Below is the latest Forest Ranger Activity Report, received today from the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Region 5. It covers the period of April 4-18.
Town of Wells, Siamese Pond Wilderness Area
On Sunday, April 18, 2010, at 6:45 PM, DEC Dispatch received at call from Hamilton County Dispatch reporting a missing hiker. Ernest Wilson, 63, of Cheektowaga, NY had been hiking with his brother to Auger Falls on the East Branch of the Sacandaga River from the Griffin Gorge trailhead and was last seen 2 hours prior. Although Mr. Wilson was reported to have been carrying a GPS and a two-way radio, he also was diabetic – raising concerns for his well being. Three DEC Forest Rangers responded and searched the area. Mr. Wilson responded to signal shots from the rangers and was located at approximately 8:30 PM north of Forks Mountain in good condition. He stated that he had fishing along the river and had been trying to get beyond the falls. He tried to bush whack back to the road, became lost and got stuck in a swampy area. He also reported that he had left his two-way radio in the car, his GPS was not working properly and he did not have his insulin with him. DEC Forest Rangers remind anyone entering the woods to ensure you are prepared before starting a hike. Check to be sure you have all of the proper equipment and that it is working. Always carry any necessary medication with you.
Town of Bolton, Lake George Wild Forest
On Sunday, April 4, 2010, at approximately 8:40 PM, DEC Dispatch received a call from Warren County dispatch, reporting 2 overdue hikers on Tongue Mountain. Andrew Moran, 32 of Greenfield Center, NY and Corey McClendon, 23, of Saratoga Springs, NY, reported that they see headlights passing on the road below, but did not know how to get down the mountain as they did not have flashlights. Four DEC Forest Rangers responded heading to a number of locations where Route 9N may be seen from the mountain. They eventually located the two men at 10:51 PM. They were safely escorted out of the woods and to their vehicles. Forest rangers remind hikers to always carry a map, compass and flashlight.
Town of Stony Creek, Wilcox Lake Wild Forest
On Saturday, April 10, 2010, at approximately 8:06 PM, DEC Dispatch received a call from Warren County dispatch reporting five hikers lost on Baldhead Mountain. Katherine Chesebrouth, 20, Amanda Veleis, 23, Anne Leiss, 21, Jennifer Ling, 21, and Nathan Roser, 18, all of Syracuse, NY, had climbed to the summit of Baldhead Mountain during the day. However they started hiking back down the mountain using a bushwhack route and became lost. The group had no flashlight, food or water, and was not prepared to spend the night on the mountain. DEC Dispatch instructed them to remain where they were, start a fire and wait for assistance. DEC Forest Rangers responded and began searching the large area around the mountain, but had no success locating the group during the night time operation. The following morning search operations resumed with additional rangers and a State Police Helicopter. At 8:10 AM a ranger noticed a small smoke column rising from the Kenyantown Creek drainage east of Burnt Mountain. Two rangers already searching that drainage located the group at 8:25 AM and were out of the woods by 9:30 AM. After the search the subjects were informed that they had climbed Burnt Mountain – not Baldhead Mountain. Forest rangers remind hikers to plan trips ahead of time; use a map to compass to know where you are going and where you are; always carry food, water, and flashlight; and be prepared to spend a night in the woods.
Town of Chester, Private Lands
On Thursday, April 15, 2010, at approximately 12:09 AM, State Police contacted a DEC Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) and asked the assistance of him and his DEC canine unit in locating an elderly man near Chestertown. Bradley Tennyson, 97, of Chestertown, NY had been last seen by a Warren County Sheriff Deputy wandering along Route 9. The ECO requested that forest rangers be dispatched as well. Four forest rangers, the ECO and his dog Gunner responded to the search. DEC forest rangers were able to locate the man’s tracks on the shoulder along Route 9 and followed them up an old logging road. However, the tracks entered a grassy and mossy area and could no longer be followed by sight. The ECO and Gunner took over from there and located Mr. Tennyson at approximately 3:45 AM. He was barely responsive when found and was not adequately dressed for the weather. Mr. Tennyson was evacuated out of the woods and turned over to Chestertown EMS for transport to Glens Falls Hospital.
Town of Fort Ann, Lake George Wild Forest
On Friday, April 9, 2010, at approximately 8:00 PM, DEC Raybrook Dispatch received a call from three hikers lost near Buck Mountain. Sarah Watkins, 27, and William Watkins, 38, both of Glens Falls, NY had hiked with Katie Quintio, 20, of Indian Lake, NY, up the mountain from the Pike Brook Trail head. While returning back down the mountain, they took a wrong turn and found themselves on the shore of Lake George with no idea how to return to their vehicle. DEC Forest Rangers responded and determined the group’s location based on the description they provided. Rangers located the trio at 9:50 PM and gave them a ride back to their vehicle. Forest Rangers remind hikers to always carry a map and compass and know how to use them.