From the New York Department of Environmental Conservation.
Forest ranger actions for 4/29 – 5/5/19
Towns of Hornby and Orange
Steuben and Schuyler Counties
Prescribed Fire: On April 29, Region 8 DEC staff conducted two prescribed fires to conclude the agency’s spring prescribed fire details. The first fire took place at the West Hill State Forest in Steuben County and burned four acres in size. Burning in this unit helps invigorate native warm season grasses while reducing invasive plant species. The second fire took place at the Coon Hollow State Forest in Schuyler County and was nine acres in size. This is the first time this unit has been burned since the Six Nations Prescribed Fire Plan was approved, and DEC anticipates that the introduction of prescribed fire into this unit will revitalize the remaining warm season grasses.
Town of Guilderland
Prescribed Fire: On April 29, DEC Forest Rangers, Albany Pine Bush staff, several volunteer fire departments, and staff from various DEC programs conducted a 41.6-acre prescribed fire in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. This treatment will increase openings for warm season grasses, forbs, and wild blue lupine, while also 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 May 1 at 8:43 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a cell phone call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch from a Brooklyn hiker reporting that a 19-year-old male in their group was repeatedly slipping and falling after descending Algonquin Peak. The caller’s 911 coordinates placed the group on the trail approximately .9 miles from Marcy Dam. The call was lost and dispatch was unable to reach the hikers via text. Forest Rangers responded with a UTV via the Marcy Dam truck trail to intercept the hiking party at Marcy Dam. When the subjects were not found at Marcy Dam, Rangers went up the trail toward Avalanche Camp with negative results. State Police Ray Brook, who had also received calls from the hikers’ family and friends, provided a second cell number for the group. Dispatch established cell contact with the group by 10:36 p.m. The hikers said they believed they were just over a mile from the Adirondak Loj past Marcy Dam. Ranger James Giglinto caught up to the group on the trail at 11:39 p.m. The subjects reached the Loj at 12:02 a.m. and declined further medical care after being assessed by Ranger Giglinto. The hikers had mistakenly taken a longer route after leaving Algonquin, and the subject having difficulty did not have suitable gear for the trip.
Village of Holland Patent
Wilderness Rescue: On May 4 at 11:53 a.m., two Forest Rangers, an Oneida County Sheriff’s Deputy, and a New York State Trooper responded to an Oneida County 911 call to assist Forestport and Woodgate Volunteer Fire Department EMTs with a 58-year-old man from Elbridge injured by a chainsaw during a tree-cutting accident. The man suffered a head injury and had both legs pinned under a tree approximately half of a mile from a road along Little Woodhull Creek. Rangers reached the injured subject by 12:15 p.m. and assisted with initial first aid and patient care. Officers and EMTs carried the injured man approximately 100 yards up a foot trail to a waiting Polaris UTV and transported the subject through the woods to the Gravesville Trail. By 1:07 p.m., STAR Ambulance transported the man to a nearby helicopter landing spot for a LifeFlight helicopter relay to a hospital in Utica. The subject was in stable condition when transported to the hospital.
Town of Long Lake
Wilderness Rescue: On May 4 at 2:08 p.m., Franklin County 911 transferred a cellphone call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch from a caller who was lost while hiking back from Bum Pond in the William C. Whitney Wilderness. The 62-year-old male from Bushkill, PA, went on a hike to Bum Pond from Sabattis Road and successfully reached the pond on the lightly marked trails. However, while coming back, the hiker became disoriented and called for Forest Ranger assistance after realizing he was lost. Through questioning by Ray Brook Dispatch and based off his last known point and direction of travel, Rangers established that the hiker was along the shore of Little Tupper Lake. Two Forest Rangers proceeded to the Whitney Headquarters with a boat for an efficient response. The Rangers quickly arrived at the trail coordinates, located the hiker in good condition, and returned him to his vehicle.
Town of Persia
Wildland Rescue: On May 4 at 10 p.m., Cattaraugus County 911 contacted Forest Rangers for a report of four lost hikers in the Zoar Valley Multiple Day Use Area. Two females, one from Silver Creek and one from Forrestville, and two children became disoriented while hiking. The hikers contacted 911 and their coordinates were relayed to the Rangers. A regional swift water team was deployed, but was unable to reach the group due to rocks in the stream. Rangers John Kennedy and Nathan Sprague then proceeded to hike in with crews on each bank to pinpoint the hikers’ location. The group was located early Sunday morning and taken out by raft. All were in good health. EMS met the hikers at the parking lot, where they were evaluated and released.