his leg while scaling a well-known route on the north side of Pitchoff Mountain over the weekend.

The climber, a 40-year-old man from Stamford, CT, was on the second pitch of Screw and Climaxe when he slipped on thin ice, plummeting below his belayer and coming to rest only 15 feet or so above the ground.

Eight forest rangers, three volunteer rescuers, and a medic carried out a complicated rescue operation in the dark that took roughly four hours, from the time of the initial call to the time the victim was placed in an ambulance.

Forest Ranger Scott van Laer was driving back to Ray Brook from another incident — a climber had fainted in the Trap Dike on Mount Colden — when he got a call at about 4:30 on Saturday afternoon. He heard screaming in the background.

“We knew it was serious, it wasn’t a sprained ankle,” van Laer said. “We knew we had to get there as soon as possible.”

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Forest Rangers And The ‘Christmas Detail’

Gib‘Tis the season for illegally cutting Christmas trees in the Adirondacks. That was the jingle, and it was followed by a stern warning from Conservation Department Commissioner Lithgow Osborne in December 1934 that his forest rangers would be on high alert for those attempting to steal their holiday cheer from the Forest Preserve:

“Forest Rangers are very much on guard this time of year because of the tendency of some persons to take trees from state land. Some of the newer forest plantations on state land offer a tempting array of Christmas trees and it is only by the exercise of constant vigilance on the part of the rangers that thefts can be prevented.” » Continue Reading.


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