Town of Inlet Hamilton County Wilderness Search: On March 17 at 1:25 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance in the search for a missing snowmobiler last seen the previous night in the Moose River Plains. Ten Forest Rangers started clearing trails from Cedar River Flow toward Inlet, and from Long Lake and Newcomb toward Indian Lake.
After clearing these trails, Rangers moved on to the Seventh Lake Mountain Trail, working with Inlet and Webb Police. Approximately two and a half miles from the Seventh Lake boat launch, Ranger Miller found footprints and spots in the snow where the subject had sat down.
Village of Lake Placid Essex County Skier Rescue: On March 7 at 11:05 a.m., Forest Ranger Evans heard about a cross country skier who hit a tree near the Penny Glades in Lake Placid. Fifteen minutes later, Ranger Evans reached the 67-year-old from Lake Placid, helped him to his home, and performed a medical evaluation. After noticing a large contusion on the subject’s hip and a laceration and swelling on his face, Ranger Evans called for an ambulance. Lake Placid Ambulance took the subject to the hospital at 11:47 a.m.
Town of North Elba Essex County Wilderness Rescue: On Feb. 27 at 3:15 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance with a lost hiker in the vicinity of Mount Marcy, the 51-year-old from New Jersey lost the trail due to snow cover. Coordinates placed the hiker near the Hopkins Junction. Rangers Evans and O’Connor made phone contact with the hiker and guided him back towards the Van Hoevenberg trail. Ranger Evans reached the hiker near Marcy Dam. The subject was approaching hypothermic conditions. Ranger Evans brought the subject back to his vehicle and no further medical care was required. Resources were clear at 8 p.m.
Village of Tupper Lake Franklin County Flat Ice Rescue Training: On Feb. 18, Forest Rangers Adams and Milano led flat ice rescue training for the Long Lake Fire Department. Training first responders is a great way to ensure people who fall through the ice have the best chance of survival. Rangers provided instruction in techniques for self-rescue, reach, and throw and go.
Hamlet of Raquette Lake Hamilton County Recovery Mission: On Feb. 13 at 6 p.m., the father of a missing 31-year-old called Forest Ranger Miller explaining that his son had not been seen since February 12. The 31-year-old from Raquette Lake had taken his snowmobile for a ride. Ranger Lieutenant Kerr joined Rangers Miller and Temple in the search. Ray Brook dispatch pinged the subject’s phone and Ranger Miller located the subject deceased next to the snowmobile. The snowmobile hit an embankment and a tree resulting in the death. The body was turned over to the coroner at 9:45 p.m.
Town of Keene Essex County Public Outreach: On Feb. 10, Forest Rangers DuChene and Foutch participated in a wildfire prevention presentation at Keene Central School. Charlie, the student of the week, requested a visit from Smokey Bear for his third grade class. Smokey, the Rangers, and DEC Forester Barber gave a presentation about the history of Smokey Bear and wildfire prevention. After the classroom visit, Forester Barber and Ranger DuChene showed the class how to safely build a campfire and enjoyed some s’mores.
Town of Wilmington Essex County Avalanche Safety Training: On Jan. 27, Forest Ranger Mecus participated in a three-day avalanche safety course conducted by the National Ski Patrol at Whiteface Ski Center. Ranger Mecus was among 17 students from across the Northeast. The course focused on basic avalanche science, understanding the snowpack and how it relates to avalanche danger, and essential techniques for reaching subjects in the event of an avalanche.
Town of Queensbury Warren County Water Rescue: On Jan. 10 at 10:15 a.m., Forest Rangers overheard radio traffic about an ice rescue on Glen Lake in Queensbury. Rangers Donegan, Kabrehl, and Quinn responded along with multiple fire departments, including Bay Ridge, Bolton, Lake George, North Queensbury, and Queensbury. Rangers helped get the 74-year-old from Queensbury out of the water to a waiting ambulance. The subject was taken to Glens Falls hospital. If he were not wearing a personal floatation device, the outcome may have been much different. Resources were clear at 11:28 a.m.
