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Entries Tagged as 'franklin county'

DEC Releases Draft Recreation Management Plan to Increase Access to 18,000 Acres of Kushaqua Tract Conservation Easement Lands

January 23rd, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Public Comments Accepted Through Feb. 21 – Public Meeting Scheduled on Feb. 5 at Paul Smiths College

NYSDEC LogoThe Kushaqua Tract Conservation Easement Lands (Draft RMP) in the northern Adirondacks will increase public access for recreational use under a draft Recreational Management Plan released today for public review and comment, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Marten announced.

“The Draft Recreation Management Plan outlines a variety of recreational opportunities, including motorized recreation, on the Kushaqua Tract Conservation Easement Lands,” said Commissioner Martens. “Governor Cuomo is committed to encouraging people to enjoy New York’s outstanding natural resources, and the UMP for the Kushaqua Tract does that by creating additional opportunities for the public to enjoy this land. DEC worked cooperatively with private landowners and land managers to develop public access on these lands, while protecting natural resources and retaining timber management jobs.”

A public meeting will be held at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, Feb. 5 in the auditorium of the Freer Science Building at Paul Smiths College in the town of Brighton. The meeting will provide the public with an opportunity to learn more on the proposed management actions in the Draft RMP and to provide comment on the proposals. The meeting facility is wheelchair accessible. Please provide any requests for specific accommodations to 518-897-1291 at least one week in advance. DEC will accept comments on the Draft RMP until Friday, Feb. 21.

The Kushaqua Tract Conservation Easement Lands consist of approximately 19,000 acres of land in the towns of Franklin and Brighton in Franklin County formerly owned by International Paper Corporation. DEC purchased a working forest conservation easement on the lands in 2004 which includes development rights and sustainable forestry requirements. The easement also includes public access to more than 18,000 acres of the property and many miles of the existing road system.

The lands were purchased by Lyme Timber Company in 2006, which continues to actively manage the lands for timber. The company also leases 31 one-acre camp parcels on the property to private outdoor recreation enthusiasts.

Kushaqua Tract

DEC developed the Draft RMP to facilitate and manage public recreational use of the easement lands and complies with the terms and conditions of the easement. DEC consulted with the landowner and its forest management consulting firm in developing the proposed plan. In addition, DEC obtained input from a variety of stakeholders including local governments, snowmobile and ATV clubs, sportsmen and women, hikers and private lease club members.

The Draft RMP includes proposals to construct campsites and designated parking areas, construct new trails for motorized and non-motorized users, provide access for people with disabilities, enhance fishing access and the repair, upgrade and open to the public more than 38 miles of existing access roads for motorized and non-motorized uses including ATVs, snowmobiles and automobiles.

Proposed management actions include to:

  • maintain and rehabilitate existing facilities (including brushing, raking, grading and rehabilitation of roads and bridges);
  • designate one existing logging road as open for People with Disabilities under CP 3 permit;
  • install informational, safety and boundary line signage;
  • construct or upgrade seven trails intended for non-motorized use;
  • construct five designated parking lots;
  • upgrade and open for public access more than 38 miles of existing roads for both motorized and non-motorized uses including use by ATVs
  • install a universally accessible dock to provide for an accessible fishing, paddling and boating on the Mountain Pond;
  • construct 12 campsites; and
  • construct and maintain gates and other barriers to prevent illegal motorized use on sections of roads that are not open to public use.

DEC will accept comments on the Draft RMP until Friday, Feb. 21. The Draft UMP is available for public review at DEC’s Region 5 headquarters in Ray Brook and at the town offices of Brighton and Franklin. Copies are available in electronic format for distribution on compact disc and may be requested by calling DEC at 518-897-1291. A limited number of printed copies are available as well. The complete document is available on DEC’s web site: Kushaqua Tract Draft Recreation Management Plan

Written comments may be sent to Sean Reynolds, Senior Forester, NYSDEC, P.O. Box 296, Ray Brook, NY 12977, or e-mailed until Friday, Feb. 21.

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DEC Region 5 Forest Ranger October and November 2013 Search and Rescue Report

December 19th, 2013 · No Comments · Adirondack News

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Essex County
Town of Keene, High Peaks Wilderness
On Tuesday, October 1, 2013, at approximately 4:10 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting a hiker had been separated from her hiking partner. Patricia Yakaboski, 43, of St. Augustine, FL, was hiking Porter Mountain with her partner when they became separated. Ms. Yakaboski hadn’t been seen in one hour. A DEC Forest Ranger and a DEC Environmental Conservation Officer responded and began checking the trailheads to Porter Mountain. Shortly after a family member called from Florida to report that Ms. Yakaboski’s was walking down John’s Brook Road towards Keene Valley. Ms. Yakaboski had used the phone from a private residence to call her family member and report her location. She was picked up by the Forest Ranger and provided with a ride back to the Cascade Trail where she was reunited with her hiking partner. She had left her backpack on the mountain which was retrieved the next day by a backcountry steward. Stay together when hiking in groups. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.

