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Adirondack Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights: 10/14-10/19/14

October 20th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

NYSDEC LogoNew 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:

Essex County

Giant Mountain Wilderness, Town of Elizabethtown
Lost Hikers: On October 19 at 3:15 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook. The hikers, a 22-year old female from Mechanicville, NY, and a 26-year old female from Wantagh, NY, had been hiking down from the Blueberry Mountain summit when they lost the trail and became disoriented. Both women stated they could see a house and hear the roadway but could not proceed down because they were at a cliff. 911 coordinates were relayed to two DEC Forest Rangers. The Rangers located the women in good condition at 5:15 p.m. at which time they proceeded to their vehicle.

High Peaks Mountain Wilderness, Town of Keene
Injured Hiker: On October 19th, 2014 at 5:50 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a radio transmission from John’s Brook Loj advising that a 38-year-old male from Nutley, NY had suffered a lower leg injury as the result of a fall while hiking Big Slide. He was able to walk with some assistance from two individuals. A hiker with the group went ahead to report the incident to John’s Brook Loj. The other hikers advised they would be walking the man to John’s Brook Outpost for staging. Three DEC Forest Rangers were dispatched. The injured man and his hiking party were located at the Phelps Trail Junction at 9:28 p.m. The individuals that had assisted the man were escorted out to the Garden parking lot by DEC Forest Rangers and the injured hiker was brought to a waiting utility terrain vehicle. From there he was taken down the Southside Trail. A waiting ambulance transported him to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake, NY for treatment at 11:40 p.m.

Hamilton County

Private Lane, Town of Speculator
Lost Hunters: On October 19 at 6:15 p.m., the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office contacted DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook regarding two lost males in the town of Speculator. The men, a 59-year-old and a 36-year-old both from Gloversville, NY had become lost while muzzleloading on private property in Speculator. A DEC Environmental Conservation Officer responded to assist and attempted to attract the subjects to his siren. A DEC Forest Ranger and a Hamilton County Sheriff’s deputy located both men at 8:30 p.m. and escorted them back to their vehicle.

Warren County

Prospect Mountain, Village of Lake George
Lost Hikers: On October 17th, 2014 at 2:28 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from a 60-year-old male from Manhasset, NY advising that he and his companion, a 46-year-old female from Locust Valley, NY were lost near the parking area of Prospect Mountain. They reported they could not find their way back to the picnic area. The couple had no hiking experience and had no hiking gear. Two DEC Rangers responded. The hikers gave DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook their coordinates off their cell phones to help identify their location. Based on these coordinates, Rangers took older trails and through voice contact located the couple. They advised the Rangers they had taken a herd path which they believed was a trail and got turned around. They were escorted out of the woods and back to their vehicle by 4:59 p.m.

Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit Hiking Safety and Adirondack Trail Information on DEC’s website for more information.

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Adirondack Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights: 10/7-10/13/14

October 14th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

NYSDEC LogoNew 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:

Warren County
Lake George Wild Forest, Town of Lake George
Lost Hikers: On October 11, 2014 at 6:20 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a report from Warren County 911 of three lost hikers on Tongue Mountain. The hikers, a 32-year-old female, a 33-year-old female and a 31-year-old female are all from Woodside, NY. The three women advised they were near a sign stating they were 4 miles to Clay Meadows. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded by boat from Green Island on Lake George. Based on GPS phone coordinates, the Rangers located the women near a private camp on Montcalm Point at 7:23 p.m. They were transported back to their hotel by boat and dropped off 7:57 p.m. The owners of the hotel advised they would bring the women back to their vehicle.

Essex County
Dix Mountain Wilderness, Town of Minerva
Overdue Hikers: On October 11, 2014 at 10:30 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a report of two men overdue from a hike near their campsite on the Boreas River in Minerva.

The two men, a 37-year-old male from Mechanicville, NY, and a 64-year-old man from Cohoes, NY left the campsite at 12:00 p.m. with the intention of hiking to a nearby pond. Three DEC Forest Rangers responded to the camping area and interviewed the reporting group. Initial witness statements led the Forest Rangers in the wrong direction. After checking three ponds and a local cave overnight without locating the two men, six more Rangers responded at first light.

