New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents statewide. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations and volunteer search and rescue groups, Forest Rangers locate and extract lost, injured or distressed people from the backcountry.
“DEC Forest Rangers’ knowledge of first aid, land navigation and technical rescue techniques are often critical to the success of their missions,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “Search and rescue missions often require Rangers to function in remote wilderness areas from rugged mountainous peaks to white-water rivers, and through vast forest areas from spruce-fir thicket to open hardwoods.”
Recent missions carried out by DEC Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks include:
Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest – Town of Tupper Lake
Injured Hiker: On May 15, 2015 at 2:26 p.m., Franklin County 911 advised DEC Ray Brook Dispatch of an injured hiker on Coney Mountain in Tupper Lake. The 48-year-old woman from Massena had sustained a possible lower leg injury one mile from the trailhead. Franklin County 911 obtained GPS coordinates from her cell phone and relayed the coordinates to the responding DEC Forest Ranger. The Forest Ranger located the woman on the trail at 3:06 p.m. and assisted her on the walk back to the trailhead. They reached the trailhead at 3:48 p.m. where she declined further medical attention.
Wilcox Lake Wild Forest – Town of Johnsburgh
Lost Hikers: On May 17, 2015 at 4:10 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a transferred call from Warren County 911 from a member of a six-person hiking party reporting it had become lost while descending Crane Mountain. The hiking party comprised of a 32-year-old man from Queensbury, a 46-year-old woman from Porters Corners, a 32-year-old man from Westerlo, a 30-year-old man from Westerlo, a 35-year-old man from Queensbury and a 34-year-old woman from Fort Edward. They started hiking at 11 a.m. and reached the summit of Crane Mountain at approximately 1 p.m. but had taken the wrong trail down. Warren County 911 provided GPS coordinates showing the lost hikers were in a drainage area near neighboring Huckleberry Mountain. DEC Forest Rangers arrived on scene and took an ATV trail into the area. They located the party about ½ mile from the Sky Hi Road at 5:33 p.m. and found all individuals in good condition. Rangers escorted the party to the road and gave them a ride back to their vehicles at the Crane Mountain trailhead. No further action was required and the incident concluded at 6:20 p.m.