Town of Schroon, Hoffman Notch Wilderness
On Wednesday, October 2, 2013, at approximately 2:05 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting two lost hikers. Wayne Dewey, 63, and Larry Gleason, 67, both of Schroon Lake, NY, were hiking Hoffman Mountain when they became lost on their descent. A DEC Forest Ranger responded and contacted the two men by cell phone. Mr. Dewey and Mr. Gleason advised him that they were using a GPS and going in circles. The Forest Ranger gave them a waypoint to use with their GPS to direct them toward Big Pond. The Forest Ranger then headed towards Big Pond himself. Initially they missed each other and another Forest Ranger was called to respond. Shortly thereafter voice contact was made and Mr. Dewey and Mr. Gleason were located 100 yards from the trail. They were in good condition and were escorted back to their vehicle. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.

Town of Keene, Eastern High Peaks Wilderness
On Sunday, October 6, 2013, at approximately 12:40 a.m., the DEC Interior Caretakers at Lake Colden and Johns Brook overheard radio transmissions asking for help. Deborah Cunningham, 48, of Earlville, MD, had been hiking all day with her friends when she became weak and non-alert. When the group reached Slant Rock, she was unresponsive. Her group assisted her two miles to the Adirondack Mountain Club’s John’s Brook Lodge. They entered the building and used the radio to seek help. The two DEC Caretakers, three DEC Forest Rangers and a volunteer wilderness paramedic responded to the call for help. Upon reaching John’s Brook Lodge the rescuers stabilized here condition. After a few hours, Ms. Cunningham. made a full recovery. She was driven out via ATV and declined any further medical treatment. Carry plenty of water and food. Eat and drink often and rest frequently.

Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness
On Tuesday, October 8, 2013, at approximately 10:15 a.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting a hiker in need of assistance. Mark Soenspeck, 28, of Washington, DC, was hiking Cascade Mountain when he was suddenly stricken. Two DEC Forest Rangers and an EMT from Lake Placid Rescue responded. They located Mr. Soenspeck a short distance from the trailhead. He was evaluated and then escorted back to his vehicle at the trailhead. He was transported by his wife to Adirondack Medical Center in Lake Placid for further medical care. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 for backcountry emergencies.

Town of Newcomb, Dix Mountain Wilderness
On Tuesday, October 8, 2013, at approximately 7:40 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from the Elk Lake Lodge stating that three of their guests were overdue from hiking. Charlotte Buehler, 71, of Pultneyville, NY, Betty Brayer, 67, of Ontario, NY and Carol May, 66, of Williamson, NY, left with a licensed guide at 8 a.m. to hike South and East Dix and had not yet returned. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded and located the three women approximately half a mile down the trail. Their descent down the mountain had taken them longer than expected, but they were in good condition. They were escorted back to their vehicles and they returned to Elk Lodge. Provide your itinerary and the DEC Forest Ranger backcountry emergency contact (518-891-0235) to friends, family or others.

Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness
On Friday, October 11, 2013, at approximately 7:34 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting an injured hiker. Christina Twoey, 41, of Owego, NY, was hiking with a Boy Scout group between Indian Falls and Marcy Dam when she fell and injured her knee. A DEC Forest Ranger and a DEC Interior Caretaker responded, assisting Ms. Twoey to Marcy Dam. She was transported by UTV to the Adirondak Loj and sought further medical treatment on her own. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 for backcountry emergencies.

Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness
On Saturday, October 12, 2013, at approximately 4:30 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a report from an Assistant Forest Ranger of a hiker with an injured ankle on the VanHovenberg Trail about one mile above Marcy Dam. Another Assistant Forest Ranger and an Interior Caretaker responded. They located Karen Grossman, 49, of Syracuse, NY, and assessed her injury. Due to the seriousness of the injury a DEC Forest Ranger was dispatched to Marcy Dam with a UTV. Ms. Grossman was carried out to Marcy Dam and then transported by UTV to the trailhead. Ms. Grossman decided to seek medical attention on her own at that time. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 for backcountry emergencies.

Town of Newcomb, High Peaks Wilderness
On Saturday, October 12, 2013, at approximately 8:38 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting an overdue hiker. Barbara Fallon, 46, of Wynantskill, NY, was hiking McNaughton Mountain and had last been seen at 3:20 p.m. Two DEC Forest Rangers who had just cleared from other incidents responded to Adirondak Loj. Upon receiving the details of the incident, one of the Forest Rangers headed in to Wallface Pond. He encountered Ms. Fallon on the trail a short while later and escorted her out to the trailhead, where she was reunited with her hiking companion. Stay together when hiking in groups.

Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness
On Saturday, October 19, 2013, at approximately 1:49 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call transferred from Essex County 911 reporting a hiker in need of assistance. JoAnn Barton, 52, of Windsor, NY, was climbing to Algonquin from Lake Colden when she was suddenly stricken. A DEC Interior Caretaker responded and met up with Ms. Barton at 2:45 p.m. Three DEC Forest Rangers also responded and immediately began plans to airlift Ms. Baron. However, due to the high winds on the summit of Algonquin, the hoist operation was cancelled. Instead, two of the Forest Rangers were flown to the Lake Colden Outpost to hike to Ms. Barton. At 4:15 p.m., Ms. Barton stated that she felt well enough to start walking slowly. The group made it to the Lake Colden Outpost and spent the night while Forest Rangers monitored Ms. Barton’s condition throughout. By the following morning, Ms. Barton was recovered and rested enough to be able to walk out to Marcy Dam. From Marcy Dam, Forest Rangers transported Ms. Barton on a UTV to the trailhead parking area. She then sought further medical attention on her own. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 for backcountry emergencies.