Both men were located in good health on the opposite side of the Boreas River by a Forest Ranger at 7:45 a.m. on October 12. The Ranger walked the men out to their campsite. They had attempted to bushwhack to a pond but ended up on the opposite side of the river where they built a fire and spent the night.

Hurricane Mountain Wilderness, Town of Keene
Injured Hiker: On October 12, 2014 at 2:46 p.m., a 52-year-old female from Ithaca, NY sustained a lower leg injury while hiking Hurricane Mountain. The woman was unable to bear any weight, hindering her ability to hike out. Two Forest Rangers responded and New York State Police Aviation was requested to hoist her out. She was airlifted and taken to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake for further treatment.

Giant Mountain Wilderness, Town of Keene
Injured Hiker: On October 12, 2014 at 5:03 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from a passing hiker reporting that a male hiker has sustained an injury while descending from Giant Mountain on the Giant/Ridge Trail. The 65-year-old male from Summit, NJ, fell and sustained his injuries as he was descending Giant Mountain. Two passing hikers stopped and assisted him on walking out to the trailhead. When the DEC Forest Ranger arrived on scene, the male was assessed and stabilized. Rangers assisted him to the trailhead where he met his wife and was taken to Adirondack Medical Center Lake Placid for further treatment.

Western High Peaks Wilderness, Town of Newcomb
Lost Hiker: On October 13, 2014 at 1:34 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook was contacted to report that a fellow hiking partner, 45-year-old male from Coram, NY, had not reached the designated meeting point known as Plumley’s. He was last seen at Cold River at approximately 10:15 a.m. DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook established contact via text message with the lost hiker ascertaining his location and relaying the information to the DEC Forest Rangers in the field. A Forest Ranger identified the location and advised other responding Forest Rangers he was half-way up Pine Brook Trail, where it parallels the Cold River. Rangers found the hiker in good condition. A Forest Ranger hiked him back to the Northern Boundary, Huntington, where another Forest Ranger was located. He was transported back to his family in Long Lake without further incident.

REGION 6

St. Lawrence County
Cranberry Lake Wild Forest, Town of Clifton
Lost Hiker: On October 12, 2014, at 7:02 p.m., a DEC Forest Ranger was contacted directly by Cranberry Lake Campground of a 47-year-old female from Kingston, ON, CA who was lost on a trail near the campground area. A Forest Ranger responded by boat and patrolled the shoreline near the campground until he located the woman. She was brought back to her vehicle without any further incident.

Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hiking Safety and Adirondack Trail Information web for more information.

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Adirondack Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights: 9/29-10/3/14

October 7th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

NYSDEC LogoNew 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:

Essex County
Wilmington Notch, Town of Wilmington
Lost Hikers: On September 29, 2014 at 7:35 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a lost hiker’s cell phone call to the DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook. The 30-year-old male caller from Dannemora, NY stated he was lost with a 25-year-old female friend from Potsdam, NY off the Wilmington Notch trail. Essex County provided coordinates from the cell phone call and two DEC Forest Rangers responded. At 9:00 p.m. Rangers located both hikers in good health, escorted them back to the road and provided a courtesy ride to their vehicle at 9:15 p.m.

High Peaks Wilderness, Town of Keene
Distressed Hiker: On September 29, 2014 at 3:00 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a caller to the DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook requesting rescue of a 19-year-old female hiker from Michigan on the summit of the Brothers in the Town of Keene. Four DEC Forest Rangers responded by ground to Marcy Field to coordinate with State Police Aviation. Keene Valley Backcountry Rescue team members approached on foot to the summit of the second Brothers from the Garden parking area. At 4:00 p.m., two additional Forest Rangers, along with State Police Aviation and two North Country Life Flight paramedics responded to the summit. The hiker was assessed, hoisted into the helicopter and brought to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake at 4:45 p.m.

High Peaks Wilderness, Town of North Elba
Lost Hiker: On September 30, 2014 at 12:00 a.m., DEC Central Dispatch received a call reporting a missing member of a hiking party. The 48-year old female from Ontario, Canada had become separated from her hiking party after hiking to the summit of Mt. Marcy. A DEC Forest Ranger responded. The hiker was located at 2:45 a.m. on the trail near Marcy Dam. She had separated from her group and taken a wrong turn at the high water bridge. She had started to go back up Marcy when she realized her mistake and hiked down the correct trail, where she was met by the Forest Ranger. She was reunited with her group at the Adirondack Loj at 3:15 a.m.

