Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Rangers fight backcountry fires in Old Forge, St. Lawrence Co.

Recent DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Webb
Herkimer County
Wildland Fire:
 On June 24 at 1:40 p.m., Herkimer County 911 contacted DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch requesting assistance with a backcountry wildfire on Panther Mountain. Four Forest Rangers responded to assist the Old Forge Fire Department with a one-acre smoldering wildfire in the cliffs and rocks at the Panther Mountain overlook, burning in deep spruce duff 0.6 miles from a private road. Volunteer firefighters and Rangers knocked down the fire, preventing its spread. Over the following three days, seven Rangers utilized a State Police Aviation helicopter with water bucket drops, hand tools, and set up a half-mile water hose pumping operation up 600 vertical feet in elevation to continually douse several areas of the fire with water. The fire is now in patrol status.

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Friday, June 26, 2020

DEC expands campground openings; still not accepting new reservations

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that additional DEC campgrounds in the Adirondack and Catskill parks will open on July 1 to existing reservation holders for the 2020 season. To maintain social distancing and reduce the density of facilities and protect visitors, DEC is not accepting additional reservations or walk-in camping for the 2020 season at this time. Only existing reservations for all DEC campgrounds will be honored. Please visit DEC’s website for the latest updates on DEC campgrounds and information about each facility.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Rangers respond to dog in distress

forest ranger logoRecent DEC Forest Ranger actions:

Town of Keene
Essex County
Pet Distress Reminder:
 On June 21 at 2:45 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiker advising that they were coming down Giant Mountain when their 75-pound Golden Retriever collapsed about one mile from Chapel Pond parking lot. The hiking party had started their trip at approximately 7 a.m. up the Ridge Trail and neglected to bring enough water for their dog. About halfway up the trail, the dog began to struggle and the group turned around to head back down. The dog collapsed from heat exhaustion just above the junction for the Ridge Trail and Giants Nubble. An Assistant Forest Ranger working in the area was notified and quickly found the distressed dog. The dog was carried to the Washbowl waterhole and placed in the water. After cooling the dog and giving it time to rest and rehydrate, the dog was able to make it back down the trail without further assistance.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Fish for Free June 27-28

A Free Fishing Weekend is coming up June 27 – 28. The event is the second of six free fishing days offered in New York State every year. New York residents and non-residents are permitted to fish for free without a fishing license. Free fishing day participants are reminded that although the requirement for a fishing license is waived during free fishing days, all other fishing regulations remain in effect.

DEC encourages all anglers, new and experienced, to recreate locally and seek out fishing opportunities close to home. DEC’s Places to Fish webpages are a reliable source for those ready to plan their next fishing trip. For beginning anglers interested in getting started, the I FISH NY Beginners’ Guide to Freshwater Fishing provides information on everything from rigging up a fishing rod, to identifying your catch, and understanding fishing regulations.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Ranger report: Boat set adrift strands campers

forest ranger logoRecent DEC Forest Ranger actions

Town of Indian Lake
Hamilton County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On June 12 at 7:20 p.m., Hamilton County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting stranded boaters camping on Indian Lake Islands. The campers were shuttling others from the boat launch to the island when the boat broke free of shore and floated away. Forest Ranger Jason Scott responded to assist. When the Ranger arrived on scene, he found one camper at the boat launch waiting to be picked up who was unaware of the situation. Ranger Scott gave the subject a courtesy ride to the island and assisted the campers trying to locate the vessel. Unable to recover the aluminum boat, the group decided to remain on the island for the evening and contact a friend the next day to bring them back to shore and help locate the drifting boat. At 9:54 p.m., Ranger Scott was back on shore.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

DEC to open 20 campgrounds on Friday, for existing reservations

Additional DEC Campground Openings to be Announced Soon for Summer 2020 Season
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that 20 of DEC’s campgrounds in the Adirondack and Catskill parks will open on June 19 for the 2020 season.

Three additional campgrounds are slated to open June 26, and additional DEC campgrounds and day use areas will open in the coming weeks as DEC works to safely reopen these facilities to meet guidelines in place to protect staff and visitors from the spread of COVID-19.

To maintain social distancing and reduce the density of facilities and protect visitors, DEC is not accepting additional reservations or walk-in camping for the 2020 season at this time. Existing reservations will be honored for the DEC campgrounds listed below.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Great Camp Sagamore updates resources for its historic trail network

By Jen Maguder, Great Camp Sagamore’s Program Director

Big Slope BridgeIn mid-May, seasonal staffers Lily Whiteman and Charles Sykes returned to work remotely for Great Camp Sagamore. Their positions are supported by the Payroll Protection Program, introduced by the federal government to encourage workforce retention and hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lily and Charles are helping to upgrade our online resources for visitors to the Historic Great Camps Special Management Area (HGCSMA).

It’s a long title, so we’re calling Lily and Charles’ work the “trails project” for now.

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Saturday, June 13, 2020

Environmental Conservation Officers rescue Sacandaga boaters

ECOs and local law enforcement on a long dock helping bring a boat to the launchECOs Assist Boaters on Great Sacandaga Lake – Fulton County
On June 6, ECOs Shane Manns and Paul Pasciak were patrolling near the Broadalbin boat launch when a wind storm came through the area.

Dozens of vessels began to crowd the launch due to the large waves and windy conditions. ECOs Manns and Pasciak immediately began assisting boaters, safely pulling them to shore and retrieving vessels.

