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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 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’s August & September Search and Rescue Report

January 11th, 2013 · No Comments · News

The Adirondacks - Our Great National Playground
A little bit scary how many people are heading into the woods unprepared.
Full report after the jump.

  • Lost hikers and biker – Stay together when hiking in groups and know the location of all group members at all times. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them. Always carry a flashlight or headlamp and extra batteries. Always inform someone of your itinerary including an expected return time.
  • Bee sting and other injuries – Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact the DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.
  • Exausted people and dog – Know your abilities, the area you plan to hike, and the abilities of your hiking partner, including pets; be sure that all are capable of any planned hikes.

Read the rest of this entry »

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New York State Police investigate fatal rafting accident

September 28th, 2012 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Guide was intoxicated

New York State PoliceOn September 27, 2012, at approximately 12:00 p.m., New York State Police from Indian Lake and Ray Brook responded to Chain Lakes Road in the town of Indian Lake for a report of a missing rafter. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation personnel, as well as members of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department, Indian Lake rescue squad, and Indian Lake Fire Department also responded to assist in the investigation.

Investigation revealed that Rory F. Fay, age 37, of North Creek, New York, was operating a raft on the Indian River as a New York State licensed guide, employed by the Hudson River Rafting Company. Fay had two passengers in the raft with him who were identified as Richard J. Clar, age 53, and Tamara F. Blake, age 53, both of Colombus, Ohio. At approximately 10:20 a.m., and while on the Indian River, Fay and Blake were ejected from the raft in whitewater conditions. Clar was able to stay within the raft and eventually steer it to the shoreline. Fay was able to swim to the shoreline. Clar and Fay walked to Chain Lakes Road where they were able to obtain assistance. Blake was unable to be located and authorities were notified.

New York State Police Aviation was utilized to search the river and Blake’s body was discovered approximately five miles down stream in the Hudson River. Essex County Coroner Walter Marvin Jr. authorized transport of Blake’s body by State Police and NYS DEC personnel to Chain Lakes Road. Marvin transported the body to the Adirondack Medical Center Morgue in Saranac Lake, New York, for an autopsy scheduled to be conducted on September 28, 2012.

State Police determined that Rory Fay was intoxicated while transporting Clar and Blake on the rafting trip. State Police consulted with Hamilton County District Attorney Marsha Purdue and Fay was arrested for Criminally Negligent Homicide regarding the death of Blake. Fay was subsequently arraigned before Indian Lake Town Justice Judy Durken and remanded to the Hamilton County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail or $100,000 bond.

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Fall Festival at the Adirondack Museum

September 14th, 2012 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Adirondack MuseumJoin the Adirondack Museum for the annual Fall Festival on Saturday, September 29, 2012. The festival will include fantastic fall fun for every member of the family with pumpkin painting, wagon and pony rides, apple cider pressing, arts and crafts, music and much more.

Visitors of all ages can climb aboard a rustic wagon, take a seat on a hay bale, and enjoy a leisurely ride around the museum’s grounds. Young children can enjoy a pony ride on center campus with Circle B Ranch. A 4-season ranch located in Chestertown, N.Y., Circle B Ranch is open year round. For more information visit: www.circlebranch.net.

Fall Festival at the Adirondack MuseumJoin award-winning singer/songwriter Erica Wheeler for camp songs throughout the day. Ms. Wheeler will offer a journey through songs that were written by people who have worked and played in the Adirondacks. From campfire sing-a-longs, to railroad and logging songs, Wheeler will combine her own songs and stories with traditional ones from the area. Erica’s programs have a way of helping people appreciate their “sense of place” more deeply and see familiar places through fresh new eyes. Sets will take place at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.

Activities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Fall Festival include: pumpkin painting (while supplies last), apple cider pressing and cider samples (also while supplies last), and fantastic fall crafts.

This event takes place on National Smithsonian Museum Day. Go to the Smithsonian Magazine website, print the coupon and visit us for free during our Fall Festival!

Media sponsorship of the Fall Festival is provided by Kids Out and About.com.

The Adirondack Museum, accredited by the American Association of Museums, shares the history and culture of the Adirondack region in 22 exhibits on a 32-acre campus in the Central Adirondacks. The museum is supported in part by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency. For additional information, visit www.adirondackmuseum.org or call (518) 352-7311.

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DEC Region 5 Forest Ranger’s June/July Search and Rescue Report

August 15th, 2012 · No Comments · Adirondack News

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Essex County
Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness Area
On Thursday, June 7, 2012, at about 9:11 am, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting an injured hiker at Marcy Dam. Melis Bursin, 28, of New York City, NY, had injured her ankle. The DEC Marcy Dam Caretaker assisted the woman stabilizing the injury. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded and transported Ms. Bursin by UTV to the trailhead at 10:20 pm. Ms. Burstin sought medical attention 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.