High Peaks Wilderness, Town of Newcomb
Overdue Hiker: On September 30, 2014 at 5:30 p.m., A DEC Forest Ranger responded to a report of an overdue hiker at Upper Works. The 34-year-old female from Keene, NH was last seen at 1:30 p.m. coming out of Upper Works with her hiking group. When the group arrived at the parking lot she was not accounted for. The group leaders went to the point last scene and could not locate her. The Forest Ranger arrived on scene at 5:47 p.m. and began looking. The Ranger located the hiker on the cross over trail to Indian Pass. The hiker had taken a wrong turn, realized her mistake and doubled back. She was escorted out and reunited with her group at 6:37 p.m.

Washington County
Lake George Wild Forest, Town of Dresden
Lost Hiker: On October 3, 2014 at 6:04 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a report regarding a 31-year-old female hiker from Gansevoort, NY who had texted a relative that she was lost on Black Mountain. She texted that she was turned around and on the Southside of the mountain. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded to Black Mountain while another Ranger was dispatched by boat to check the backside of Black Mountain. Through texting, it was determined the hiker was on the trail and roughly one mile from the shoreline of Lake George. A Forest Ranger blew the siren on the boat which she heard. He made voice contact with the female at 8:57 p.m. Once she was located she was escorted down the mountain to the Forest Ranger in a waiting boat. The Rangers transported her to Hulett’s Landing and then back to the Black Mountain Trailhead.

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Adirondack Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights: 9/16-9/28/14

September 30th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

NYSDEC LogoNew 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:

Clinton County
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.

Essex County
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.

Herkimer County
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.

Warren County
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.

Washington County
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.

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DEC Region 5 Forest Ranger 2013-14 Winter Search and Rescue Report

April 17th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

NYSDEC LogoNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to search and rescue incidents on forest preserve, state forest and conservation easement lands. 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 rope rescue techniques are often critical to the success of 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.”

The Adirondacks are popular for outdoor recreation enthusiasts leading to search and rescue incidents. Often times these incidents are a result of an injury or illness beyond the control of the people involved. However, some incidents could be prevented with proper preparation and planning before entering the backcountry.

Clinton County
Town of Saranac, Private Land
On Monday, December 9, 2013, at approximately 7:15 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting two lost hunters. Robert Wood, 79, and his 13-year-old grandson, both of Saranac, NY became lost while bird hunting on private property by taking the wrong logging road. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded with members of the Saranac and Ausable Forks Fire Departments and began searching the area. Mr. Wood followed a swamp back to the road and was located by fire department personnel close to the roadway at approximately 9:50 p.m. The 13 year old was treated for mild hypothermia and released. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.

Essex County
Town of Newcomb, High Peaks Wilderness Area
On Saturday, December 21, 2013, at approximately 11:58 p.m., DEC Central Dispatch received a call reporting an overdue group of hikers. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded to the area and began searching. Joseph LaLuna, 41 of Queensbury, NY; Jack Webb, 30, of Ft Ann, NY; Scott Sullivan, 55, of Glens Falls, NY; Chris Sullivan, 28, of Kingsbury, NY; Ken Howe, 52, of Granville, NY; and Paul Pruiksma, 46, of Greenwich, NY left the East River trailhead that morning at 8:00 a.m. to hike Allen Mountain. They crossed the Opalescent River via an ice bridge in the morning but upon their return the ice bridge had been swept away and the river was deeper with a raging current. The group backtracked to a road and located an unlocked shelter where they stayed to warm up. At 2:43 a.m. the group was located by a Forest Ranger and found to be in good condition. Forest Rangers shuttled the group back to their vehicle two at a time by snowmobile and all were clear of the scene by 5:30 a.m. Always check the weather forecast before entering the backcountry. Plan and prepare for changing conditions.

