For the interest of Almanack readers, we present the September DEC Region 5 Forest Ranger Report in its entirety:
Town of Black Brook, Taylor Pond Wild Forest
On Saturday, September 19, at approximately 2:05 PM, DEC Dispatch received a call from State Police in Plattsburgh, reporting a group of 3 young girls, ages 9, & 10, missing from the DEC Taylor Pond Campground. The girls were last seen at 11:30 AM heading to an outhouse. The girls’ parents searched for 2 hours before reporting them missing. Five DEC Forest Rangers responded, along with the State Police Aviation Unit helicopter. A forest ranger aboard the helicopter spotted the missing group approximately 3 miles from the campground. Another forest ranger searching in the area made contact with the children and safely escorted them out of the woods by 5:15 PM.
Town of Newcomb, Camp Sanatanoni Historic Area
On Saturday, September 5, 2009, at approximately 12:30 PM, a DEC forest ranger received notification of an injured bicyclist on the Santanoni Road. Anne Reed, 65, of Clifton Park, NY, had suffered a dislocated shoulder after falling off her bike. The forest ranger responded and assisted the Newcomb Volunteer Rescue Squad in gaining access to the state lands where Mrs. Reed was located. She was transported by ambulance to the Glens Falls Hospital.
Town of North Elba, Lake Placid
On Saturday, September 5, 2009, at approximately 1:00 PM, a DEC forest ranger and a DEC environmental conservation officer on boat patrol on Lake Placid came across two individuals swimming near their overturned canoe. Ed O’Neill, 53 and Kris Rovell, 48, both of Red Bank, NJ, were attempting to upright their boat. The ranger and the officer assisted the men out of the water and into the patrol boat. They also retrieved the boat and drained it of water. The men and their canoe were then taken back to their launch site.
Town of Elizabethtown, Giant Mountain Wilderness Area
On Friday, September 25, 2009, at approximately 3:35 PM, DEC Dispatch received a call from Essex County Emergency Services reporting a cell phone call from a distressed hiker. Larry Buechel, 53, of Penfield, NY was hiking on Giant Mountain and stated that he was almost out of water and was suffering from nausea, vomiting and cramps – all symptoms of advanced dehydration. Essex County Emergency Services provided GPS coordinates from the cell phone call. DEC Forest Rangers responded, hiking in to Mr. Buechel’s location. At 6:17 PM, forest rangers located the subject, provided him water and assisted him safely out of the woods.
Keene, Dix Mountain Wilderness Area
On Monday, September 28, 2009, at approximately 3:56 PM, DEC Dispatch received a call from the Ausable Club reporting two overdue hikers. Orla and Brite Westh, both 80 and from Birkerod, Denmark, had been dropped off at the Noonmark trailhead. They had intended to hike part way up the trail to a ledge overlook, and return by 12:00 PM. DEC forest rangers responded, hiking up the Noonmark Moutnain trail. At approximately 5:33 PM, they located the Wesths hiking down the trail. They were exhausted and stated that they had missed the first lookout and ended up accidently hiking Noonmark Mountain. The forest rangers escorted the pair safely out of the woods by 6:00 PM.
Town of Bleeker, Shaker Mountain Wild Forest
On Tuesday, September 8, 2009, at approximately 12:00 AM, a DEC Forest Ranger was notified by the Fulton County Sheriff of a missing bicycler in the area of Lake Edward. Timothy Martin, 48, of Broadalbin, NY had gone out mountain biking earlier that evening and had not yet returned home. Two DEC Forest Rangers and one Sheriff’s unit responded. The forest rangers began searching the local network of trails. At 1:12 AM, the Sheriff’s unit located Mr. Martin in a nearby Boy Scouts camp, approximately 1 mile from the last his known location point. According to Mr. Martin, he lost the trail during the evening after his GPS unit failed to operate. After spending three hours wandering around the woods he was able to locate the Boy Scout Camp.
Town of Long Lake, High Peaks Wilderness Area
On Saturday, September 19, 2009, at approximately 5:45PM, DEC Dispatch received a call from Franklin County 911 reporting three individuals lost on Blueberry Mountain, on the east side of Long Lake. The subjects, Benjamin Durfee, 23, and Samantha Durfee, 21, both of Chittenango, NY and Sarah Otey, 22, of Charlottesville, VA were not properly prepared for the forecasted nighttime temperatures. DEC Forest Rangers responded by boat and unsuccessfully searched the local lean-tos. New York State Police Aviation dispatched a helicopter to join the search effort. The forest rangers searched up Blueberry Mountain and again were unable to locate the group. Eventually contact was made by cell phone, and they indicated they were on the summit of a mountain and described a bolt they observed. Forest rangers determined that the group had actually hiked Kempshall Mtn and had most likely gotten lost on the backside of the mountain. Due to the late hour and the condition of the hikers, plans were formulated for a more extensive search in the morning. The search resumed in the morning with additional rangers. The three individuals were located near Corner Pond at approximately 12:30 PM, and escorted safely out of the woods at 2:00 PM.
Town of Wells, Silver Lake Wilderness
On Saturday, September 5, 2009, at approximately 3:30 PM, while on patrol on the West Branch Road, a DEC Forest Ranger was stopped by and individual and informed that a group of canoeists going down the Sacandaga River had overturned and had not been seen since. A forest ranger was assigned to search the river by kayak while another ranger searched the northern bank of the river by foot. Volunteers also assisted the search. Dean Prat, 25, and April Strock, 27, both from Clifton Park, NY, and Ryan Teal, 21, of Schaghticoke, NY, were located at 6:30 PM along the West River Road by a volunteer. They reported that after swamping their boats, they walked down stream approximately 2 miles before locating the road.