Town of Newcomb, High Peaks Wilderness
On Saturday, October 26, 2013, at approximately 5:00 p.m., a DEC Forest Ranger was contacted directly and received a report of an overdue hunter. Paul Novak, 42, of Voorheesville, NY, was last seen at 11:30 a.m., at the Santanoni Gatehouse, heading in a northwesterly direction. Two Forest Rangers responded and began searching the area west of Lake Harris campground and east of Camp Santanoni. The Forest Rangers eventually made voice contact with Mr. Novak and then met up with him. Mr. Novak had been tracking a deer that he shot, but did not have any light source and became caught in the dark. He was in good condition and Forest Rangers escorted him back to his camp. Always carry a headlamp or flashlight and extra batteries.

Town of Keene, Giant Mountain Wilderness
On Wednesday, October 30, 2013, at approximately 3:08 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from Essex County 911 reporting an injured hiker. Tyler Sheehan, 45, of Red Hook, NY, was solo hiking Hopkins Mountain when he fell, slid approximately 100 feet down an open rock face and was thrown into the air before he was able to stop. Five DEC Forest Rangers, five members of New York State Police Special Operations Response Team (SORT), members of the Keene Valley Volunteer Fire Department Back Country Rescue Team and members of the Keene Volunteer Fire Department responded. Mr. Sheehan was located at 5 p.m. with the help of coordinates obtained from his 911cell phone call. He had a number of injuries, including a significant leg injury. Mr. Sheehan’s leg injury was stabilized; he was placed into a litter, carried down the mountain and transferred to a waiting ambulance from the Keene Volunteer Fire Department, which transported him to Elizabethtown Hospital for further medical treatment. All personnel were clear of the incident at 7:20 p.m. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 for backcountry emergencies.

Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness
On Saturday, November 23, 2013, at approximately 2:45 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from the International Emergency Response Center reporting a SPOT tracker had an SOS activation in the Eastern High Peaks. The SPOT tracker belonged to Peter Meringolo, 42, of Chappaqua, NY. The DEC dispatcher contacted his home and learned from his wife that Mr. Meringolo was hiking with their 10-year-old son. The coordinates from the tracker showed the locater was in a drainage area on the eastern aspect of Mount Marshall. A DEC Interior Caretaker and five DEC Forest Rangers responded. At 5 p.m., the Interior Caretaker located Mr. Meringolo and his son on the trail at Calamity Pond. Both were in good health. Mr. Meringolo stated he had intentionally activated the SOS when he realized they were lost while descending from the summit of Marshall. Due to snow squalls, the two hikers were taken back to the Colden Interior Outpost to spend the night. They hiked back out to their vehicle the following morning. Electronic devices can be useful, but always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them, for backup.

Franklin County
Town of Tupper Lake, Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest
On Sunday, October 13, 2013, at approximately 5:19 p.m., DEC Dispatch ay Brook received a report of an injured hiker. Patricia Chillemi, 56, of Biddeford, ME, was hiking Coney Mountain when she slipped and turned her ankle. One DEC Forest Ranger responded and carried Ms. Chillemi out to the trailhead along with Tupper Lake EMS. At the trailhead, she was transferred to Tupper Lake Rescue, which transported her to the Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 for backcountry emergencies.

Hamilton County
Town of Hope, Wilcox Lake Wild Forest
On Sunday, October 13, 2013, at approximately 1 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from the Hamilton County Sheriff reporting a person with a back injury on the Hope Falls trail. Due to the lack of cell service and radio coverage in the area, additional information was difficult to obtain. Four DEC Forest Rangers and the Hope Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene. Nicholas Colasurdo, 52, of Rochester, NY, was taking pictures of Hope Falls when he slipped on the rocks and fell on his back. He was able to get himself back to the trail, but couldn’t walk any further. The Forest Rangers started to transport him by UTV, but the vibration of the ride was too much for Mr. Colasurdo to tolerate. He was then carried out by Forest Rangers and members of the Hope Volunteer Fire Department. Mr. Colasurdo was transported by ambulance to Nathan Littauer Hospital in Amsterdam, NY. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 for backcountry emergencies.

Town of Long Lake, Sargent Pond Wild Forest
On Saturday, October 26, 2013, at approximately 8:25 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting an overdue hunter. Arthur Bubb, 48, of Mechanicville, NY, was hunting with a group of friends, but had not been seen or heard from since noon. His hunting party had made several attempts to locate him, but with no success. Three DEC Forest Rangers responded and quickly located Mr. Bubb, who was on his way back to his hunting camp. Mr. Bubb had shot a deer at approximately 2:15 p.m. and had spent time tracking, dragging and cutting up the deer. He was in good condition and Forest Rangers escorted him back to the camp. Always carry a headlamp or flashlight and extra batteries.

