The following are forest ranger actions for the period of April 22-29. The information was provided by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Town of Saranac
Wilderness Rescue: On April 22 at 1:32 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiker on Averill Peak in the Chazy Highlands Wild Forest stating he was tired and concerned he could not safely get off the mountain. This peak has no well-defined trail, and with the snow cover, winter hiking can be difficult without proper gear. Upon reaching the summit, the man was exhausted and wet. Three Forest Rangers responded and found the 22-year-old Burke man moving down the trail. Rangers escorted the subject back to his vehicle and no further medical attention was needed.
Town of Warrensburg
Wilderness Rescue: On April 22 at 6:09 p.m., Warren County 911 transferred a cell phone call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch from a 69-year-old female hiker from Chicago lost on Hackensack Mountain. She became confused while descending and found herself on the other side of the mountain opposite the trailhead. Forest Ranger Charles Kabrehl located the hiker at 7:38 p.m., provided first aid, and escorted her back to the trailhead by 8:54 p.m.
Towns of Guilderland and Colonie
Prescribed Fire: On April 23 and 25, DEC Forest Rangers, Albany Pine Bush staff, and several volunteer fire departments conducted two 50-acre prescribed burns in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. The two treatments will increase openings for warm season grasses, forbs, and wild blue lupine, while helping to reduce the invasion of woody shrubs. This management technique continues to improve the preserve’s habitat for the Karner Blue Butterfly.
Town of North Elba
Wilderness Rescue: On April 23 at 4:09 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a report of a 17-year-old Ballston Spa boy suffering a non-weight-bearing lower leg injury. Phone coordinates of the caller placed the group near the summit of Mount Colden. Rangers flew to the location by State Police helicopter (link leaves DEC’s website) and were able to land and extract the injured hiker by 6:45 p.m. Rangers escorted the other three 17-year-old Saratoga Springs hikers out through the wet snow. By 11:38 p.m., Rangers had the group back to their vehicles and waiting families.
Town of Lysander
Prescribed fire: On April 25, DEC Forest Rangers conducted a 26-acre prescribed fire in Three Rivers Wildlife Management Area. Staff from several DEC programs assisted with the burn designed to propagate warm season grasses and eliminate invasive species.
Town of Rush
Prescribed fire: On April 25, DEC Forest Rangers conducted a 62-acre prescribed fire in Rush Oak Openings Unique Area. Staff from several DEC programs and volunteers assisted with the burn in this rare oak savanna. Burning in this unit helps invigorate native warm season grasses while reducing invasive plant species. This prescribed fire also served as training for 14 NYS Excelsior Corps crew members to help complete their field exercise requirements for the federal basic wildland firefighter qualification.
Town of Stillwater
Prescribed Burn: On April 25, DEC Forest Rangers and a DEC wildlife technician assisted National Park Service fire specialists conduct a prescribed burn at the Saratoga Battlefield National Park. Management objectives were to maintain vegetation conditions on more than 50 acres of land on the historic site.
Town of Greig
Division Airboat Training: On April 25 and 26, Forest Rangers from across the state conducted airboat training on the Black River. Airboats are used for search and rescue missions and operate in adverse water conditions as well as on frozen lakes and rivers. The Black River offers a unique opportunity to train on flood waters as the annual snow melt consistently brings the river to flood stage. Weather events over the last several years have increased the need for DEC watercraft to assist communities effected by flooding. Forest Rangers have five airboats positioned across New York with 27 airboat operators and nine trained in swift water rescue.
Town of Thompson Park
Wilderness Rescue: On April 25 at 1:50 p.m., Sullivan County 911 Dispatch requested Forest Rangers to help locate seven children and one adult reported lost while hiking. By 2 p.m., Forest Ranger Richard Franke Jr. was on scene with a State Police K-9, Sullivan County Sheriff’s Deputies, and Town of Thompson Parks and Recreation employees. The rescue crew quickly found the group and walked them back to their vehicles by 2:30 p.m.
Town of North Elba
Wilderness Rescue: On April 25 at 8:25 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request to assist a 75-year-old Elmira woman experiencing difficulties while descending Cascade Mountain. Ranger Dan Fox hiked in and located the injured hiker and her group by 9:15 p.m. and escorted the hikers to the trailhead.
Hamlet of Narrowsburg
Award Reception: On April 28, Forest Ranger Richard Franke Jr. attended the Upper Delaware Council 31st Annual Awards Ceremony where he was awarded the Robin M. Daniels Memorial Lifesaving Award for his role in saving several rafters last August. The award has been bestowed since 1995 to individuals and organizations whose heroic actions result in the direct saving of a life or lives in the river corridor and its environs. The award is in memory of National Park Service Ranger Robin M. Daniels, who died in 1989 while responding to an emergency call.
Village of Saranac Lake
Observance: On April 25, Forest Rangers attended an observance in Saranac Lake commemorating Australia New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) Day, a national day of remembrance that honors Australians and New Zealanders “who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations.” The ceremony has been held annually in Region 5 since 2014 to mourn the death of Australian Army Captain Paul McKay. Capt. McKay, a member of the Australian Defense Forces who traveled to the Adirondacks in December of 2013 while suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and died of hypothermia on nearby Scarface Mountain. He was located by a Forest Ranger in January 2014 after a two-week search effort. For information about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), visit the New York State Division of Veterans’ Services website (link leaves DEC’s website) or contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Crisis Line: (800) 273-8255, press 1.