Recent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:
Franklin and Hamilton Counties
Snowmobile Enforcement: Over the last week, Forest Rangers from Region 5 Zone A patrolled more than 311 miles of snowmobile trails in Santa Clara, Paul Smiths, Onchiota, Lake Clear, Saranac Lake, Bloomingdale, Tupper Lake, Long Lake, and Raquette Lake. Rangers checked 395 snowmobiles for up-to-date registration, insurance, and required equipment. Multiple tickets were issued and Rangers also assisted snowmobilers with replacing belts and offering directions. Rangers work all season long with snowmobile clubs and local groomers to ensure trails are safe each winter.
Town of Ellenburg
Snowmobile Enforcement: On Jan. 29 at 8:17 p.m. while on patrol in the Cobble Hill Public Use area on the Chateaugay Woodlands Conservation Easement, Ranger Russell encountered a snowmobiler who didn’t display proper registration. The Ranger initiated a stop to determine the validity of the operator’s registration. During the interview, Ranger Russell noted the appearance of slurred speech, red watery eyes, and detected alcohol on the operator’s breath. Based on these factors, Ranger Russell administered standardized field sobriety tests on the operator and arrested the subject for Snowmobiling While Intoxicated. When the subject was processed at the New York State Police Barracks in Plattsburgh, they had a BAC of 0.13. The subject was processed and released to a sober third party.
Town of Stratford
Wildland Rescue: On Jan. 28 at 3:21 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a mother reporting that her 13-year-old girl daughter was suspected of running away into the woods. Ranger Lieutenant Kerr and Rangers Scott and Bills responded. Retired Ranger Ploss was also called by the mother and began searching the woods after directing her to call for Ranger assistance. Retired Ranger Ploss found the subject at 4:40 p.m. Lt. Kerr and retired Ranger Ploss provided the subject with extra socks and a coat, warmed her up, and walked her out of the woods. Resources were clear at 5:07 p.m.
Town of Lake Pleasant
Snowmobile Accident: On Jan. 29 at 1:05 p.m., while on a joint snowmobile detail with the Hamilton County Sherriff’s Department, Forest Ranger Thompson, and the Sheriff’s Snowmobile Unit were alerted by Hamilton County Dispatch about a snowmobile accident on Jessup Road in the town of Lake Pleasant. Ranger Thompson brought in rescue equipment via snowmobile and Sheriff’s staff transported Greater Amsterdam Volunteer Ambulance Corps (GAVAC) personnel to the scene. The operator lost control of their snowmobile on a curve, hit a tree, and sustained a broken femur. Ranger Thompson, GAVAC, and Speculator Ambulance personnel assessed the patient, splinted the injury, and loaded him into the Speculator Ambulance UTV. The patient was transported to Nathan Littauer Hospital. Responders documented the crash site and coordinated the removal of the snowmobile with the Lake Pleasant groomer. Area fire departments assisted with traffic control on Route 30 and the busy snowmobile trail intersection.
Town of North Elba
Public Outreach: On Jan. 29-30, DEC Forest Rangers and DEC’s Division of Operations worked together at the Adirondak Loj trailhead to educate the public about trail conditions, weather conditions, proper clothing and gear, and the required snowshoes/skis that hikers must wear in the High Peaks when there are at least eight inches of snow on the ground. When people hike in the snow without snowshoes or skis, they “post-hole,” which creates hazardous trail conditions and can cause sudden falls and potential injury. Without this education, many hikers would be unaware of these requirements.
Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hike Smart NY, Adirondack 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.