Town of Keene, Eastern High Peaks Wilderness Area
On Friday, June 8, 2012, at about 1:25 am, DEC Central Dispatch received a call reporting two overdue hikers. Kathleen Gavin, 20, and Ernesto Perez, 26, both of New York City, NY, had planned a day hike of the Wolfjaw-Gothics Loop and were expecting to return that evening. A DEC Forest Ranger responded and found their vehicle still located at the St. Hubert’s parking lot where they had signed in the trail registry. Four more DEC Fores Rangers responded to assist in the search. The pair of hikers was located at 6:30 am in good condition, although very tired. They had taken a wrong turn and eventually found their way to the John*s Brook Lodge. Forest Rangers escorted them to the Garden Trailhead at 8:43 am. They were given a courtesy ride back to their vehicle. Know your abilities and the area you plan to hike. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.

Town of Wilmington, High Peaks Wilderness Area
On Friday, June 8, 2012, at about 10:32 am, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from Essex County 911 reporting a person who had injured his legs jumping in The Flume on the West Branch Ausable River. Four DEC Forest Rangers, Wilmington Fire and Rescue and Lake Placid Fire and Rescue all responded to the scene. Timothy McCaffrey, 28, of Port Henry, NY, was packaged and airlifted via Life Flight to Fletcher Allen Hospital. Know your abilities and the area you plan to recreate.

Town of Keene, Dix Mountain Wilderness Area
On Sunday, June 10, 2012, at about 2:44 pm a DEC Forest Ranger on patrol came upon a motorcycle accident on Route 73 in the town of Keene. Gregory Pruer, 37, of Wantaugh, NY and his passenger were seriously injured in the accident. The Forest Ranger secured the scene and called DEC Ray Brook Dispatch for additional emergency response resources. Keene Valley Fire and Rescue and the State Police responded to the scene. Mr. Pruer was packaged and transported to Marcy Field where State Police Aviation flew him to Fletcher Allen Hospital. The passenger on the motorcycle was packaged and transported to Elizabethtown Community Hospital. Forest Rangers have police officer status and are first responders.

Town of Schroon, Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area
On Friday, June 15, 2012, at about 7:11 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from a DEC Assistant Forest Ranger reporting an injured person. Robert Johnson, 23, of Bloomington, MN, was working as a member of the Student Conservation Association Adirondack Program*s Trail Crew when he fell and was unable to bear any weight on his leg. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded and assisted Mr. Johnson out to the trailhead, where he was able to drive himself to Glens Falls Hospital for evaluation. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact the DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness Area
On Saturday, June 16, 2012, at about 9:55 pm, a DEC Forest Ranger on routine patrol near Marcy Dam encountered a distressed hiker. Jacob Kwiatkoski, 20, of Fort Plains, NY, appeared to be severely dehydrated. Two more DEC Forest Forests and an Assistant Forest Ranger responded. Mr. Kwiatkowski was evacuated to South Meadows Road on UTV via the Marcy Truck Trail. They were met by Lake Placid Ambulance who transported the young man to the Adirondack Medical Center for medical evaluation and treatment. Drink plenty of water and rest often when hiking, particular during hot weather.

Town of North Elba, McKenzie Mountain Wilderness
On Monday, June 18, 2012, at about 5:13 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from Ashley Jones, 53, of Willow Peak, PA, stating that she was lost near the base of Baker Mountain. Ms. Jones and her two children, a 12 year old boy and 14 year old girl, had hiked over the east side of the mountain to the shores of North Bay of McKenzie Pond. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded and boated across the pond to North Bay. The family was located and transported back to shore. They were provided a courtesy ride back to their vehicle at the Baker Mountain Trailhead. Know the area you plan to hike. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.

Town of North Elba, Eastern High Peaks Wilderness Area
On Sunday, June 24, 2012, at about 2:04 pm, a DEC Assistant Forest Ranger (AFR) was notified by a passing hiker of an injured hiker near the Uphill Brook lean-to. At about 2:20 pm the AFR located Margaret McGrath, 57, of Kingston, NY. Ms. McGrath had hiked Marcy, Grey and Skylight Mountains with her hiking party when she rolled her ankle at 12:30pm near the Uphill Brook lean-to. The AFR splinted Ms. McGrath’s ankle and assisted her to the Lake Colden Outpost. They then rowed across Avalanche Lake where they were met by another DEC Forest Ranger on a UTV. Ms. McGrath was taken to the Adirondack Loj Trailhead at 7:25pm. She was released to seek further medical assistance 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.

