Recent NYS DEC Forest Ranger actions:
Town of Lewis
Wilderness Rescue: On Oct. 27 at 11:15 a.m., Essex County 911 contacted DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a 66-year-old hiker from Elizabethtown had suffered a non-weight bearing knee injury on the Mount Fay summit. Due to the hiker’s location, NYSP Aviation was requested and Forest Ranger Lt. Burns and Forest Ranger Praczkajlo were picked up to perform a hoist rescue. At 12:40 p.m., Lt. Burns was inserted to the hiker’s location, evaluated his injuries, and packaged the subject for extraction off the summit. The injured hiker was turned over to Lake Placid EMS and transported to a local hospital.
Town of North Elba
Wilderness Rescue: On Oct. 30 at 6:17 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiker reporting two members of his party overdue from hiking Mount Marcy. The pair was last seen at the summit at approximately 2:30 p.m., with only their cell phones for a light source. Forest Ranger Evans responded to the trailhead to meet with the reporting party. At 7:06 p.m., Ranger Evans located the 24- and 26-year-old hikers from Ithaca, gave them headlamps, and escorted the pair back to the parking area where they were reunited with their hiking group at 7:48 p.m.
Town of Waverly
Joint Enforcement Operation: On Oct. 30, Forest Rangers Balerno and Praczkajlo, along with Environmental Conservation Police Officer (ECO) Cranker, conducted a joint enforcement operation on the Santa Clara Easement in the town of Waverly. Rangers previously located illegal deer hunting activity, including ground blinds baited with corn, apples, and mineral blocks. To avoid detection, Rangers were dropped off by ECO Cranker at approximately 5 p.m., and proceeded on foot for a mile to the baited stands. After checking the first stand, Ranger Balerno found and detained a subject and his radio, while Ranger Praczkajlo proceeded to check the second stand, which was also occupied. Both subjects were brought out to ECO Cranker who drove in to meet them. Six tickets were issued by ECO Cranker, including hunting deer over bait, establishing a salt lick, and failure to carry a hunting license.
Town of North Hudson
Stranded Kayaker: On Oct. 31, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a report of a stranded kayak in the north branch of the Boquet River. Forest Ranger Lt. LaPierre, Forest Ranger Evans, and Assistant Forest Ranger Raudonis responded to the location and found the kayak trapped between a rock and a log just upstream from the confluence of the north and south branches of the river. Rangers swept the river shoreline, downstream and upstream, and checked all put-ins and take-outs to find the kayaker. Other whitewater kayakers in the area volunteered to help remove the pinned kayak. The owner of the kayak later contacted Dispatch to report himself as the missing kayaker after he was rescued from the river by a fellow kayaker with a throw bag after not being able to handle the water levels and intensity of the rapids after the rain.
Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hike Smart NY, Adirondack Backcountry Information, and Catskill Backcountry Information webpages for more information.
If a person needs a Forest Ranger, whether it’s for a search and rescue, to report a wildfire, or to report illegal activity on state lands and easements, they should call 833-NYS-RANGERS. If a person needs urgent assistance, they can call 911. To contact a Forest Ranger for information about a specific location, the DEC website has phone numbers for every Ranger listed by region.