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

October 14th, 2014 · No Comments · Adirondack News

NYSDEC LogoNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents statewide. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations and volunteer search and rescue groups, Forest Rangers locate and extract lost, injured or distressed people from the backcountry.

“DEC Forest Rangers’ knowledge of first aid, land navigation and technical rescue techniques are often critical to the success of their missions,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “Search and rescue missions often require Rangers to function in remote wilderness areas from rugged mountainous peaks to white-water rivers, and through vast forest areas from spruce-fir thicket to open hardwoods.”

Recent missions carried out by DEC Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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Lake Sturgeon Restoration Continues in North Country

October 18th, 2013 · No Comments · Adirondack News

NYSDEC LogoLake sturgeon will again be stocked in North Country waters as part of a restoration program for this threatened fish species, according to Judy Drabicki, Region 6 Director for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). This restoration effort is made possible in collaboration with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe (SRMT), the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

On October 22, more than 10,000 fingerlings (four month old, 5- to 8-inch long fish) will be released into the St. Lawrence River and its tributaries. Approximately 7,000 lake sturgeon will be stocked in the St. Lawrence River in Ogdensburg at the Greenbelt boat launch off Riverside Ave. The Salmon River, St. Regis River, and Raquette River will receive a portion of the remaining fingerlings, continuing the St. Lawrence River tributary stocking program, which has been ongoing for several years.

The lake sturgeon is one of New York’s largest freshwater fish.

Under the restoration program, eggs were collected from mature fish at the New York Power Authority St Lawrence River Power Dam in Massena this spring. After fertilizing, the eggs were transported to the USFWS fish hatchery in Genoa, Wisconsin, and the hatched fish were nourished until they were large enough to be stocked back into the wild. Some of the fertilized eggs were taken to the DEC Oneida Hatchery for hatching, raising and release into other NY waters.

‘This magnificent fish species was classified as threatened in New York State nearly 40 years ago, but stocking continues to help reverse population declines that occurred earlier this century,” Drabicki said. “Previous stocking efforts in tributaries like these in St. Lawrence County have demonstrated success, with dozens of sturgeon ranging up to 48 inches being observed and some having reached maturity, when they are ready to spawn.”

Lake SturgeonDavid Stilwell of the USFWS said “One of the Service’s goals is to work towards fully functional and sustainable landscapes. This multi-agency effort to reintroduce lake sturgeon to New York rivers brings us one step closer to restoring the natural heritage of New York waterways. We look forward to working together in partnership on future projects in the St. Lawrence River tributaries.”

Lake sturgeon once flourished in waters along New York’s northern border and provided large commercial harvests near Buffalo. In 1885, harvests totaled 1,800 tons. Prior to the decline in the sturgeon populating, these large fish inhabited all areas of New York’s border waters on the west, north and northeast regions of the state, including Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, Lake Champlain and in several St. Lawrence River tributaries up to 60 miles upstream.

Activities to increase lake sturgeon populations include: protection from harvest, hatchery rearing, planning, habitat improvement, stocking of fingerlings, and outreach and education. In order to cover all these activities, DEC is cooperating with our federal partners and the SRMT and NYPA. USFWS and USGS focus on raising the small fish in hatcheries and evaluating their survival and growth toward maturity then everyone is involved in communicating to the public about our efforts and how to protect the fish. The USFWS – New York Field Office helps support the lake sturgeon restoration program through funding provided from the Fish Enhancement, Mitigation, and Research Fund, a settlement reached with the New York Power Authority for the relicensing of the St. Lawrence Power Project.

The additional sturgeon reared at the DEC hatchery at Oneida Lake were stocked in the Genesee River downstream of Rochester and into Cayuga Lake in early October.

Hatchery fingerlings are produced for bodies of water chosen as having the best prospects for restoration. One of the signs of program success has been experienced with mature fish being seen in spawning locations in Oneida Lake and the Oswegatchie River, when they are ready to spawn. In addition, small fish have been collected from Oneida Lake that were naturally spawned.

Inquiries about this threatened fish restoration program and other similar projects can be directed to DEC, Bureau of Fisheries in Watertown, at (315) 785-2263. Additional information on lake sturgeon can be found on DEC’s website at: Lake Sturgeon Fact Sheet.

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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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