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:
Chazy Highlands Wild Forest, Town of Saranac
Injured Hiker: On September 27, 2014 at 2:17 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a report from Clinton County 911 of a confirmed lower leg injury near the summit of Lyon Mountain. Jennifer Collins, 24, of Plattsburgh, NY slipped on wet rocks and fell. Three DEC Forest Rangers responded and arrived on scene with necessary equipment including a six-wheeler at 4:30 p.m. Forest Rangers hiked up roughly two miles to reach Ms. Collins. She was secured on a stretcher by Lyon Mountain Fire Department and Forest Rangers assisted with the carry out. She was carried down to a 6-by-6 UTV and driven out the last mile. Ms. Collins was transported by ambulance to Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh, NY for treatment at 8:30 p.m.
High Peaks Wilderness, Town of Keene
Lost Hikers: On September 19, 2014 at 8:15 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from a member of a hiking party reporting they were lost. Adrienne Licari, 31, of Wappingers Falls, NY, Marlania Moreno, 29, of North Las Vegas, NV, and Brenda Ramos, 27 of Endicott, NY were descending The Brothers when darkness caused them to lose the trail. The women did not have flashlights and were unable to continue to the trailhead. A DEC Forest Ranger responded and located the hiking party just off the main trail of The Brothers. The Forest Ranger escorted the three women back to the Garden parking area in Keene Valley without further incident at 10:00 p.m.
High Peaks Wilderness, Town of North Elba
Lost Hiker: On September 26, 2014 at 10:15 a.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from Jeffery Kellogg, 51, of Adams, NY. Mr. Kellogg was off trail on Mount Marshall and unsure on how to get back. Mr. Kellogg advised Dispatch that he spent an unexpected night near the summit. He brought proper gear and when darkness fell, he set up camp. A DEC Forest Ranger and two DEC Assistant Forest Rangers walked from the Lake Colden Outpost to where Mr. Kellogg’s believed location; however, Mr. Kellogg was not near the summit. The Lake Colden Caretaker proceeded to Algonquin Junction. At 2:30 p.m., two more Forest Rangers were dispatched to check the Upper Works. A Forest Ranger walked into Stewart’s Landing from Adirondack Loj, while another Forest Ranger made her way down Herbert’s Brook. A Forest Ranger located Mr. Kellogg on Indian Pass in good health at 4:10 p.m. The Ranger escorted Mr. Kellogg back to the Adirondack Loj where his vehicle was parked.
Dix Mountain Wilderness Area, Town of Keene
Injured Hiker: On September 28th, 2014 at 1:10 p.m. Essex County 911 contacted DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook regarding an injury near the summit of Noonmark Mountain. Ms.Pascale Libersan-Laniel, 43, of Montreal, Quebec slipped on a rock and suffered a lower leg injury. Two Forest Rangers responded on foot from the Adirondack Mountain Reserve and two Rangers responded with State Police Aviation. A Forest Ranger entered by helicopter to the summit and prepared Ms. Libersan-Laniel for hoist. State Police then transported her to Adirondack Medical Center in Lake Placid, NY for treatment at 3:15 p.m.
Queer Lake, Town of Inlet
Lost Hikers: On September 28, 2014 at 5:15 p.m., Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office per State Police Communications Section in Albany contacted DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook requesting assistance for a lost hiking party at Queer Lake in the Town of Inlet. DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook established phone and text contact with Ms. Rose Morton, 53, of New Hartford, NY who stated she was lost with a party of four adults and a minor. Ms. Morton stated the group was at the lean-to at Queer Lake but were unable to get back to their vehicle. A DEC Forest Ranger was dispatched and entered the woods at 6:09 p.m. for the 3.5-mile hike to the Queer Lake lean-to. Ms. Morton was advised at 7:00 p.m. via text that a Forest Ranger would be at their location soon. The Forest Ranger located the party at 7:30 p.m. The Ranger escorted them to their vehicle at 9:15 p.m.
Prospect Mountain, Town of Lake George
Injured Hiker: On September 16, 2014 at 12:17 p.m., Warren County Dispatch contacted DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook reporting an injured hiker on Prospect Mountain. Marguerite Walton, 59, of Lake George, NY, had suffered a lower leg injury. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded, assisted by the Lake George Fire Department & EMS and the North Queensbury Fire Department. Ms. Walton was located, secured and carried out to the Prospect Mountain Road, reaching the trailhead at 1:47 p.m. The North Queensbury Ambulance Squad transported Ms. Walton to Glens Falls Hospital for treatment.
Prospect Mountain, Town of Lake George
Lost Hiker: On September 20, 2014 at 2:29 p.m., Warren County Dispatch contacted DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook regarding a lost hiker. Brian Hall, 26, of Towland, CT, was lost on Prospect Mountain for roughly two hours. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded, calling out for Mr. Hall near the summit parking area. Voice contact was made and he was located 200 yards off the road near a rocky outcrop. Forest Rangers escorted Mr. Hall out and reunited him with his family at 3:02 p.m.
Wilcox Lake Wild Forest, Town of Johnsburg
Dehydrated Hiker: On September 27, 2014 at 4:04 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from a hiker advising she was with a 65-year-old male who was light headed half way up Crane Mountain. Raymond Grela, 64, of Oswego, NY was drinking water and resting at the time of the call. Two DEC Forest Ranger made their way to the trailhead and located Mr. Grela at his vehicle. Other hikers had escorted Mr. Grela to his vehicle. He was evaluated by Warrensburg County EMS and released at 6:00 p.m.
Prospect Mountain, Town of Lake George
Lost Hiker: On September 29, 2014 at 7:10 p.m., the Million Dollar Beach caretaker contacted DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook reporting a lost hiker on Prospect Mountain and advised that one of his park rangers was in cell phone contact with Ms. Jennifer Landroche, 26, of Grand Island, NY. The park ranger was at the summit in case she came out there. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded to Prospect Mountain for the search. Ms. Landroche had hiked from the Village of Lake George trailhead and gotten lost on a herd path without a light. Forest Rangers located Ms. Landroche at 9:00 p.m. and escorted back to her vehicle.
Lake George Wild Forest, Town of Fort Ann
Lost Hiker: On September 17, 2014 at 3:25 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from Washington County Dispatch reporting a lost hiker near the top of Buck Mountain. Theresa A. Ellis, 54, of Glens Falls, NY, was on the trail but was not clear how to get back to the trailhead. A DEC Forest Ranger was dispatched to the Buck Mountain Trailhead near Fort Ann Beach. He located Ms. Ellis after on the trail approximately 20 minutes from the trailhead. He escorted her out of the woods and back to her vehicle at 5:15 p.m. No medical attention was required.
Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hiking Safety and Adirondack Trail Information website for more information.