Town of Newcomb, Dix Mountain Wilderness Area
On Sunday, June 24, 2012, at about 9:30 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting two overdue hikers. Thomas Cummings, 66, and Daria Cummings, 36, both of Monroe, CT, left the Schroon Lake Bed and Breakfast at 6:00am to climb Cliff and Redfield Mountains via the Upper Works Trailhead. A DEC Forest Ranger responded and found the overdue hikers’ vehicles at the trailhead. The Forest Ranger came across the pair walking out on their own near the trailhead. They reported they had been delayed due to the weather. Both were in good condition. Always inform someone of your itinerary.

Town of Wilmington, McKenzie Mountain Wilderness
On Sunday, July 1, 2012, at about 8:27pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting an injured hiker on the Connery Pond Trail near Whiteface Landing. Bridget Ness, 23, of Lake Worth, FL, was hiking at dusk when she fell, striking her knee on a rock. She was not carrying a light or a map. A DEC Forest Ranger responded and located Ms. Ness at about 9:45 pm. Ms. Ness was able to walk back to the trailhead with assistance from the Forest Ranger. She was returned to her vehicle at 10:25 pm declining further medical assistance. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them. Carry a flashlight or headlamp at all times.

Town of North Elba, Eastern High Peaks Wilderness
On Sunday, July 1, 2012, at about 2:42 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook was notified by the Cascade Summit Steward of a woman on the trail with an injured ankle. Yoseph Middleton, 38, of Montreal, Quebec, was about a quarter mile from the summit when she fell and injured her ankle. She was unable to bear any weight on the ankle. Three DEC Forest Rangers responded along with State Police Aviation from Lake Clear. Ms. Middleton was picked up from the summit and taken to Adirondack Medical Center in Lake Placid at 4:30 pm. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact the DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness Area
On Tuesday, July 3, 2012, at about 9:25 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from Shawn Kilty, 41, and Tanya Hedlund, age unknown, both of New York City, NY. The pair reported they had hiked Phelps Mountain but had lost their way coming down. They had a map and headlamps, but no compass to orient them. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded and were able to make cell phone contact with Mr. Kilty and Ms. Hedlund. The pair described the areas they had hiked and were instructed to return to the bridge they had previously crossed. At 11:20 pm they called the Forest Ranger stating that they were at the “High Water Bridge” on the VanHoevenberg Trail. At 11:30pm, the Marcy Dam Interior Caretaker located the pair at the bridge in good condition. They were escorted to Marcy Dam and pointed them in the right direction back to the Adirondack Loj Trailhead. Know the area you plan to hike. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.

Town of Jay, Jay Mountain Wilderness Area
On Monday, July 9, 2012, at about 1:00 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from Essex County 911 reporting an injured hiker on Jay Mountain. Linda Siciliano, 53, of Staten Island, NY, was hiking Jay Mountain when she slipped and fell injuring her ankle. Three DEC Forest Rangers responded, stabilized Ms. Siciliano ankle, packaged her and carried her back to the trailhead. They were met by Wilmington Ambulance who transported her to Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh for further medical 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 Keene, Giant Mountain Wilderness Area
On Tuesday, July 10, 2012, at about 4:12 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from Essex County 911 reporting a hiker in need of medical attention on the summit of Giant Mountain. A 16 year old female from Ithaca, NY, was hiking with her aunt when she became distressed. Three DEC Forest Rangers responded to the scene along with State Police Aviation. The teenage girl was hoisted off the mountain to Marcy Field in Keene Valley. She was transported by Keene Valley Rescue to Elizabethtown Hospital for treatment at 5:52pm. Two Forest Rangers escorted the rest of the hiking party off the mountain and back to their vehicles at the trailhead. Drink plenty of water and rest often when hiking, particular during hot weather.

Town of St Armand, McKenzie Mountain Wilderness
On Wednesday, July 11, 2012, at about 3:50 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from Essex County 911 reporting a hiker in need of medical attention on the summit of Baker Mountain. A 12 year old boy from Watertown, NY, was in distress. A DEC Forest Ranger responded with members of the Saranac Lake Fire Department and Rescue Squad. The boy was treated and carried out to the trailhead. The Rescue Squad transported him to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake from there. Drink plenty of water and rest often when hiking, particular during hot weather.

Town of North Elba, Eastern High Peaks Wilderness Area
On Saturday, July 14, 2012, at about 5:00 pm, a DEC Assistant Forest Ranger (AFR) at the Lake Colden Outpost received a report of a hiker who had been separated from his hiking partner. George Shields, 53, of Lewisburg, PA, was hiking Mt. Marshall via Herbert Brook with his son. They became separated at about 2:00 pm and Mr. Shields had not been seen since. The AFR, assisted by two Student Conservation Association Backcountry Stewards, searched the nearby trails into the night without locating Mr. Shields. Plans were made for five DEC Forest Rangers begin searching from the Upper Works and Adirondack Trailheads at 6:00 am the following morning. At about 1:54 am, Mr. Shields arrived at the Lake Colden Outpost by his own efforts. He was suffering from a number of injuries including cuts and scrapes on his legs. The AFR applied first aid and in the morning assisted Mr. Shields to Avalanche Lake. A Forest Ranger met them there with a UTV and transported him the trailhead. Mr. Shields drove himself to the Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake for further medical treatment. Stay together when hiking in groups and know the location of all group members at all times.