Town of Inlet, Moose River Plains Wild Forest
On Saturday, October 26, 2013, at approximately 8:15 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting two overdue hunters. Dell Hilbreth, 55, of Savannah, NY, and Tony Hilbreth, 31, of Liverpool, NY, were supposed to meet the rest of their hunting party back at their camp at 4:30 p.m., but had not yet returned. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded and began searching for the men. After several hours of searching, both of the Hilbreths were located in good health. They had missed the trail that they had planned take out of the woods. When they encountered Pine Grove Creek they followed it downstream until dark and then built a fire. The Forest Rangers escorted them out of the woods and back to their camp and were clear of the incident at 2 a.m. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.

Warren County
Town of Hague, Lake George Wild Forest
On Sunday, October 13 at approximately 6:30 p.m., the Caretaker at DEC Rogers Rock Campground was informed by a camper of two climbers stuck on the face of Rogers Rock in the Town of Hague, Warren County. The Caretaker contacted DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook stating that the climbers had equipment malfunction and were unable to move up or down. Nine DEC Forest Rangers responded to the summit of Rogers Rock. Cedric Bien, 28, and Susannah Gue, 27, both of New York City, were stuck approximately 250 feet from the bottom of the 650-feet high Main Slab of Rogers Slide. A rope system was deployed and a Forest Ranger was lowered 450 feet down the face of the cliff to the climbers. They explained that were descending the cliff when their top rope became snagged, preventing them from moving any farther. The climbers were able to yell to a passing boater who sought assistance from the campground. The Forest Ranger attached Mr. Bien and Ms. Gue to the lines of his rope system and the three were lowered to the base of the cliff without incident. The two climbers were returned to their campsite at Rogers Rock Campground by 12:30 a.m. Prepare properly before recreating in the backcountry – pack extra clothes, water, food and headlamp. You can remain calm and comfortable if unexpected emergencies occur.

Town of Horicon, Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area
On Saturday, November 16, 2013, at approximately 12:42 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting a lost hunter in the Pharoah Lake Wilderness Area. Edmund Haynes, 70, of Hudson Falls, NY, had a medical issue that required him to be found quickly. Six DEC Forest Rangers responded to the scene. At 3:15 p.m., Mr. Haynes was located by the Forest Rangers and walked to the trailhead. After being evaluated and treated by the Northern Warren County EMS, he was released to his family. Know the area you plan to recreate. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.

Washington County
Town of Fort Ann, Lake George Wild Forest
On Thursday, October 3, 2013, at approximately 7:20 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call transferred from Warren County 911 reporting two hikers needing assistance, one of whom was injured. Louise McNutt, 53, and Marissa Pond, 20, both of Loudonville, NY, were hiking on Buck Mountain towards Pilot Knob. Ms. Pond had injured her ankle earlier so they weren’t moving fast. It was getting dark and neither of them had a flashlight or headlamp. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded to Pilot Knob with an ATV. The two women were located 1.5 miles from the trailhead. The Forest Ranger guided them down the mountain a short distance to the ATV, which they used to transport the women back to the trailhead. Ms. Pond decided to seek medical attention on her own. Always carry a headlamp or flashlight and extra batteries.

Town of Fort Ann, Lake George Wild Forest
On Thursday, November 7, 2013, at approximately 7:41 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from Washington County 911 reporting an overdue hunter. George Miller, 68, of Granville, NY, had gone to hunt Remington Ridge through Dacy Clearing and was lost. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded and began searching the area. At 10:45 p.m. they made voice contact with Mr. Miller and at 11:00 p.m. they located him. He was in good health, but extremely fatigued, so the walk back out to the trailhead took an extended amount of time. Mr. Miller did not seek any further medical attention and all were clear of the incident at 1:45 a.m. Know the area you plan to recreate. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.

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DEC Region 5 Forest Ranger September 2013 Search and Rescue Report

October 29th, 2013 · No Comments · Adirondack News

NYSDEC LogoClinton County
Town of Black Brook, Taylor Pond Wild Forest
On Friday, September 6, at approximately 3:40 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting a group of hikers that were lost near the DEC Taylor Pond Campground. Karen Moore, 66, Cathie Choauvin, 68, and Bonnie Myers, 64, all of Saranac, NY, had left the campground intending to hike the 14 mile Taylor Pond Loop trail. Approximately halfway through their hike, the wet and marshy trail conditions forced the three women into the woods where they became disoriented and realized they were lost. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded with a boat and after discussing plans on the phone with the women, met them at a location on the shore of the Taylor Pond and transported them back to the campground. Know the area you plan to hike. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.

Clinton County, Town of Chazy, Private Land
On Monday, September 16, at approximately 6:44 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from State Police requesting assistance in locating an individual. Helen Scales, 85, from West Chazy, NY, was last seen at 3:45 pm walking along State Route 22 toward a wooded lot. Five DEC Forest Rangers and members of the Chazy and West Chazy Volunteer Fire Departments responded and began a grid search of the area. Mrs. Scales was found in good condition approximately 1/4 of a mile from where she was last seen. She was evacuated via UTV due to shortness of breath and hypothermia and then transported to Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh for further evaluation and treatment. Contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 to report lost and injured people in the backcountry.


