Recent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:
Town of North Elba
Wilderness Rescue: On July 18 at 11:30 a.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance for two hikers stuck on the Trap Dike. The hikers exited the Trap Dike too soon and became stranded on the south side. The pair was advised to stay put and not try to go back due to the steepness of the terrain. Two Forest Rangers responded to assist. The Lake Colden caretaker saw the hikers but could not establish voice contact. Forest Rangers and the New York State Police (NYSP) Aviation unit performed a hoist rescue to bring the hikers safely to the base of the Trap Dike so they could hike out. The Lake Colden caretaker then paddled the stranded hikers and Forest Ranger Robbi Mecus to the end of Avalanche Lake where they started the hike back and were out of the woods by 8:02 p.m.Town of North Elba.
Wilderness Rescue: On July 15 at 4:16 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch from a man who got lost off the trail for Wright and Algonquin mountains and ended up on what appeared to be a steep ledge. Coordinates showed the man had followed the drainage down Macintyre Brook. Forest Ranger Megan LaPierre responded to assist and coordinated with the Algonquin Summit Steward on a search plan. At 6:04 p.m., Ranger LaPierre advised that she was with the hiker and that the summit steward could stand down. Ranger LaPierre escorted the 35-year-old hiker from Saratoga Springs back to the trail where he was reunited with his group.
Town of Keene
Wilderness Rescue: On July 15 at 8:23 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a radio transmission from Johns Brook Lodge (JBL) reporting a 36-year-old male hiker from Watervliet suffering from dizziness, fatigue, and struggling to walk approximately 3.5 miles up the trail at an intersection known as Shorty Shortcut. A member of the man’s hiking party went down the mountain to report his illness and request assistance. He also reported that one of the two people with the man was a nurse. Forest Ranger Rob Praczkajlo responded and determined the group would likely reach JBL by midnight at the earliest. In response, the Ranger took an ATV into the Johns Brook Outpost where he met with one of the hiker’s companions and the ADK Johns Brook Caretaker who told him the general location of the ill hiker on the trail. Ranger Praczkajlo proceeded in on foot and located the hiker near Bushnell Falls at 1 a.m. After resting, receiving water, food, and a headlamp, the ill hiker and his companions slowly made their way down to JBL, arriving at 2:30 a.m. Once at JBL, Ranger Praczkajlo stayed with two hikers too exhausted to continue hiking out to their vehicle and requested an ATV and Ranger to safely escort the pair back to the trailhead. Earlier that day, the hikers parked three miles away in the Hamlet of Keene Valley because the Garden lot was full. The hikers underestimated the additional effort required to hike the added distance.
Region 5 and Region 7
On July 16, American Canoe Association (ACA) whitewater kayak instructors Art Perryman, Bruce Lomnitzer, and Jason Scott hosted an ACA kayaking workshop for Zone D Forest Rangers on the Hudson River. On July 17, ACA canoe instructors Bruce Lomnitzer and Jason Scott hosted a similar workshop for Forest Rangers who patrol and check guides’ licenses on the Salmon River in Region 7. The instructors taught swiftwater paddling skills and rescue techniques with the use of inflatable kayaks.
Left: ACA Instructors host kayaking workshop for DEC Forest Rangers
Town of Keene
Wilderness Rescue: On July 18 at 9:05 p.m., a group of hikers in the Adirondack Mountain Reserve, near the High Peaks Wilderness Area, contacted DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a member of their party was having issues walking due to a recent hip replacement. The subject was waiting at the dam on Lower Au Sable Lake for Ranger assistance. Forest Ranger Rob Praczkajlo responded to assist and drove his patrol vehicle to the dam to locate the 22-year-old injured hiker from Potomac, Maryland. At 10:11 p.m., Ranger Praczkajlo was back at the gate with the hiker who advised she would seek medical attention on her own.
Town of Clifton
St. Lawrence County
Wilderness Rescue: On July 20 at 8 a.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance from a 25-year-old man from Honeoye Falls hiking the Cranberry 50 when he became fatigued about 20 miles into the woods. Forest Ranger Will Benzel responded to assist and after a brief interview determined the hiker was on the Gilbert Tract, which is located near the road heading into Cranberry Lake Campground. The Ranger picked up the hiker and provided him with a courtesy ride to his vehicle in Wanakena.
Top photo: DEC Forest Rangers assist in hoist rescue on Trap Dike. Provided by DEC