Town of Willsboro, Private Property
On July 24, 2012, at about 11:23 am, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook was notified by State Police of three lost hikers on Rattlesnake Mountain. Karen Curtin, 56, and Catherine Curtin, 20, both of Plattsburgh, NY, and Justin Curtin, 19, of Newport Ritchie, FL, were hiking when two of them were stung by bees. Two DEC Forest Rangers and State Police responded to locate the three hikers. While in route, DEC Dispatch was able to contact by phone and learned they had begun moving on their own. They came upon a dirt road which they followed until they found a seasonal camp. The three were met there and transported back to the place they were staying. Know the area you plan to hike. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.

Franklin County
Town of Brighton, Private Land
On Saturday, June 16, 2012, at about 4:11 pm, a DEC Forest Ranger was contacted directly and informed of a distressed hiker on Paul Smith College*s VIC property. The Forest Ranger responded and located Donna Pepin, 48, of Mooers, NY, on the trail between Black Pond and Long Pond Trail. The Forest Ranger gave Ms. Pepin fluids and food. She was then escorted back to the parking area and reunited with her family. Drink plenty of water, eat food to keep up your energy and rest often – especially during hot weather.

Town of Harrietstown, Saranac Lake Wild Forest
On Sunday, June 24, 2012, at about 8:10 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting an overdue hiker near Shingle Bay Mountain, north of Lower Saranac Lake. Casey Michaels, 24, of Saranac Lake, NY, had been hiking with a group but became separated at about 5:00 pm. Three DEC Forest Rangers responded and searched for Mr. Michaels without success until 1:00 am. At 7am, searching resumed with eight additional DEC Forest Rangers and a team from Search and Rescue of the Northern Adirondacks (SARNAK). Mr. Michaels was located at 9:00 am near Black Pond. He reported that after becoming separated from his group he built a campfire and stayed for the night. At day break Mr. Michaels began to walk out but became cold. He stopped and built another campfire to keep warm. Forest Rangers found him huddled by the campfire and in good condition. They escorted Mr. Michaels out of the woods and he needed no further assistance. All personnel were clear of the search by 10:30am. Have the skills, knowledge and equipment to spend an unexpected night in the woods.

Town of Harrietstown, High Peaks Wilderness Area
On Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at about 3:45pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting a hiker with an ankle injury near the summit of Ampersand Mountain. Julie Shahin, 53, of Rochester, NY, was able to move but was still in need of assistance. Three DEC Forest Rangers responded reaching Ms. Shahin at 5:50 pm. The Forest Rangers applied a splint to her injured ankle and assisted her down the mountain reaching the trailhead at 7:10 pm. Ms. Shahin sought medical attention 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.

Town of Harrietstown, Saranac Lake Wild Forest
On Sunday, July 22, 2012, at about 9:23 am, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting a boater in need of medical assistance. Ruth Kuhfahl, 88, of Keene Valley, NY, had been incapacitated and overturned her canoe on Middle Saranac Lake. Two DEC Forest Rangers and Saranac Lake Fire and Rescue responded. Ms. Kuhfahl was had been brought to a water access only private camp where she was met by the emergency responders. She was evacuated by boat to the South Creek water access site and placed into Saranac Lake Rescue Squad ambulance. Ms. Kuhfahl was transported to the Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake for evaluation and treatment. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact the DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Hamilton County
Town of Indian Lake, Siamese Pond Wilderness Area
On Thursday, June 7, 2012, at about 11:30 pm, DEC Central Dispatch received a call from a person concerned about a car in the Chimney Mountain Trailhead parking lot after 10:00 pm. A check of its license plates determined that it was owned by John Keck 28, of Jersey City, NJ. An hour later New York State Police confirmed the car was still in the parking lot. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded to the trailhead and reviewed of the trail registry. They learned that Mr. Keck and a second person had signed in indicating they planned to go to Eagle Cave on a day trip. The Forest Rangers checked the cave and the summit, eventually locating Mr. Keck and a 15 year old male from Quarrville, PA in a designated campsite below the summit. After signing in the pair had decided to camp and explore the cave the following day. Having ensured Mr. Keck and the teenage were safe and not in any distress the Forest Rangers returned to their vehicles. Always inform someone of your itinerary. Always sign in and out of trailhead registers.