ECO Pasciak rescued a woman who fell overboard from a vessel near the docks and both ECOs rescued an individual who fell off of a personal watercraft and was having difficulty getting to the dock. Dozens of vessels and people safely reached the shore with assistance from the two ECOs. Photo: ECOs Pasciak and Manns assisting boaters during wind storm on Great Sacandaga Lake

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Friday, June 12, 2020

Flattening the curve…of backcountry rescues

During the pandemic this spring and early summer, hiking has continued to be an activity that people have engaged in to stay healthy and find respite.

One indication that people are out and about is the weekly search-and-rescue bulletin issued by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The most recent one contains nine incidents in the Adirondack region, indicating that forest rangers have been keeping busy.

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Thursday, June 11, 2020

‘Celebrate Paddling’ month to forge ahead, in new ways

celebrate paddlingJune is Celebrate Paddling month in the Adirondacks, but it will look a lot different this year because of COVID-19. Starting three years ago, outfitters, guides, community leaders, students and more have teamed up each June to participate in clinics, guided trips, races and river clean-ups across the Tri-Lakes region of the Adirondack Park.

The goal of Celebrate Paddling ADK is in the name — it’s an occasion to acknowledge the incredible role that paddling plays in communities across the Adirondacks and the Northern Forest as a whole. Paddling supports local economies, strengthens our bond with nature and keeps us physically and mentally healthy.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Unprepared hikers get lost outside of Marcy Dam

forest ranger logoRecent forest ranger actions

Town of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Search:
 On June 2 at 9:14 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from three lost hikers from Rochester in the High Peaks Wilderness Area. The hikers lost the trail about a mile from Marcy Dam. The hikers were immediately directed to call 911 to obtain their coordinates. The group had planned to hike Mt. Marcy, Skylight, and Gray, but were unprepared for the snow/alpine conditions and ran out of time before completing Gray. They became lost in the dark with only one source of light and one of the trio wearing shorts and tennis shoes. DEC’s Ray Brook Trail Crew, staying at the Marcy Dam interior outpost, responded to the coordinates obtained by Essex County 911, while Forest Ranger Andrew Lewis headed to the Adirondak Loj. Trail crew members Neilson Snye and Peter Price reached the lost hikers at 10:14 p.m., and brought the group to the Marcy Dam outpost at 11:03 p.m., where crew member Gary Valentine assisted in warming them. Ranger Lewis met the party at Marcy Dam at 11:48 p.m., and transported the hikers via UTV to their vehicles.

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Sunday, June 7, 2020

Invasive Species Awareness Week starts today

invasive species awareness weekThe week of June 7-13 is Invasive Species Awareness Week.

According to information from the NYS DEC, an invasive species is a non-native species that causes harm to the ecosystem they have invaded (including harm to the economy and human health). Called “Invasives” for short, they can come from as close as a few states away, or from the other side of the world. They are sometimes purposely introduced in order to create huntable or viewable populations, or as business enterprises. Sometimes they are accidentally introduced from something as innocent as the bottom of your shoe, forgetting to clean off your boat after a long trip, or from over-seas shipping crates and boat ballasts.

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Saturday, June 6, 2020

Adirondack 46ers contribute to Summit Stewardship Program

Amidst the global pandemic, and the resulting shortage of NYS funding, the Adirondack 46ers, (A group of people who have hiked all 46 mountains in the Adirondacks) have stepped up to provide financial support for the Adirondack High Peaks Summit Stewardship Program.

They have given $10,000 in 2020 and made a commitment to providing $75,000 of additional support over the next three years. The 46ers have been long time supporters of the stewardship program and have donated a total of $45,000 over the last three years as part of a joint commitment with the ADK (Adirondack Mountain Club).


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Friday, June 5, 2020

Adirondack Land Trust marks National Trails Day, hosts events

The Adirondack Land Trust invites everyone to get outside this spring and summer. While the organization had planned a volunteer work event for National Trails Day on Saturday, June 6, instead they offer a few ideas to recognize the event in a more socially distanced way:

—If you don’t feel safe clearing heavy brush or downed trees, simply take gloves and a trash bag with you to collect litter next time you walk in your local natural space.
—Learn how to identify and remove invasive garlic mustard.
—Conserved green spaces don’t protect themselves; consider making a gift to your local land trust.

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Thursday, June 4, 2020

Ranger Report: Five backcountry injuries and a tubing trip gone wrong

forest ranger logoRecent Forest Ranger Actions

Town of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On May 27 at 10:45 a.m., DEC’s Central Office Dispatch received a call requesting assistance for an injured hiker in the High Peaks. The 26-year-old woman from Waterville had suffered an ankle injury near the Phelps Junction trail, approximately one mile from Marcy Dam. Forest Rangers James Giglinto, Kevin Burns, and Tom Gliddi responded to assist, but a Ray Brook trail crew at Marcy Dam advised they were closer to the hiker and would proceed to her location. The woman rolled her ankle after stepping from a rock into mud while her hiking group descended the Phelps summit. She attempted to continue until she lost sensation in two of her toes and called for help. Once the trail crew reached the woman, she was stabilized and assisted to Marcy Dam. The hiker reached Marcy Dam at 12:30 p.m., and Ranger Giglinto transported her out to South Meadow Road via UTV. The hiking group transported her to a local hospital for additional medical care.

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