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Essex County
Town of Schroon, Pharaoh Lake Wilderness
On Friday, August 30, at approximately 3:57 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from Warren County 911 reporting a hiker with a broken leg at a lean-to on Pharaoh Lake. Donna Ryan, 53, of Clifton Park, NY, was walking down the trail when she slipped on a wet surface and rolled her leg, resulting in a severe unstable lower leg injury. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded and splinted Ms. Ryan’s leg. A helicopter from State Police Aviation Unit responded with three additional DEC Forest Rangers. Two of the Forest Rangers were hoisted down to the site by the Forest Ranger operating the hoist mechanisms. The Forest Rangers placed Ms. Ryan in a harness and hoisted up to the helicopter. She was flow to a nearby landing zone in Chester managed by the Chester Volunteer Fire Department. Ms. Ryan was transferred to a North Warren EMS ambulance at 7:39 pm and transported to Glen Falls Hospital for further evaluation and treatment. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Town of Keene, High Peaks Wilderness
On Sunday, September 1, at approximately 6:18 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting a hiker in need of assistance on Algonquin Mountain. Aleck Wu, 21, of Toronto, Ontario was descending the mountain when started having difficulty hiking due to a pre-existing knee condition. A DEC Forest Ranger and an Assistant Forest Ranger responded and found Mr. Wu to be very dehydrated but still mobile. He was provided water and then escorted back to the Adirondack Loj. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness
On Sunday, September 8, at approximately 3:42 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a report from the DEC Johns Brook Caretaker of a hiker with a broken ankle on Lower Wolf Jaw. Sarah Houde, 33, of Ballston Spa, NY had been hiking Benny Brook Slide with her husband when the accident occurred. He hiked to the Johns Brook Loj to seek assistance. The DEC Caretaker accompanied the husband back to Ms. Houde to assess her condition and splinted her leg. A Forest Ranger was dispatched to the location as well, and while a second Forest Ranger accompanied the State Police Aviation Unit helicopter as the hoist operator. Ms. Houde was hoisted up to the helicopter and flown to Adirondack Medical Center in Lake Placid for further evaluation and treatment. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Town of Elizabethtown, Giant Mountain Wilderness
On Sunday, September 8, at approximately 1:45 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a report of an injured hiker on Bald Peak. Morgan Raith, 19, of Middlebury, VT, had slipped injuring her ankle and was unable to bear any weight on it. A DEC Forest Ranger responded and met Ms. Raith on the trail. The Forest Ranger along with members of Ms.Raith’s hiking group carried her out to the trailhead. Ms. Raith then returned to Vermont to seek medical attention on her own. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Town of St Armand, McKenzie Mountain Wilderness
On Monday, September 9, at approximately 5:23 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting two hikers in need of assistance. Jay Marchetti, 56, and Susan Marchetti, 55, both of Rainbow Lake, NY, were stranded in a swampy section of the Moose Pond area for over 3 hours and were unable to return without assistance. A DEC Forest Ranger responded with a canoe and quickly located the Marchettis in good condition. He rescued the pair from the wetland and brought them across Moose Pond by canoe where they were returned to their vehicle. Know the area you plan to hike. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.

Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness
On Monday, September 9, at approximately 4:30 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from two hikers that were lost and in need of assistance. Steven Allen, 49, of Mississauga, Ontario and Carmen Dragoste, 49, of Oakville, Ontario, had attempted to hike to Avalanche Pass from the Loj but became lost. A DEC Forest Ranger responded along with the DEC Marcy Dam Caretaker. Phone coordinates showed the subjects in the Pelkey Basin of Phelps Mountain. The Forest Ranger and Caretaker hiked in that direction while yelling for the two hikers without and response. DEC Dispatch contacted the Ms. Dragoste and Mr. Allen and requested they yell. The Forest Ranger was able to hear them yelling and used is compass to mark their location. The hikers were located near the summit of Phelps Mountain in good condition. After rehydrating, they were assisted back to Marcy Dam and then transported by UTV back to their vehicle. Know the area you plan to hike. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them. Be prepared to spend the night in the woods carry extra water, food and a shelter.

Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness
On Thursday, September 12, at approximately 10:29 am, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a report of an overdue hiker. Douglas Courtney, 57, of Somerville, ME, left a detailed hiking itinerary with family members stating that he would be out of the woods and in Saratoga Springs on Tuesday, September 10, but the family had not heard from him. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded to the South Meadows parking area and located Mr. Courtney’s vehicle. The Forest Rangers began searching the trails. At 4:00 pm, Mr. Courtney contacted Ray Brook Dispatch from the Adk Loj and stated that he had intentionally deviated from his original hiking plan and extended his trip by two days to continue doing day hikes from Marcy Dam. At no time had Mr. Courtney been lost or injured. Always inform someone of your itinerary. Inform them as soon as possible if you change your itinerary.