Town of Indian Lake, Sargent Pond Wild Forest
On Thursday, June 21, 2012, at 9:25 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from Hamilton County 911 advising of a group of 8 adults lost on Castle Rock Mountain north of Blue Mountain Lake. Laura Gates, 33, Joannie Lombardi, 33, Kent Walding, 43, Tony Lopez, 36, Holly Sheriff, 45, Zack Cocayne, 38, and Calma Edwards, 50, had been hiking with Carol VanDersen, 51, of Highland, IL, who had injured her knee and was unable to walk. The group was advised to build a fire and stay put. Three DEC Forest Rangers responded and, spotting the campfire, located the group about 1 mile from the trailhead. Forest Rangers escorted the group back to the trailhead helping Ms. VanDersen to walk out. Upon reaching the trailhead Ms. VanDersen indicated she would seek medical treatment on her own. Know your abilities and the area you plan to hike. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them. Carry a flashlight or headlamp at all times.

Town of Arietta, Ferris Lake Wild Forest
On Friday, June 22, 2012, at about 3:42 am, DEC Central Dispatch received a call reporting an injured camper who was struck on the head by a small tree. John Perkins, 24, of Webster, NY, was conscious, but experiencing a lot of pain. Mr. Perkins was at a remote campsite along the Powley Piseco Road. A DEC Forest Ranger and the Piseco Emergency Medical Services responded evacuating Mr. Perkins from his campsite at 4:50am. He was transported via ambulance to Gloversville and from there by helicopter to Albany Medical Center. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact the DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Town of Arietta, West Canada Lake Wilderness
On Wednesday, June 27, 2012, at about 2:30 am, DEC Central Dispatch received a call reporting that two family members hiking the Northville-Placid Trail had not reported in as scheduled. Tim Jones, 54, of Binghamton, NY, and his 15 year old son had sent a Spot Locator message on Monday indicating they had arrived at Spruce Lake and were on schedule. No message was received on Tuesday night and the caller was concerned about their safety. At 6:30 am, a DEC Forest Ranger responded and began hiking into the second lean-to on the Cedar Lakes, the hiker*s intended destination for the previous night. The Forest Ranger arrived at the lean-to at 11:45 am and found no sign of the father and son. The Forest Ranger continued south on the Northville Placid Trail searching for the pair. Four additional Forest Rangers and a float plane were assigned to assist the search effort. At 12:50pm first Forest Ranger located Mr. Jones and his son in good condition near the third lean-to on the Cedar Lakes in good condition. According to Mr. Jones, they were behind schedule and spent the night at South Lake. He had sent a Spot Locator message the previous night with their location, but it was never recorded on their home computer. The father and son continued their hike of the Northville-Placid Trail. Always inform someone of your itinerary. Use technology to keep safe when hiking, but remember it is not infallible.

Town of Indian Lake, Sargent Pond Wild Forest
On Wednesday, July 4, 2012, at 5:41 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting a lost hiker in an area north of Blue Mountain Lake. Darwin Fishman, 42, of Coran, NY, was descending Castle Rock when he lost the trail. A DEC Forest Ranger responded and located Mr. Fishman in good condition about a half mile from the trailhead at about 6:13 pm. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.

Town of Indian Lake, Blue Mountain Wild Forest
On Thursday, July 5, 2012, at about 3:26 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from Hamilton County 911 reporting an injured hiker near the summit of Blue Mountain. Christian Hall, 18, of Potterspine, GA, fell and injured an ankle while descending from the summit. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded to the scene to assess the person’s injuries while State Police Aviaton responded from Lake Clear with another Forest Ranger. Mr. Hall was air lifted from the summit of the mountain to Blue Mountain Lake at 5:20 pm. He was taken by private vehicle to seek further medical attention. 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, Lake George Wild Forest
On Wednesday, June 20, 2012, at about 2:11 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from Warren County 911 reporting a distressed hiker on the Tongue Mountain Range. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded and located Rebecca Cariati, 28, of Glenmont, NY near French Point Mountain. Due to the extreme temperatures and the complex nature of her symptoms the Forest Rangers determined that she should be airlifted. Personnel from Lower Adirondack Wilderness Medical Rescue Team also responded and began treating Ms. Cariati. A State Police Aviation Unit helicopter picked up Ms. Cariati and transported her to the Warren County airfield. She was met there by an ambulance and taken to a nearby hospital for further treatment. Drink plenty of water, eat food to keep up your energy and rest often – especially during hot weather.

Town of Horicon, Lake George Wild Forest
On Saturday, July 21, 2012, at about 1:07 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from Warren County 911 reporting a lost hiker. Alena Gawronski, 32, of Glendale, NY, stated that she left Pilgrim Camp in the town of Horicon hiking on the red trail. She lost the trail and had been off trail for about two hours. Three DEC Forest Rangers responded and were able to locate her based on her cell phone coordinates and the location description provided. Ms. Gawronski was located and escorted out of the woods by 1:37 pm. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.

