New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents in the Adirondacks. 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 Adirondack backcountry.
What follows is a report, prepared by DEC, of recent missions carried out by Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks.
Town of Keene
Wildland Search and Rescue: On July 2 at 7:05 pm, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a group reporting one of their party was overdue. The group had summited Big Slide at noon. The overdue subject stayed behind at the summit and the group separated. A Forest Ranger responded and interviewed the group and other hikers. Several hikers reported seeing the subject near the summit at 3 pm. The John’s Brook caretaker hiked up Big Slide from the outpost as the Ranger began hiking in from the Garden parking lot. The caretaker located the subject at 10:37 pm, just above the trail intersection for the Brothers. The subject had spent most of the day attempting to find the correct way down and exhausted himself.
After spending the night at John’s Brook Outpost, on July 3, the outpost caretaker advised Ray Brook Dispatch that the hiker was experiencing leg cramps and stiffness and requested additional assistance. Forest Rangers evacuated the subject. He was turned over to Keene Valley EMS at 1:30 pm and transported to the Elizabethtown Hospital for treatment.
Town of North Elba
Wildland Search: At 10:03 pm on July 5, three campers called DEC Ray Brook Dispatch reporting that a tagged bear had driven them away from their camp at Feldspar. The campers called from Lake Arnold and reported leaving all of their gear behind at the camp. The subjects retrieved their belongings with help from family members and contacted DEC wildlife staffer Ben Simpson, who was busy working on a different nuisance bear complaint. DEC encourages hikers to take precautions to avoid undesirable bear encounters, including storing food in bear-proof containers and keeping a clean campsite.
Town of North Elba
Wildland Rescue: On July 7 at 4:31 pm, DEC’s Ray Brook dispatch received a transferred call from Essex County 911 regarding a 32-year-old female who sustained a lower leg injury while descending Hurricane Mountain with her 4-year-old son. Five Forest Rangers and one Assistant Forest Ranger responded and located the subject approximately two miles from the Route 9N Trailhead. After locating the subject, the Rangers evaluated and splinted her injury. The Rangers then carried the subject to the trailhead. The subject was taken by Keene EMS to a local hospital for further medical care. All units were out of the woods at 9:52 pm.
Town of Brighton
Wildland Search: On July 5 at 7 pm, the car of a missing vulnerable adult Bruce Waite of Bangor, NY, was found by a passerby on Slush Pond Road. State Police secured the vehicle and initiated an investigation. A coordinated wildland search began on July 6, involving Forest Rangers, State Police, NYS Corrections CERT members, volunteer search and rescue teams, DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officers, and investigators. The search is ongoing. Anyone with information concerning Mr. Waite’s whereabouts should contact the State Police at (518) 897-2000.
Town of Northampton
Public Safety on State Lands: On July 4 at 3:32 pm, Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from DEC’s Northampton Campground reporting rowdy campers and vehicles entering the campground without paying while the campground was at maximum capacity. Three Rangers responded to patrol and arrested two subjects for DWI. The pair were transported by New York State Police to Mayfield Barracks for processing. Rangers continued to patrol the campground throughout the evening.
Town of Indian Lake
Wildland Rescue: On July 2 at 3 pm, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Warren County 911 regarding a subject suffering from the high temperatures on Snowy Mountain. The subject’s hiking partner was giving the subject fluids and keeping him out of the sun, but the subject became ill when he tried to drink. Lt. Harjung directed Forest Rangers to respond, as well as Indian Lake, Blue Mountain Lake EMS, and Speculator fire departments. Responders were advised by Ray Brook Dispatch of impending severe thunderstorms in the area. Upon arrival, Rangers helped the subject rehydrate and start to descend with the assistance of the responding units. The subject was brought out to the trailhead at 6 pm, where he was evaluated and treated by EMS. All units were off the mountain before the storm.
Be Prepared: Properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hiking Safety webpage and Adirondack Trail Information webpage for more information about where you intend to travel. The Adirondack Almanack reports weekly Outdoor Conditions each Thursday afternoon.