Town of Keene, High Peaks Wilderness Area
On Monday, December 23, 2013, at approximately 10:05 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting two overdue hikers. Anthony Salvarezza, 52, and Richard Salvarezza, 21, both of Queensbury, NY, planned to hike Saddleback and Basin Mountains that day. Three DEC Forest Rangers responded and found the Salvarezza’s vehicle at the Garden parking lot. Shortly thereafter both hikers were located in good health approximately 0.25 mile from the trailhead. Difficult trail conditions and an attempt to bushwhack up Basin Mountain prolonged their day. Know the terrain and conditions of the area you plan to hike. Inform someone of your trip itinerary and DEC backcountry emergency phone number (518-891-0235).

Town of Keene, Dix Mountain Wilderness Area
On Saturday, December 28, 2013, at approximately 2:41 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting an injured ice climber. Thomas Yandon, 68, of East Amherst, NY, was ice climbing in the Chapel Pond canyon when he fell approximately 30 feet to the base of the route and then slid another 40 feet. Eight Forest Rangers responded along with Keene Valley EMS. Mr. Yandon had multiple injuries and required stabilization. He was backboarded by the Forest Rangers and carried out to an awaiting ambulance where he was transported to Elizabethtown Community Hospital. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact the DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Town of Wilmington, McKenzie Mountain Wilderness Area
On Monday, December 30, 2013, at approximately 3:33 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting a hiker in need of assistance. Travis Callahan, 32, of Philadelphia, NY, was descending Whiteface Mountain when he began experiencing severe leg cramps. Outdoor temperatures were dropping into the single digits at that time. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded and evacuated Mr. Callahan by snowmobile. He was rehydrated and sought further medical treatment on his own. Carry plenty of water and food. Eat and drink often and rest frequently. Wear, carry or pack clothes and gear for all weather conditions.

Town of Keene, Giant Mountain Wilderness Area
On Wednesday, January 1, 2014, at approximately 1:12 a.m., DEC Central Dispatch received a call reporting an overdue hiker. David Dick, 35, of Ontario, Canada, was hiking Giant Mountain when darkness overcame him. Without a light, he soon lost the trail. Three DEC Forest Rangers responded and began searching the mountain. At 5:17 a.m. Forest Rangers made voice contact with Mr. Dick and at 7:27 a.m. they found him near the ledges on the Nubble Switchback. Mr. Dick was warmed, hydrated and escorted out of the woods. He declined further medical attention and everyone was clear of the scene at 9:17 a.m. Always carry a headlamp or flashlight and extra batteries.

Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness Area
On Saturday, March 15, 2014 at approximately 1:01 p.m., DEC Dispatch Ray Brook received a call reporting an injured hiker. Laurel Allen, 62, of Peru, NY, was hiking Cascade Mountain when she fell ten feet near the first false summit and was injured. She was conscious and alert after the fall but sustained a minor injury. A DEC Forest Ranger responded, met Ms. Allen on the trail and walked her out to her vehicle. Ms. Allen declined further assistance and opted to seek medical treatment on her own. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact the DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Fulton County
Town of Bleeker, Private Land
On Wednesday, January 15, 2014, at approximately 3:46 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office requesting assistance for a missing person. George Heide, 63, of Bleeker, NY, was missing for approximately 4 hours after saying goodbye to his family and walking into the woods. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded and located Mr. Heide at approximately 6:00 p.m. inside an unlocked camper. He was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital for further evaluation. Always inform someone of your itinerary, including an expected return time, and the DEC backcountry emergency phone number (518-891-0235).

Town of Stratford, Ferris Lake Wild Forest
On Wednesday, March 5, 2014, at approximately 7:55 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from the Hamilton County Sheriff*s Office reporting a lost snowmobiler. Charles Conaway, 62, of Wells, NY, left his home at 11:00 a.m. for a round-trip snowmobile ride from Wells via Hoffmeister, Salisbury Ridge Runners and the Powley Road in Stratford before returning to Wells. At 7:30 p.m. Mr. Conaway left a message with a friend stating he was “desperately lost in the area of the Powley Road in Stratford.” The reporting party contacted Hamilton County 911 as soon as the message was received. Three DEC Forest Rangers responded to the search. Ray Brook Dispatch attempted cell phone and text contact with Mr. Conaway without success. Temperatures were forecasted to be -7F overnight. Fortunately a short time later, Mr. Conaway contacted Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office and advised that he had found his way back to the trail and was on his way home. Know the area in which you plan to recreate. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.

