Town of Chesterfield
Evidence Search and Recovery: On March 20 at 9:45 a.m., New York State Police (NYSP) requested Forest Ranger assistance in an evidence search connected to a homicide investigation at Ausable Chasm. When Rangers arrived, they were asked to recover the body of a homicide victim thrown more than 100 feet down the chasm. Rangers rappelled down, found the victim, packaged the body, and used a technical rope system to return the victim back above the cliff.
NYSP identified the victim as 37-year-old Kenneth Darrah from Keeseville. NYSP arrested two individuals in connection with the homicide. Rangers spent hours scaling the cliff looking for evidence in the case. Anything found was turned over NYSP. Resources were clear at 6:15 p.m.
Town of Webb
Helicopter Long Line Operation: On March 21, Forest Rangers assisted DEC staff from the Divisions of Lands and Forests, Operations, and the Bureau of Fisheries with helicopter sling load operations in the Ha-De-Ron-Dah Wilderness. Approximately 17,000 pounds of bridge materials were flown from the Old Forge airport to the vicinity of the East Pond-Lost Creek trail by NYSP Aviation. Rangers assisted with rigging the bundles of materials, communications support, and facilitating ground operations at the drop zone. For recent Academy graduates Rangers Dixon and Waligory, the operation provided valuable experience coordinating with DEC’s frequent partners at NYSP Aviation. A short video of the operation is available at DEC’s website.
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.