Recent Forest Ranger Actions
Patrols for Public Safety and Increased Visitors: Memorial Day Holiday Weekend brought an influx of visitors to the Adirondacks. In anticipation of this increase, Forest Rangers worked with members of DEC’s Division of Lands and Forests, Division of Law Enforcement, and Public Outreach, as well as NYSP, local officials, and representatives from the State Department of Transportation to develop a strategic plan. The result was increased public outreach, real-time messaging provided by roadside message boards, and strict enforcement of parking at busy trailheads, particularly in the High Peaks and Shelving Rock areas. With significant support from State Troopers, the busy State Route 73 corridor in the High Peaks and the Shelving Rock area were heavily patrolled and closely monitored. Forest Rangers and Assistant Forest Rangers were present at trailheads and on the trail to provide education and information regarding social distancing and backcountry safety. A total of 45 tickets were issued for traffic infractions. As the Adirondacks continues to see increased spring visitation numbers, Rangers will continue to work with multiple DEC divisions and public and private partners to manage usage at popular destinations.
Town of Waverly
Wilderness Rescue: On May 18 at 5:43 p.m., Franklin County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch from two hikers lost on Azure Mountain in the Debar Mountain Wild Forest. The 18-year-old female and 19-year-old male from Massena went off trail on the way up the mountain and failed to find the trail again on the way back down. Forest Ranger Scott Sabo responded to the trailhead off Blue Mountain Road. Coordinates obtained through 911 placed the hikers about 0.6 miles north of the trailhead and 0.5 miles from Blue Mountain Road. At 7:12 p.m., Ranger Sabo located the lost hikers and escorted them back to the trailhead to their vehicle.
Town of Wilmington
Wilderness Search: On May 21 at 3:20 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch from two hikers on the Flume Knob Trail in the Wilmington Wild Forest. The hikers were requesting assistance because one of the pair had a lower leg injury. While descending the mountain, a 56-year-old woman from National Park, New Jersey, made an incorrect step, injuring her leg, and was unable to put any weight on it. Essex County 911 provided coordinates that placed the hikers near the trail for Bears Den Mountain, slightly off course from the trailhead. Forest Rangers James Giglinto, Benjamin Baldwin, and Scott Sabo responded to assist, along with the Wilmington Fire Department. At 4:35 p.m., Ranger Giglinto was with the injured hiker. He splinted her leg and they began to slowly start walking back out to the trailhead at Whiteface. At 5:21 p.m., the hiker and Rangers were back at the trailhead and the hiker was transported to a local hospital for further medical treatment.
Town of Keene
Wilderness Search: On May 24 at 6:34 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a female hiker who lost the trail from the Giant Washbowl back to the Roaring Brook trailhead. Per Forest Ranger Lt. Chris Kostoss, the hiker was asked to call 911 for her coordinates. Essex County 911 provided three sets of coordinates as Dispatch attempted to assist the hiker back to the trail using her compass and the coordinates provided. After those attempts failed, Forest Ranger James Giglinto responded to the Roaring Brook trailhead to assist. The 47-year-old hiker from Plattsburgh was located at 8:53 p.m., and back to the trailhead and out of the woods by 9:45 p.m.