Hamilton County
Town of Indian Lake, Blue Mountain Wild Forest
On Monday, December 23, 2013, at approximately 4:05 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office reporting a group of lost hikers. Alex Sleischer, 61, of Plaingfield, NJ; and Balazs Sebestini, 35, Kati Ohens, 38 and Bruno Ohens, 36, all from New Zealand, left the Rock Lake trailhead near Blue Mountain Lake at 11:00 a.m. to hike a short loop. They were lost without a map or compass. The group was growing concerned due to the cold and wet conditions and knowing they were miles from their car. A DEC Forest Ranger responded while Ray Brook Dispatch made cell phone contact with the hikers to relay information back to the Forest Ranger. Based on their answers, the Forest Ranger determined their location and located them at 4:35 p.m. They were returned to their vehicle four miles away in good health. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them. Wear, carry or pack clothes and gear for all weather conditions.

Town of Long Lake, Moose River Plains Wild Forest
On Friday, February 28, 2014, at approximately 12:03 a.m., DEC Central Dispatch received a call from NY State Police reporting a snowmobile accident on Uncas Road in the Town of Long Lake. A DEC Forest Ranger responded to the scene along with Raquette Lake Fire Department. They located the injured snowmobiler, Craig Smith, 43, of Old Forge, NY, approximately 0.7 mile from Raquette Lake and 50 feet from the road. Mr. Smith was packaged and carried out to a waiting ambulance and transported to St. Elizabeth*s Hospital in Utica. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact the DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Town of Inlet, Pigeon Lake Wilderness
On Sunday, March 16, 2014, at approximately 1:46 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting an injured skier requiring assistance. Gail Hoffman, 70, of Holland Patent, NY, was cross-country skiing on the Cascade Lake Trail when she fell and was injured. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded along with Inlet and Eagle Bay Fire Department and Inlet Police Department. Ms. Hoffman was evacuated on a rescue sled and brought back to the trailhead where she was transported by ambulance to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Utica for further treatment. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact the DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Town of Indian Lake, Indian Lake Islands Campground
On Sunday, March 23, 2014, at approximately 7:10 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office reporting an injured snowmobiler. A DEC Forest Ranger responded along with Indian Lake Rescue. A 16-year-old female from Schenectady, NY was ejected from her snowmobile while coming into the boat launch area at the Indian Lake Islands Campground. She was transported by Indian Lake Rescue to the Glens Falls Hospital for evaluation of her injuries. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact the DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Warren County
Town of Bolton, Private Land
On Saturday, December 7, 2013, at approximately 1:56 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting a hunter in an ATV accident. Clifford Sprague, 64, of Bolton, NY, rolled an ATV while riding and it landed on top of him. Mr. Sprague was conscious and breathing but experiencing pain. Three DEC Forest Rangers responded down the trail to Mr. Sprague’s location, where he was already heading out in a personal vehicle. Once at the trailhead, Mr. Sprague was evaluated by Bolton Rescue and then transported to Glen Falls Hospital for treatment. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact the DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Washington County
Town of Fort Ann, Lake George Wild Forest
On Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at approximately 5:03 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting two lost hikers on Buck Mountain. The hikers, Emma Rozell, 18, of Granville, NY and Megan Weaver, 18, of Hudson Falls, NY, were in good health but had lost the trail. Four DEC Forest Rangers responded while the Ray Brook Dispatch and Washington County 911 were able to obtain their cell phone coordinates. At 7:30 p.m. a Forest Ranger located them in good condition. Ms.Rozell and Ms.Weaver had been trying to avoid icy conditions on the trail when they became lost without a map or compass. They were escorted back to their vehicles and returned to the trailhead at 8:45 p.m. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them. Know your abilities and the area you plan to hike.

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DEC Submits Proposal to Amend Jay Mountain Wilderness Unit Management Plan

April 3rd, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Action to Ensure the UMP is Consistent with Voter-approved Constitutional Amendment That Allows NYCO to Conduct Exploratory Sampling

NYSDEC LogoThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today submitted a proposed amendment to the 2010 Jay Mountain Wilderness Unit Management Plan (UMP) to the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) to ensure the UMP is consistent with the constitutional amendment approved by voters in November 2013 that permits exploratory sampling on the state-owned parcel in the Town of Lewis, Essex County, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced.

