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:
Giant Mountain Wilderness – Town of Keene
Overdue Hiker: On April 13, 2015 at 12:20 p.m., New York State Police received a call from the Canadian Provincial Police reporting a 30-year-old man from Quebec, Canada had not returned from a hiking trip to Iroquois Mountain. He was expected to return home on Sunday, April 12. DEC Forest Rangers located the man’s vehicle at the Roaring Brook Falls Trailhead in the Town of Keene at 1:05 p.m. Additional DEC Forest Rangers searched trails surrounding the area. At 2:05 p.m. the man walked out of the woods on his own. No further response was required and the incident was closed.
Taylor Pond Wild Forest – Town of Chesterfield
Lost Hikers: On April 13, 2015 at 7:50 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from three women reporting they were lost on Poke-o-Moonshine Mountain. The women, a 20-year-old from Ballston Lake, 20-year-old from Clifton Park, and 21-year-old also from Clifton Park, had come down a trail and followed a gravel road to a dead end. They were not properly dressed, had little water and food, and no flashlights. Essex County 911 obtained GPS coordinates from their cell phone and relayed the coordinates to the responding DEC Forest Ranger. The Ranger located the women at 8:57 p.m. He transported them back to their vehicle and the incident concluded at 9:15 p.m.
St. Regis Mohawk Reservation – Town of Bombay
Missing Child: On April 18, 2015 at 5:45 p.m., Franklin County 911 contacted DEC Forest Rangers requesting assistance in the search for a missing 10-year-old girl from Hogansburg, NY, on the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation. Forest Rangers arrived to find a 20-person crew, including family members, New York State Police, K9 units and members of the local Fire Department, already searching the woods. DEC Forest Rangers established an Incident Command Post and coordinated with the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Police to search buildings on the south side of Route 37, east and west of where the girl was last seen. Tribal Police located the child in good health in a shed directly adjacent to her last known point.
Private Land – Town of Corinth
Missing Individual: On April 18, 2015 at 3:00 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office requesting DEC Forest Ranger assistance in locating a missing 54-year-old woman from Corinth, NY. The woman’s husband last saw her at 11:30 a.m. and became concerned after he realized she did not bring the necessary treatment for her medical condition. DEC Forest Rangers responded and located the woman at 4:00 p.m. on nearby private property. The woman had followed a creek and found her way to State Route 9N. Corinth EMS transported her for assessment.