Washington County
Town of Fort Ann, Private Land
On Wednesday, July 4, 2012, at about 3:20 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting a lost hiker. Joshua Heid, 18, of Neehah, WI, was hiking around Crossett Lake in Ft. Ann but had separated from his hiking party. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded and were able to make contact with Mr. Heid via cell phone. The Forest Rangers provided him directions and he was able to exit the woods on his own. Mr. Heid was provided a courtesy ride to return to the rest of the hiking party. Stay together when hiking in groups and know the location of all group members at all times.

Town of Fort Ann, Lake George Wild Forest
On Wednesday, July 4, 2012, at about 4:12 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a report of an injured hiker on the Sleeping Beauty Trail. One DEC Forest Ranger and the West Fort Ann Fire Department responded. Adrian Gough, 63, of Lake George, NY, was located about a half mile from the trailhead. The Forest Ranger and Fire Department personnel stabilized Mr. Gough’s injuries. He was evacuated to the trailhead and transported by West Fort Ann Fire Department Ambulance to Glens Falls Hospital for further evaluation and 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 Fort Ann, Lake George Wild Forest
On Monday, July 16, 2012, at about 12:45 pm, DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from Washington County 911 reporting a hiker needing medical attention. Yarden Fischer, 27, of East Brunswick, NJ, was in distress near Buck Mountain on the Pilot Knob Trail. North Queensbury Rescue and Pilot Knob Fire Department responded providing initial treatment and evacuating Mr. Fischer by ATV to the trailhead. Two DEC Forest Rangers also responded providing assistance at the trailhead. Emergency responders arrived at the trailhead with Mr. Fischer at 3:00 pm. He was arrived placed in North Queensbury Rescue ambulance and transported a nearby hospital for further evaluation and treatment. Drink plenty of water, eat food to keep up your energy and rest often – especially during hot weather.

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DEC Region 5 Forest Ranger’s Spring Search and Rescue Report

June 20th, 2012 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Essex County

Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness
On Saturday, March 10, at about 3:30 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a report from a DEC Forest Ranger regarding an injured woman at the Calamity Brook Lean-to. Shauna DeSantis, 57, of Glens Falls, NY, injured her knee and ankle and was unable to walk on her own. A New York State Police Aviation Unit helicopter was requested and dispatched to the area. The Lake Colden caretaker and another Forest Ranger also responded. Ms. DeSantis was hoisted out and airlifted to Adirondack Medical Center in Lake Placid at 5:10 p.m. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact the DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Town of Keene, High Peaks Wilderness
On Friday, April 20, at about 5:04 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a request for assistance from a hiking group on the Brothers. A member of their group, Christopher PowersO’dor, of Binghamton, NY, was in distress and was unable to walk on his own. Three DEC Forest Rangers responded and reached the group about 2.5 miles from the Garden Trailhead at about 5:21 p.m. The Forest Rangers provided food and water and assisted walking Mr. PowersO’Dor to the trailhead. He was transferred to Keene Valley Rescue ambulance for transport to the Adirondack Medical Center in Lake Placid at 9:22 p.m. Know your abilities. Drink plenty of water, eat food to keep up you energy and rest often.

Town of Newcomb, Dix Mountain Wilderness
On Thursday, May 3, at about 11:10 p.m., DEC Central Dispatch in Albany received a phone call from Essex County 911 reporting five hikers overdue from a day hike. David Guirola, Jessica Lasprilla, Yandy Rodriguez, Edward Garcia and Kevin Gonzales (no ages available) all of Miami, FL had left from an inn at Schroon Lake at 10 a.m. and traveled to the Upper Works Trailhead for a hike into the High Peaks. When they had not returned by 11 p.m. staff at the inn
called 911.

While two DEC Forest Rangers prepared to respond to the search, a State Police Trooper reported locating the group’s vehicle in the Upper Works Trailhead parking lot. The two Forest Rangers searched the trails through the rainy night to no avail. The next morning six additional forest rangers joined the search, with two entering the High Peaks Wilderness from the north. At 10:05 a.m. the group was located near Calamity Brook. They were wet and cold but otherwise healthy. After rehydrating and warming them, Forest Rangers escorted the group back to their vehicle. Know your abilities and the area you plan to hike. Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them. Carry a flashlight or headlamp at all times.