The constitutional amendment authorizes NYCO Materials, Inc. to conduct sampling on the 200-acre parcel, known as Lot 8, to determine the quantity and quality of wollastonite on the site, which is adjacent to the company’s long-standing mine. The exploratory sampling will also provide information that DEC will use to accurately appraise the value of Lot 8 for a potential land exchange if NYCO decides to expand its mining operations.

“This is an important step in the process to evaluate the site for a potential land exchange between the State and NYCO that would expand public access and recreation opportunities in the Adirondacks, while also supporting the regional economy,” Commissioner Martens said.

The current Jay Mountain Wilderness Area includes Lot 8, which is part of the State Forest Preserve and is governed by Article XIV, Section 1 of the State Constitution (Article XIV). The property is also subject to the provisions of the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (APSLMP) as outlined in the 2010 Unit Management Plan for the Jay Mountain Wilderness area.

The amendment is intended to:

recognize that a constitutional amendment approved by the voters on November 5, 2013 implicitly repeals APSLMP guidelines for Wilderness that otherwise would prohibit NYCO’s mineral sampling operations within the Jay Mountain Wilderness area;
make the UMP consistent with the constitutional amendment; and
note that detailed terms and conditions governing the mineral sampling operations will be set forth in a Temporary Revocable Permit (TRP) issued by DEC.
If Lot 8 is ultimately conveyed to NYCO, an amendment to the APSLMP’s area description of the Jay Mountain Wilderness Area will recognize that Lot 8 will no longer be contained in the Wilderness Area.

The Constitutional amendment approved by statewide voters revised restrictions related to Lot 8 to allow NYCO to conduct mineral sampling to determine the quantity and quality of wollastonite on approximately 200 acres of Forest Preserve lands. Data and information from this the drilling sampling will be provided to the State so that a land appraisal can be made.

During this first phase to implement the constitutional amendment, Lot 8 will remain part of the State Forest Preserve, subject to Article XIV. However, for the limited purpose of the sampling operations, the amendment suspends Article XIV directives that Forest Preserve lands must be “forever kept as wild forest lands” and that timber situated on the lands will not be “removed, sold or destroyed.” This will allow for the creation of corridors and areas required for transportation of equipment, development of drill pads and the use of mechanized mineral sampling equipment. The second phase, conveyance of Lot 8 to NYCO, will occur after the State has appraised the value of Lot 8.

If NYCO decides not to expand its existing wollastonite mine onto adjacent Lot 8, then the company is required to compensate the State for the disturbance resulting from the mineral sampling operations. NYCO will be required to convey to the state an amount of land no less than the acreage and value of the portions of Lot 8 disturbed by the sampling operations. These parcels, to be added to the Forest Preserve, would be subject to approval by the State Legislature.

If NYCO opts to expand its mine onto Lot 8, the company must convey to the state other lands that are equal to or greater than the acreage and assessed land value of Lot 8, and the total assessed value must be at least $1 million. The lands to be conveyed also would require State Legislature approval.

In addition, when NYCO terminates all mining operations on Lot 8, the company will be required to reclaim the site and convey title to these lands back to the state for inclusion in the Forest Preserve.

Lot 8 was assessed by the New York Natural Heritage Program in July 2013 and inventoried by DEC staff in early 2014. These site visits helped to determine if any significant natural communities or unique forest traits are present and to obtain a general assessment of the existing forest stand relative to surrounding forest areas. The assessment did not identify any unusual or unique resources on the site, especially in the context of surrounding state lands.

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DEC to Hold Three Weekends of Santanoni Winter Open Houses

January 13th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Rare Opportunity to See the Inside of Camp Buildings During the Winter Months

NYSDEC LogoBuilding upon the popularity of the previous two years’ Camp Santanoni Winter Weekend events, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will once again open this historic property to the public for recreational opportunities, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced today.

The events will take place during the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, January 18-20; President’s Day holiday weekend, February 15-17; and the weekend of March 16-17. Cross-country skiers and snowshoers will have access to the historic camp properties located in the town of Newcomb in Essex County to rest and view interpretative displays.