Town of Keene, Hurricane Mountain Wilderness
On Monday, September 16, 2013 at approximately 5:20 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call transferred from Essex Co 911 reporting a lost hiker. Phillip Ratner, 70, of Oakdale, NY, was lost off the trail between Little Crow Mountain and Big Crow Mountains. A forecast of below freezing temperatures and Mr. Ratner’s stated health issues provided a sense of urgency to the response. A DEC Forest Ranger responded and located Mr. Ratner in good condition near the summit of Big Crow at 6:10pm. He was escorted back to the trailhead without any further issues. Know your abilities and the area you plan to hike. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.

Town of North Elba, McKenzie Mountain Wilderness
On Wednesday, September 25, at approximately 3:50 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting two lost hikers on Whiteface Mountain. Stephen Bressett, 54, of Malone, NY and Patrick Dailey, 50, of Vero Beach, FL, had been following a trail from the Whiteface Mountain Memorial Highway but were now lost. Essex County 911 was able to obtain coordinates from their cell phone call. A DEC Forest Ranger responded by boat to Whiteface Landing and hiked up to the two men. They were both located in good health about halfway up to the summit and 0.2 mile off trail. At 7:00 pm Mr. Bressett and Mr. Daily were escorted back to the boat and eventually returned to their vehicle in the parking area near the summit of Whiteface Mountain. Know the area you plan to hike. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.

Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness
On Friday, September 20, 2013 at approximately 4:31 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting an injured hiker. Greg Elling, 51, of Ovid, NY, had injured his leg and was unable to move. A DEC Forest Ranger responded driving a UTV to the Marcy Dam and hiking from there. He located Mr. Elling 0.5 mile from Marcy Dam. The Forest Ranger assisted Mr. Elling down the trail to the UTV. He then transported the Mr. Elling back to his vehicle who then then sought further medical attention on his own. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness
On Saturday, September 21, at approximately 1:52 pm, a DEC Assistance Forest Ranger was notified by a passing hiker of an injured hiker just above the Phelps Junction on the VanHoevenberg Trail to Mt. Marcy. Robert Pierce, 75, of Rochester, NY, twisted his left ankle while hiking but was still slowly making his way down the trail. The Assistant Forest Ranger hiked to Mr. Pierce’s location, assessed and wrapped the injury. A DEC Forest Ranger and an additional Assistant Forest Ranger responded to assist. Mr. Pierce was assisted down to Marcy Dam and then provided transportation via UTV to his vehicle. He sought further medical treatment on his own. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness
On Saturday, September 21, at approximately 8:00 pm, a DEC Interior Caretaker was notified of an injured hiker on the VanHoevenberg Trail. Paule Lettourneau, 45, of Laval, Quebec, was hiking down Mt. Marcy when she twisted her knee. Other members of her hiking party assisted in helping her down the trail. The DEC Caretaker and an Assistant Forest Ranger responded to Ms. Lettourneau’s location and continued to assist her down to Marcy Dam. Ms. Lettourneau was provided transportation via UTV back to her vehicle where she decided to seek further medical treatment on her own. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Town of Newcomb, High Peaks Wilderness
On Friday, September 27, at 2:15 pm, a DEC Interior Caretaker was notified of an injured hiker in need of assistance. Kathleen Cudmore-Bokan, 40, of West Charlton, NY, dislocated her knee on Cliff Mountain. Her husband reset her knee and wrapped it in a bandage. The DEC Caretaker assisted the couple to the high water bridge and notified the DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook. One DEC Forest Ranger responded with a UTV and gave the couple a ride back to their vehicle. Ms. Cudmore-Bokan chose to seek further medical treatment on her own. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness
On Saturday, September 28, at approximately 5:41 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a report of an injured hiker. Michael Perlowski, 25, of Plattsburgh, NY, had dislocated his knee while hiking on the Avalanche Pass Trail. A DEC Forest Ranger and two DEC Interior Caretakers responded to Mr. Perlowski’s location. After assessing his injury, Mr.Perlowski was assisted down to Marcy Dam and then provided transportation via UTV out to his vehicle. He decided to seek further medical attention on his own. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Franklin County
Town of Harrietstown, Saranac Lake Wild Forest
On Tuesday, September 24, at approximately 3:40 pm, an on duty DEC Forest Ranger overheard radio traffic reporting an overturned canoe on Middle Saranac Lake. The DEC Forest Ranger responded to the scene along with Saranac Lake Fire Department. Gerald Zumchak, 68, and Susan Zumchak, 66, both of Syracuse, NY, were canoeing and were caught by the wind and capsized their canoe. With the help of their son they made it to the shore, but Mr. Zumchak was very cold and unable to get back in the canoe. Saranac Lake Fire Department brought the Mr. & Mrs. Zumchak out to Saranac Lake Rescue who transported Mr.Zumchak to AMC Saranac for further evaluation. Always wear a personal flotation device (PFD) when paddling.