Town of Elizabethtown, Giant Mountain Wilderness
On Thursday, May 17, at about 10:30 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from Essex County 911 reporting an injured camper who had fallen about 30 feet at the Split Rock Falls in Elizabethtown. William Tayler, 19, of Gansevoort, NY, was suffering from a possible head injury and broken bones. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded and along with volunteers from Keene Valley Fire Department, Elizabethtown Fire Department and Backcountry Search & Rescue. Mr. Tayler was packaged and carried out to an awaiting Elizabethtown Emergency Medical Squad ambulance. He was transported to Elizabethtown Hospital and then on to Albany Medical Center by a New York State Police Aviation Unit helicopter. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact the DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Town of Keene, High Peaks Wilderness
On Tuesday, May 22, at about 9:30 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from the hiking partner of man reported lost on the west side of the Ausable Lakes valley. After climbing over Lower Wolfjaw Mountain, the pair had descended to the Wedge Brook Trail to a campsite. The partner left to scout the area and upon return found Jason Wainwright, 20, of Cheektowaga, NY gone. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded and proceeded to the Wedge Brook Trail. Mr. Wainwright was located after one hour of searching the intersection of the Wedge Brook and West River trails. When hiking in groups, even pairs, stay together – know the location of all group members at all times.

Town of North Elba, Eastern High Peaks Wilderness
On Saturday, May 26, at about 4:20 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a report from Essex County 911 of an injured hiker. Valerie Scanlon, 62, of Troy, NY, was descending the VanHovenburg Trail about one mile above Indian Falls when she fell and struck a rock causing multiple minor injuries. Two DEC Forest Rangers and an Assistant Forest Ranger responded. They assisted Ms. Scanlon down to Marcy Dam, where she was evacuated by UTV and given treatment for her injuries. She drove herself to Adirondack Medical Center in Lake Placid for further evaluation and 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 North Hudson, High Peaks Wilderness
On Sunday, May 27, at about 12:55 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a report from a DEC Assistant Forest Ranger of an injured hiker. Kevin Seaman, 44, of Walworth, NY, was hiking on Big Slide Trail and while descending the slid 100 feet down the trail before landing on his feet, being thrown forward and hitting his head. He continued on until he encountered an Assistant Forest Ranger on patrol. Mr. Seaman complained of severe back pain and explained what had happened. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded in a State Police Aviation Unit helicopter. Mr. Seaman was stabilized on a backboard, given first aid and hoisted to the helicopter. He was flown directly to Fletcher Allen Hospital in Burlington, VT. Don’t hike alone Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact the DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Town of Keene, High Peaks Wilderness
On Monday, May 28, at about 8:18 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from a hiker who was in distress. Jim Kirkby, 55, of Ray Brook, NY, was descending Lower Wolf Jaw with his daughter towards the Rooster Comb Trailhead. He was experiencing problems due to a medical condition. Neither he nor his daughter had headlamps with them and he was concerned that they would get caught in the dark. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded and located Mr. Kirkby and his daughter about 1 mile from the trailhead. After providing Mr. Kirkby with food and water, the Forest Rangers escorted the pair back to their vehicle. Mr. Kirkby refused any further medical attention. Monitor your health and carry any required medication with you when hiking. Carry a flashlight or headlamp at all times.

Town of Willsboro, Private Land
On Thursday, May 31, at about 9:18 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting two lost hikers on Rattlesnake Mountain. Chuck Ko and Colin Yost, both 19 years old and from Plattsburgh, NY, had reached the mountain summit at 8:00 p.m. but lost the trail when they were descending at about 9:00 p.m. Neither Ko or Yost had warm clothing or headlamps. Three DEC Forest Rangers responded and located the two men at 11:18 p.m. in good condition. They were escorted out of the woods and back to their vehicle. Be prepared to spend an unexpected night in the woods and pack plenty of food and water, extra clothing, flashlight/headlamp, ensolite pads, stove and extra fuel, and bivy sack or space blanket.

Town of Keene, High Peaks Wilderness
On Sunday, June 3, at about 2:33 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call requesting assistance with a hiker in distress. Ruby Salley, 58, of Keeseville, NY, had just descended Saddleback with four other women, when she began having problems walking. The other members of her group provided fluids and food and began escorting Mr. Salley down the Phelps Trail. Four DEC Forest Rangers responded and assisted Mrs. Salley down the trail to the Garden Trailhead and her vehicle. Drink plenty of water, eat food to keep up you energy and rest often.

Town of Newcomb, High Peaks Wilderness
On Sunday, June 3, 2012 at about 8:20 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting an overdue solo hiker in the High Peaks. Dr. Jack Lawler, 61, of Amherst, NY, was due to return home on Sunday evening from a weekend trip in the Santanoni Mountains. One DEC Forest Ranger responded and located Dr. Lawler’s vehicle at the Bradley Pond trailhead. Shortly after, Dr.Lawler was located returning to his vehicle. He was overdue but in good condition. Always inform someone of your itinerary.

