Forest rangers rescue hunters and hiker

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 10/1 – 10/7/18

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents statewide. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations, and volunteer search and rescue groups, Forest Rangers locate and extract lost, injured, or distressed people from the backcountry.

In 2017, DEC Forest Rangers conducted 346 search and rescue missions, extinguished 55 wildfires that burned a total of 191 acres, participated in 29 prescribed fires that burned and rejuvenated 564 acres, and worked on cases that resulted in nearly 3,000 tickets or arrests.

“Across New York, DEC Forest Rangers are on the front lines helping people safely enjoy the great outdoors,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “Their knowledge of first aid, land navigation, and technical rescue techniques are critical to the success of their missions, which take them from remote wilderness areas with rugged mountainous peaks, to white-water rivers, and throughout our vast forested areas statewide.”

Recent missions carried out by DEC Forest Rangers include:

Town of Clayton
Jefferson County

Search: At 12:45 p.m. on Oct. 5, Forest Rangers received a report of a 75-year-old man from Black River who became lost while grouse hunting with a companion in French Creek Wildlife Management Area in Jefferson County. The subject became lost when he split up from his friend at a marsh crossing. One hunter swam the 12-foot channel and returned to his vehicle while his overdue friend retraced his steps back on the trail. Nightfall came and stranded the hunter. Six Forest Rangers responded. One Forest Ranger was assigned to New York State Police Aviation as a crew observer. The aviation unit located the subject in good health and he was returned to the parking area.

Town of Hunter
Greene County
 At 2:10 p.m. on Oct. 6, Forest Rangers received a report of a 67-year-old female hiker who suffered an unstable lower leg injury while hiking from Kaaterskill Falls to the Rte. 23A Trailhead. The hiker tripped on the trail and family members flagged down an ambulance for assistance. Forest Ranger Rob Dawson went into woods with first responders. The hiker was extricated using rope rescue systems and transported via ambulance to Columbia Memorial Hospital.

Town of Hammond
St. Lawrence County
 At 8:26 p.m. on Oct. 7, DEC’s Central Dispatch was contacted by two individuals that became lost while duck hunting. The hunters became disoriented in the thick tall grass on the shoreline when they attempted to return to their vehicles. The callers were directed to call 911 to obtain coordinates. At 8:34 p.m., St. Lawrence County 911 provided the subjects’ coordinates, which placed them near the end of an access road near Black Lake in the Lonesome Bay State Forest. Forest Rangers responded and located the subjects at 10:20 p.m. in good health. All parties were out of the woods by 11:30 p.m.

Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hiking Safety and Adirondack Backcountry Information webpage for more information.

About Mike Lynch

Mike Lynch is a multimedia reporter for the Adirondack Explorer. He can be reached at Sign up for Mike’s newsletter

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