“As in the past two years, visitors will be able to enjoy winter outdoor recreation with their family and friends while immersed in the beautiful wilderness setting and the rich cultural heritage of the Adirondacks,” Commissioner Martens said. “Events like these are part of Governor Cuomo and DEC’s efforts to work with local communities to increase tourism and economic activity by showcasing this wondrous part of New York State. The increasing popularity of the Winter Weekends demonstrates our efforts are effective in bringing visitors to the North Country.”

Camp Santanoni
(Panoramio – Photo of Camp Santanoni)

A 9.8-mile round trip cross-country ski or snowshoe excursion traverses from Camp Santanoni’s Gate House complex to the remote lakeside main lodge complex. The trip provides a moderate physical activity and a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.

This year’s Winter Weekend events, the third year the events have been held, are expected to continue the trend of being more successful than the previous year. In 2012, more than 250 visitors enjoyed themselves at one of the three weekend events. Last year more than 350 visitors came to enjoy winter outdoor recreation with their family and friends. Those attending were amazed by the wilderness surroundings while being immersed in the rich cultural history of the Adirondacks.

During the three Winter Weekend events cross-country skiers and snowshoers will be able to visit both the Gate Lodge and Main Lodge of Camp Santanoni, view displays about the great camp and take interpretive tours with Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) staff. The Artist’s Studio, a stone building near the main lodge on the shores of Newcomb Lake, will be open as a warming hut. Coffee, tea and hot chocolate will be available and the public is asked to bring their own cups. Also, the Adirondack Interpretive Center will provide snowshoes to lend to visitors at the Gate Lodge.

The three Winter Weekend events are being hosted by DEC, AARCH, the town of Newcomb and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry’s (ESF) Adirondack Interpretive Center.

“We are happy to work with our partners, DEC, AARCH and SUNY ESF to build on the history and natural beauty of our town to provide tourism destinations that people want to visit,” said Newcomb Town Supervisor George Canon. “Great Camp Santanoni is at least as beautiful covered in winter snows as it is in mid-summer.”

In addition to the popular 9.8-mile round trip from the Gate Lodge to the Main Lodge, cross-country skiers and snowshoers are encouraged to take the half mile-trail that connects Camp Santanoni to the nearby Adirondack Interpretive Center’s 3.6-mile trail system. The Center’s buildings will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on all three days of the Winter Weekends in January and February and on the Saturday and Sunday of the March Winter Weekend.

“ESF is excited to partner with DEC, town of Newcomb and AARCH to help expand how Great Camp Santanoni is used,” said Paul Hai of SUNY ESF’s Northern Forest Institute, which manages the Adirondack Interpretive Center. “Newcomb is a fantastic town, rich with history, recreation and educational opportunities. Collaborations like this grow our town while increasing visitors’ and residents’ appreciation and understanding of the Adirondacks. We are looking forward to working together on more programs and creative ideas in Newcomb.”

While people may visit Camp Santanoni 365 days a year, the buildings are not typically open to the public during the winter months. Additional open house weekends may be considered based on the popularity and success of these three weekend events.

“We are delighted to be part of these winter open house weekends again and look forward to welcoming skiers and snowshoers there at a very beautiful and peaceful time of year,” said Steven Engelhart, Executive Director of AARCH. “Last year, over eight days, we had more than 300 people make the ten mile round-trip outing into Santanoni and we thoroughly enjoyed providing a place to warm up and interpreting the camp’s rich history and architecture to them.”

Construction of Camp Santanoni began in 1892 by Robert and Anna Pruyn and eventually consisted of more than four dozen buildings on 12,900 acres including a working farm, the Gate Lodge complex, and a huge rustic Main Lodge and other buildings situated on Newcomb Lake. Camp Santanoni was in private ownership until 1972. Over the last several decades of state ownership, the camp has gradually been restored through a partnership between DEC, AARCH and the town of Newcomb. Santanoni is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark. Camp Santanoni is considered by many to be the classic Adirondack Great Camp.

Reservations are not required. Contact AARCH at 518-834-9328 for more information on the winter weekends. More information about Camp Santanoni, the Adirondack Interpretive Center and the Newcomb area may be found at:

Camp Santanoni Historic Area – NYSDEC
Adirondack Architectural Heritage
Adirondack Interpretive Center
Town of Newcomb

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