Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Rangers respond to lost, injured hikers and hunters

forest ranger reportsRecent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Lyonsdale
Lewis County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Oct. 11 at 3:13 p.m., Forest Ranger Hanno overheard radio traffic about an injured hiker along the Moose River. Ranger Hanno responded to the location and assisted the Port Leyden Fire Department and Lewis County Search and Rescue with packaging the 65-year-old woman from Port Lyden into a litter. The subject fell and injured her right wrist, ankle, and head while hiking. At 4:31 p.m., the injured hiker and rescue personnel were out of the woods and a Port Leyden Ambulance transported the hiker to a local hospital for treatment.

Town of Lake George
Warren County
Wilderness Rescue:
On Oct. 15 at 10:50 a.m., Warren County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch from a 29-year-old runner from Brooklyn lost on an old forest road on the side of Prospect Mountain. Coordinates placed the runner close to the road, but without a map or compass to navigate the area. Forest Ranger Donegan responded to assist. At 11:58 a.m., Ranger Donegan located the runner at the coordinates provided by 911 and both were back out to Memorial Highway and clear of the scene at 12:20 p.m.

Town of Osceola
Lewis County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Oct. 16 at 10:30 a.m., Lewis County 911 contacted DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a lost hunter in the East Fish Creek Easement. Forest Ranger Hanno and Lt. Nowalk responded to the coordinates provided by 911. Once on scene, Rangers found the hunter’s vehicle and proceeded toward a cellphone ping locating the 35-year-old man from Benson, VT, about one mile away along the Salmon River. At 1:55 p.m., the hunter and Rangers were out of the woods and clear of the scene.

Town of Newcomb
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Oct. 16 at 1:50 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a report from passing hikers that a person with a dislocated shoulder was requesting assistance on the Opalescent Trail in the High Peaks Wilderness Area. Operations Caretakers Engel and Bastien responded from the Lake Colden Outpost and intercepted the injured hiker on the lower section of the Opalescent Trail. Due to severe thunderstorms, the caretakers planned to return to the outpost with the injured hiker. Once at the outpost, they successfully provided first aid to the dislocated shoulder of the 31-year-old woman from Albany. After the storms passed, the caretakers and the hiker met up with Forest Ranger Martin and Assistant Forest Ranger Adams near the trailhead. At 7:15 p.m., the hikers and rescuers were out to the trailhead and the patient transferred to Newcomb Ambulance for transport to a local hospital.

Speculator Tree Farm
Hamilton County
Storm Damage Response:
 On Oct. 16 at 4:07 p.m., Forest Rangers Thompson and Scott assisted the Speculator and Lake Pleasant Fire Departments, town workers, and the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office with tree removal from the roadways in the Speculator Tree Farm. Trees fell during a storm and trapped several hunters and an Environmental Conservation Police Officer (ECO). No injuries or property damage were reported, but the tree prevented their ability to leave the property. At 5:07 p.m., all roadways were clear of trees and everyone trapped was out safely.

Town of Lake Luzerne
Warren County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Oct. 17 at 7:10 p.m., Warren County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a 75-year-old man from Lake Luzerne had injured his left arm after falling in the woods. The caller advised he was having difficulty walking and attributed it to his diabetes. Forest Rangers Donegan and Savarie responded to the hiker’s location, stabilized his injury, and escorted him out of the woods at 8:45 p.m. The Rangers gave the subject a courtesy ride back to his home where he advised he would seek further medical assistance on his own.

Town of Webb
Herkimer County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Oct. 17 at 11:08 p.m., Herkimer County 911 contacted Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a 52-year-old man from Lowville was overdue from hunting. The hunter’s family became concerned when he didn’t return after dark and they located his vehicle at the intersection of Stillwater and Basket Factory roads in the Independence River Wild Forest. County 911 advised that an officer from the Town of Webb Police Department was responding to the intersection to meet the reporting party. Forest Rangers Hanno and Thomes responded to assist. At 1:05 a.m., Ranger Hanno advised Dispatch that they guided the missing hunter out to their location using sirens. The subject was in good health and required no additional assistance.

ranger air drop

Rangers team with DEC Foresters and NYSP Aviation to repair wilderness area lean-tos and bridges. DEC photo

West Canada Lake and Silver Lake Wilderness
Hamilton County
Lean-to and Bridge Repair:
 On Oct. 14, Region 5 Forest Rangers, with the assistance of DEC Foresters and New York State Police (NYSP) Aviation, conducted sling load missions in the West Canada Lake Wilderness and Silver Lake Wilderness to repair lean-tos and bridges. The lean-tos, primitive tent sites, and bridges in these wilderness areas provide many opportunities for long-distance, overnight loop hikes from many trailheads.

Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hike Smart NYAdirondack Backcountry Information, and Catskill Backcountry Information webpages for more information.

If a person needs a Forest Ranger, whether it’s for a search and rescue, to report a wildfire, or to report illegal activity on state lands and easements, they should call 833-NYS-RANGERS. If a person needs urgent assistance, they can call 911. To contact a Forest Ranger for information about a specific location, the DEC website has phone numbers for every Ranger listed by region.

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Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.

2 Responses

  1. Steven Frederick says:

    Great job these unsung heroes do. I love hiking the Adirondacks and have for over 50 years. I hope I never need there help but am so glad they are there

  2. Jim P says:

    Regarding charging for a rescue….if it’s an injury, no
    If it’s a lost hike who didn’t have the basic hiking essentials , compass , MAP,, light ( not a cell phone light), water and energy bars….then yes charge them!

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