Warren County
Town of Johnsburg, Wilcox Lake Wild Forest
On Sunday, September 1, at approximately 4:42 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting a hiker with an ankle injury. William Keck, 55, of Wading River, NY, was descending Crane Mountain when he slipped on the steep terrain and felt a snap in his ankle. Eight DEC Forest Rangers responded. Mr. Keck’s injury was assessed and splinted. He was hoisted up to a State Police Aviation Helicopter and flown to a nearby landing zone. There Mr. Keck was transferred to Johnsburg Rescue for transport. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Town of Bolton, Lake George Wild Forest
On Sunday, September 1, at approximately 7:15 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting a lost hiker. Mary Scanlon, 49, of Cicero, NY, was descending Cat Mountain when she became lost on the trail system and had no light or map with her. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded, located Ms. Scanlon and escorted her back to her vehicle. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them. Always carry a headlamp or flashlight and extra batteries.

Town of Bolton, Lake George Wild Forest
On Saturday, September 21, at approximately 7:45 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting hikers that were in need of assistance. Jeff Clark, 57, Janeellen Clark, 57 and Katherine Clark, 23, all of Ballston Spa, NY, had hiked to the summit of Cat Mountain at 2:30 pm. They decided to take the ‘Blue Trail’ to the summit of Thomas Mountain based on information obtained from the internet. When they reached Thomas Mountain it was dark and they had no headlamps or flashlights for the return trip. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded, located the Clark family and assisted them back to their vehicle. Always carry a headlamp or flashlight and extra batteries.

Town of Johnsburg, Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area
On Sunday, September 29, at approximately 5:23 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a report of a missing hiker. Carolyn Reynerd, 79, of Poughkeepsie, NY, was with a geology group hiking to an old garnet mine from Garnet Hill Lodge. She became separated from the main group and missed a turnoff at approximately 12:00pm. Three DEC Forest Rangers, a DEC Assistant Forest Ranger and Warren County Deputies responded to the search. At 7:15pm, Ms. Reynerd was located on steep ledges 0.25 mile from Garnet Hill Lodge. The Forest Rangers put Ms. Reynerd in a harness and lowered her down to level ground. She was assisted out and assessed by Johnsburg EMS. Ms. Reynerd declined any further treatment. Stay together when hiking in groups and know the location of all group members at all times.

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DEC Issues Draft Unit Management Plans for Firetower Historic Areas

October 16th, 2013 · No Comments · Adirondack News

DEC accepts comments on Draft Unit Management Plans until November 15

NYSDEC LogoThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released the draft unit management plans (UMPs) for the Hurricane Mountain Fire Tower Historic Area and the Saint Regis Mountain Fire Tower Historic Area, Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. The UMPs contain management proposals for the fire observation towers located on the summit of Hurricane Mountain in the Town of Keene, Essex County, and the summit of Saint Regis Mountain in the Town of Santa Clara, Franklin County. If approved and implemented, the UMPs would result in increased tourism opportunities in Essex and Franklin counties.

“As Governor Cuomo continues his commitment to spur tourism, the release of these draft unit management plans is another step in ensuring these historically significant resources will be enjoyed for many generations to come,” Commissioner Martens said. “Throughout the 20th century, fire towers played a critical role in the protection of New York State’s natural resources, and resuming maintenance of these structures for educational purposes will attract travelers and provide the public a better appreciation of that legacy.”

The Hurricane Mountain fire tower was discontinued for use as a fire observation station in 1979, and the Saint Regis Mountain fire tower was shut down in 1990. Both structures have been closed to the public ever since. The UMPs propose to restore the two fire towers to a condition that will accommodate full public access of the structures and include interpretive materials related to the towers’ history.

UMPs for each unit of State land in the Adirondack Park are required by the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan, which was amended in 2010 to create the two new Historic Areas. Previously, the summit of Hurricane Mountain was part of the Hurricane Mountain Primitive (now Wilderness) Area, and the summit of Saint Regis Mountain was part of the Saint Regis Canoe Area.

The plans are available for public review at DEC headquarters in Albany (625 Broadway) and DEC Region 5 headquarters in Ray Brook (1115 State Route 86). CDs of the plan will be available at these same locations, as well as the offices for the Town of Santa Clara in Franklin County and the Town of Keene in Essex County. The Hurricane UMP may be viewed or downloaded at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/78001.html and the Saint Regis UMP may be viewed or downloaded at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/78006.html.

DEC will accept comments on the draft UMPs today through November 15. Comments may be sent to Josh Clague, Natural Resources Planner, DEC, 625 Broadway – 5th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-4254 or emailed to lfadk@gw.dec.state.ny.us.

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DEC Opens Trail to Loon Lake Mountain Fire Tower

October 10th, 2013 · No Comments · Adirondack News

NYSDEC LogoA 2.8-mile trail to the fire tower on the summit of Loon Lake Mountain in the northern Adirondacks is complete and open to the public, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Robert Stegemann announced today.

“DEC is committed to providing greater access to the many natural and man-made features found on the forest preserve and conservation easement lands we manage,” said Director Stegemann.

The new trail includes a parking area and trailhead on the west side of County Route 26 in the Town of Franklin in Franklin County, approximately 4.7 miles north of the hamlet of Loon Lake. The trailhead and the lower portion of the trail are on the Kushaqua Tract Conservation Easement Lands (CEL), while the upper portion is on forest preserve lands in the Debar Mountain Wild Forest.