Town of Stratford Fulton County Snowmobile Safety Education: On Dec.28, Forest Rangers Thompson and Hamm assisted the Stratford Snowdrifters Snowmobile Club and Hamilton County Snowmobile Patrol Officer Arena with the New York State Snowmobile Safety Course. Rangers instructed 28 participants at the Oppenheim Trailblazers Snowmobile Club. The course allows youth ages 14 to 17 to operate a snowmobile on lands where snowmobiling is allowed, and youth ages 10 to 13 to ride where permitted while accompanied by an adult. The course includes the basics of snowmobile operation and navigation, New York State laws and regulations, and trail preparedness. Other New York State snowmobile safety courses can be found at the NYS Parks website (leaves DEC website).
Erie, Genesee, St. Lawrence, and Sullivan Counties Storm Response: On Dec. 24-27, Forest Rangers and Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) assisted County emergency personnel during a massive winter storm. On Dec. 24, there were more than 100 calls to Jefferson County 911 for stranded motorists. In addition to rescuing people from their cars, Rangers helped deliver cots to a warming center at the Hammond Volunteer Fire Department.
Town of North Elba Essex County Wilderness Rescue: On Dec. 13 at 2:25 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance with a hiker who may have broken their ankle below the Wright/Algonquin junction. Due to the location, Captain Burns requested aviation assistance. High winds and safety concerns kept the New York State Police (NYSP) helicopter grounded. Thirteen Rangers and additional DEC staff and volunteers responded.
Rangers reached the 21-year-old from Saratoga Springs at 6:45 p.m., and administered first aid for the subject’s ankle and hypothermia. One hour and a half later, Rangers used a backpack litter system to begin carrying the subject down the mountain. Conditions were treacherous with steep, icy slopes.
Town of Caroga Fulton County Illegal Excavator Use: On Dec. 7, Environmental Conservation Police Officer (ECO) Manns alerted Forest Rangers of an unauthorized vehicle in Shaker Mountain Wild Forest at Pine Lake. Upon investigation, Rangers Geyer and Nally found excavator tracks going around a closed gate at the Pine Lake Boat Launch. Rangers located the operator, a 50-year-old from St. Johnsville, and issued a ticket for operating a motor vehicle on state land.
Towns of Franklin and Santa Clara Franklin County Illegal ATV Use: On Dec. 1, Ranger Praczkajlo followed ATV tracks in the town of Franklin and determined the operators were riding the ATVs illegally on Forest Preserve land. When the Ranger located the operators, he issued two tickets to each, including for driving unregistered ATVs. On Dec. 2, Ranger Praczkajlo followed other ATV tracks and found an operator from Bloomingdale driving an unregistered ATV illegally on a public easement. He issued two tickets. An ATV must be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles if it is operated anywhere in New York State, including the owner’s property.
Town of Webb Herkimer County Illegal Tree Cutting: On Nov. 26 at 1:06 p.m., Ranger McCartney heard someone approaching him on the trail while he was checking the register at Moss Lake. Ranger McCartney observed a subject dragging a freshly cut spruce tree and carrying a saw toward a pickup truck in the parking lot.
Once the subject loaded the tree into his truck, Ranger McCartney interviewed the 58-year-old from Old Forge and educated him about regulations prohibiting the cutting of trees by the public on State land, regardless of its potential use in holiday celebrations. The subject was issued an appearance ticket.
Town of North Elba Essex County Wilderness Rescue: On Nov. 15 at 2:45 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance with the search for a hiker on Mount Marcy. The 35-year-old from Toronto became lost while hiking with her two dogs. After speaking with the hiker, Ranger Curcio determined she had started from the Adirondak Loj, took the high water route, and crossed Indian Falls. Rangers Curcio and DiCintio headed into Marcy Dam to begin a linear search.
Dispatch called the Rangers with a new set of coordinates during their search, placing the hiker approximately 500 feet east of Indian Falls. At 6:24 p.m., Rangers made audio contact with the hiker and found her off trail in thick spruce. Rangers warmed the subject and escorted her and her dogs down to Marcy Dam and then to the Loj. Resources were clear at 9 p.m.
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