Recent forest ranger actions
Town of Fort Ann
Wilderness Rescue: On June 1 at 1:50 p.m., Washington County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a 45-year-old male hiker from Glens Falls was unconscious after suffering a seizure on the Shelving Rock Bay Trail. When Forest Rangers Callee Baker and Mark St. Claire responded to the scene, the man was conscious and alert. With assistance from the Fort Ann Fire Department, the hiker was evaluated and brought back to the trailhead using a wheeled litter and a six-wheeler. The subject refused further medical treatment.
Town of North Elba
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.
Town of Bolton
Wilderness Rescue: On June 3 at 8:53 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a father and son from Oakland, New Jersey, who were hiking down the Tongue Mountain range when they requested assistance. The 20-year-old advised Dispatch that his 50-year-old father was about 600 yards behind him. Both men had run out of water and were feeling dizzy and nauseous. Coordinates provided by the hikers placed them about a half mile from Montcalm Point. Forest Rangers Chuck Kabrehl and Evan Donegan responded to Green Island and took a boat to Montcalm Point to assist. While awaiting Forest Ranger arrival, the pair contacted Dispatch to advise that they were beginning to shiver and that the father’s lips had turned purple. The pair had abandoned one pack up the trail, and another pack with dry clothing and sleeping bags close to their current location. The hikers were advised to go back to where the pack was until Rangers arrived. Forest Rangers Kabrehl and Donegan reached the two men at 10:50 p.m., escorted them to the boat, and gave them a ride back to shore. Once back at Green Island, the two men were given a courtesy ride back to their vehicle.
Town of Greenfield
Wilderness Rescue: On June 4 at 10:23 a.m., Forest Ranger Lt. Chris Kostoss advised DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch that New York State Police (NYSP) Aviation in Albany was requesting Forest Ranger assistance for a hoist operation in Saratoga County. NYSP advised that at 10:14 a.m., Saratoga County 911 had made the request for aviation assistance for a man in Greenfield who injured his left leg while logging. While cutting a downed tree, one of the logs rolled back onto his left leg, crushing it. Forest Ranger Joe Hess responded to assist the injured 40-year-old man from Greenfield Center. Ranger Hess was lowered to the scene by NYSP Aviation where he was met by Community Ambulance Service paramedics providing on-scene care. With the assistance of EMS, Ranger Hess packaged the logger into a litter. The man was hoisted and transported to a waiting LifeNet of New York EMS helicopter on Humes Road for transport to a local hospital for medical treatment.
Town of Caroga
Wilderness Rescue: On June 4 at 1:37 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Fulton County 911 reporting a 19-year-old man from Mohawk needing assistance for a foot laceration after he hit a rock while using a rope swing at Nine Corner Lake in the Ferris Lake Wild Forest Area. Forest Rangers Dave Nally and Melissa Milano responded to the scene along with the Caroga Lake Rescue. At 3:08 p.m., Rangers and EMS had the man out of the woods where he advised that he would seek additional medical attention on his own.
Town of Webb
Wilderness Rescue: On June 5 at 12:35 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance for a 46-year-old male hiker from Princeton, New Jersey, who was halfway up Bald Mountain with an unstable leg injury. Forest Rangers Aimee Bills, Lincoln Hanno and Matthew Savarie responded to the scene and located the hiker and his hiking party at 2 p.m. Rangers carried the injured hiker to the trailhead where they were met by Old Forge Ambulance. The injured hiker declined transport to a local hospital and would seek medical attention on his own.
Town of Keene
Wilderness Search: On June 6 at 12:45 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch from two male hikers who became disoriented while hiking Giant Mountain. Coordinates provided by 911 placed the hikers above the Washbowl section of Giant Mountain. Forest Rangers Robbi Mecus and Megan LaPierre responded to assist. An Assistant Forest Ranger patrolling Giant was also alerted by Dispatch. Forest Ranger Mecus arrived and began coordinating search efforts as Forest Ranger LaPierre began searching the Little Dipper Area of the mountain. At 1:57 p.m., the Rangers located the 19-year-old and 21-year-old hikers from Niagara Falls. The pair was escorted back to the trailhead and the incident concluded at 2:45 p.m.
Town of Webb
Wilderness Rescue: On June 6 at 5:10 p.m., a call came into DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch from a father and daughter from Theresa who were paddling on the Stillwater Reservoir in the Independence River Wild Forest. A strong storm came through and duo found themselves in dire need to make it to shore. They eventually got to a campsite and took shelter in an outhouse. The storm did not let up, so the paddlers called for Forest Ranger assistance. Forest Ranger Luke Evans responded to the Stillwater boat launch and using a motorboat, responded to assist the 58-year-old man and 28-year-old woman. At 6:05 p.m., Ranger Evans reached the pair and by 6:30 p.m., everyone was back to shore safely.
Town of North Hudson
Wilderness Rescue: On June 7 at 1:12 a.m., Central Office Dispatch received a call from State Police advising that they received a call from a group of hikers lost on Dix Mountain. Coordinates provided by the hikers placed them on the Beckhorn trail heading toward Hough Peak. Forest Rangers Andrew Lewis and Logan Quinn responded to assist. Rangers were at the trailhead by 3:30 a.m., and located the group of four hikers from East Schodack at 9:16 a.m. After a preliminary medical check, Rangers began to escort the group back down the mountain. While hiking down, one of the hikers began to exhibit signs of exhaustion. Rangers Lewis and Quinn helped the hiker rehydrate, and gave the hikers something to eat and a chance to warm up and rest. The exhausted hiker’s gear was split between the two Rangers as they proceeded down to the base of the mountain where they were met with six-wheelers provided by Forest Ranger Art Perryman and Forest Ranger Lt. Brian Dubay. The group was driven the rest of the way to the trailhead and at 5:25 p.m., the hiking party and Rangers were out of the woods. The group left in their own vehicle.
According to the Ranger report, not only were these three not equipped with flashlights, one was wearing shorts and sneakers. There is snow on Skylight and Marcy well into June. A little preparation is advisable for any hike, and a lot of preparation for such an ambitious one. What were they thinking?
I read about this incident this morning in my NYSDEC Bulletins and is just one more costly (to taxpayers…) situation that was needless if these three hikers from Rochester were better prepared. The one critical point that your story didn’t mention is one of them was attired in “shorts” and “tennis shoes” yet they were hiking into sub-alpine snow conditions!
These idiots should have stayed at home, but instead they embark on a lark into the mountains ill-prepared and the end could have been far more tragic for them and their Families!
Mark Van der Veer says
It’s a shame we can’t station a ranger at every trailhead to to tell the foolhardy or unprepared to go home. We’d save money in the long run.
Chuck Bruha says
Thank you for posting these reports. As someone who has participated in many searches, I think these report highlight the need of hikers to be more personally responsible. I think DEC could encourage such behavior by fining unprepared and irresponsible individuals. I think a $500.00 fine, would nor discourage a call for help but also begin to have people take some responsibility for their actions.