Franklin County

Town of Harrietstown, High Peaks Wilderness
On Sunday, June 3, at about 6:57 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a report from the DEC Raquette Falls Caretaker requesting assistance with evacuating a sick hiker. Marissa Pavlus, 22, of Old Forge, NY, was in severe pain. A DEC Forest Ranger responded to Axton Landing on the Raquette River while the caretaker transported Ms. Pavlus by boat to that location. The Forest Ranger transported her to the Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake for treatment. Contact the DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

Hamilton County

Town of Arietta, Ferris Lake Wild Forest
On Sunday, April 8, at about 6:50 a.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from Hamilton County Sheriffs reporting an overdue group of hikers. Brett Scrader, 20, Zack Gill, 19, and Ethan Tinker, 21, all from Johnstown, NY, left for a hike on the Good Luck Lake Trail System the previous afternoon at about 3:00 p.m. They were expected to return back at about 7:00 p.m. Six DEC Forest Rangers responded and found that the young men’s vehicle still parked at the trailhead. Scrader, Gill and Tinker were located in good condition at 12:12 p.m. and escorted back to their vehicle. Know your route, the terrain and your physical capabilities.

Town of Indian Lake, Blue Mountain Wild Forest
On Monday, May 28, at about 7:33 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from Hamilton County 911 advising of two lost 10-year-old boys from Utica, NY. The boys were part of a youth hike on Blue Mountain and had run ahead and became separated from the group. They were separated for about 1½ hrs before the leader sought help. Five DEC Forest Rangers responded to the site only to learn the boys had been reunited with their group while the Forest Rangers were in route. Stay together when hiking in groups and know the location of all group members at all times.

Town of Arietta, Silver Lake Wilderness
On Thursday, May 31, at about 2:12 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from Hamilton County 911 reporting an injured hiker on Good Luck Mountain. Wayne Gensler, 65, of New Hartford, NY, was descending alone from the summit of the mountain when his foot got caught on a root and he fell, injuring his ankle. Four DEC Forest Rangers responded along with Caroga Lake and Fulton County Emergency Medical Services. Mr. Gensler’s ankle was splinted and he was carried out two miles, which required some low-angle rope relays across some portions of the trail. Caroga Lake Fire Department met the group on the shores of Good Luck Lake with their boat and transported Mr. Gensler to a parking area along State Route 10. There he was transferred to an ambulance and taken for further medical evaluation and treatment. 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, Lake George Wild Forest
On Sunday, March 18, at about 5:24 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from Matthew Cleary, 20, who was hiking the Tongue Mountain Range with his father, Kevin Clearly, 58, and 16 year old brother, all from Delmar, NY. Mr. Cleary realized they had missed a trail junction but without a map or compass was unable to determine their location. Warren County 911 provided cell phone coordinates which showed the group just south of French Point Mountain. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded and were able to direct the three hikers via cell phone to continue to travel north on the trail. The Forest Rangers began hiking in from the Clay Mountain trailhead and reached the reached the group at 9:49 p.m. All were out of the woods at 11:56 p.m. Carry a map and compass and know how to use them. Carry a flashlight or headlamp at all times.

Town of Johnsburg, Siamese Pond Wilderness Area
On Sunday, April 29, at about 7:20 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call reporting two overdue paddlers on the Sacandaga River. The caller had been waiting for more than four hours to pick up his friends Kurtis Coutere, 21, and Carl Shionst, 48, both from Massachusetts, who had been canoeing down the Sacandaga River. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded and as they arrived on scene to begin the search, the two men came out of the woods on their own. Always inform someone of your itinerary.

Town of Hague, Rogers Rock Campground
On Wednesday, May 23, at about 8:30 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from the DEC Assistant Caretaker at Rogers Rock Campground regarding two lost hikers. He was in cell phone contact with Samuel Nerenburg, 21, of Averill Park, NY, and Kerri Coburn, 20, of Cohoes, NY, who had been hiking the Orange Trail from the campground. They were on a trail, but had no map so they didn’t know where they were. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded to Rogers Rock. The two men built a fire which was easily seen by the Forest Rangers. The two men were located and escorted back to the campground. Know your route, the terrain and your physical capabilities. Always carry a light, a map and a compass.

Washington County

Town of Fort Ann, Lake George Wild Forest
On Sunday, March 11, at about 3:30 p.m., DEC Dispatch in Ray Brook received a call from a DEC Forest Ranger advising he was in route to a rescue on Buck Mountain. Two more DEC Forest Rangers responded to assist in helping Kristen Wetsel, 29, of Saratoga Springs, NY who had an ankle injury. Ms. Wetsel was carried a short distance and then transported by ATV to the trailhead. There she was placed in an ambulance and transported to Glens Falls Hospital for further evaluation and treatment. Accidents can happen. Always carry a first aid kit and contact the DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235 in backcountry emergencies.

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