The trail rises more than 1,600 feet from the trailhead to the 2,264-foot summit of Loon Lake Mountain. The open bedrock summit provides views of Lyon Mountain, Whiteface Mountain, the High Peaks Wilderness Area, Debar Mountain and other nearby summits.

The Loon Lake Fire Tower is a 35-foot Aermotor tower that was originally erected in 1917. It was rebuilt in 1928 after being blown over by hurricane force winds in the winter of 1927-28. The fire tower is listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places. Presently the fire tower is not open to the public and the bottom set of stair risers has been removed to discourage the public from climbing the tower or accessing the cab.

The trail, trailhead and parking were constructed this past summer by DEC Region 5 Operations crews and members of the Student Conservation Association (SCA) Adirondack Program. The facilities could not have been provided without the cooperation of the owner of the conservation easement lands, Lyme Timber Company of Hanover, New Hampshire.

The Town of Franklin Highway Department will plow the parking area in the winter to allow access to the trail and surrounding forest preserve and conservation easement lands by winter recreation enthusiasts for activities like hiking, hunting, trapping, skiing and snowshoeing.

The Loon Lake Mountain trailhead/parking area is located on County Route 26, approximately 7.8 miles north of its intersection with State Route 3 which is approximately 16 miles east of Saranac Lake.

Campers using either of the two campsites on the Plumadore-Inman Public Use Area on the east side of County Route 26 in the Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands are encouraged to use the new Loon Lake Mountain trailhead/parking area.

Food and gas can be found in the nearby communities of Vermontville, Bloomingdale, Gabriels and Redford. The closest available lodging opportunities are available in Saranac Lake and Lake Placid, and a wide variety of developed and primitive camping opportunities are available in-season within a 20-mile radius of the trailhead.

A map of the trail and surrounding area can be viewed and downloaded from the DEC website at Loon Lake Mountain Trail Map.

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The New York State Police continue efforts in the search for Colin Gillis

September 20th, 2013 · No Comments · Adirondack News

The New York State Police, in conjunction with New York State DEC and Forest Rangers, are reminding the public of a missing person case, hoping they can assist in the search.

Missing Child - Colin Gillis

On March 11, 2012 around 2:00 AM, Colin Gillis, age 18, of Tupper Lake, New York, was last seen walking along State Route 3 between Tupper Lake and Piercefield. At the time, Gillis was wearing a white T-shirt with black stripes, blue jeans, red sneakers and a red and black down jacket. He is 6 foot tall, 170 lbs, and has blonde hair and blue eyes.

State Police are reminding those who are planning on participating in the upcoming hunting seasons, to be observant for anything unusual or out of the ordinary while they are in the woods. If the public observes anything they wish to report, or has any information in regards to Colin’s disappearance, contact the New York State Police at (518) 897-2000.

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11th Annual Great Adirondack Birding Celebration

April 22nd, 2013 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Paul Smith’s College VIC 31 May – 2 June 2013

Adirondack Bird WatchingThe 11th annual Great Adirondack Birding Celebration is scheduled for 31 May – 2 June 2013, at the Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) in Paul Smiths, New York. The event will feature field trips to boreal birding hot spots, informative lectures, and workshops. Field trips include: an all-day Birding Across the Adirondacks trip on Friday, plus a selection of half-day field trips on Saturday and Sunday (Birding by Ear at the VIC, Beginner Birder Workshop at the VIC, Bloomingdale Bog, Intervale Lowlands, Little Clear Pond for loons, Madawaska Flow, Spring Pond Bog, and Whiteface Mountain).

The keynote speaker on Friday night is Sara R. Morris, professor of Biology and the Program Coordinator of the Environmental Science Program at Canisius College. Dr. Morris will speak on bird migration. The keynote speaker on Saturday night is Michale Glennon, Coordinator for the Adirondack Program at the Wildlife Conservation Society. Dr. Glennon will speak on the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Boreal Bird Project.

Some of the boreal species that participants in the Great Adirondack Birding Celebration hope to find include the Black-backed Woodpecker, American Three-toed Woodpecker, Boreal Chickadee, Spruce Grouse, Bicknell’s Thrush and a variety of migrating warblers.

The 3,000-acre Paul Smiths VIC contains every habitat type found in the Adirondack Park with the exception of alpine vegetation. Included on the property is a 60-acre marsh, five ponds, several brooks and swamps, bogs, fens, and varied forest types, most notably northern boreal forest. The site includes significant glacial and geological features and provides scenic vistas of Saint Regis Mountain and Jenkins Mountain. The VIC property includes 6 miles of interpretive trails and 8 miles of back country trails for spring, summer, and fall use.

Festival Hours:

Friday, 31 May: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Saturday, 1 June: 6:00 AM to 8:30 PM
Sunday, 2 June: 6:00 AM to 11:30 AM

Preregistration is required. Registration opens 1 May 2013.

For more information: http://bit.ly/17IyIiL

(Photo: Courtesy of ARTC)

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