Recent Forest Ranger Actions
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) 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 across New York State.
In 2019, DEC Forest Rangers conducted 337 search and rescue missions, extinguished 74 wildfires that burned a total of 212 acres, participated in 29 prescribed fires that burned and rejuvenated 645 acres, and worked on cases that resulted in 2,507 tickets or arrests.
"DEC celebrates our 50th anniversary this year, but our Forest Rangers have been on the front lines for even longer, protecting New York's wildlife, natural resources, residents, and visitors for more than a century," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "The State's brave Forest Rangers have a vast knowledge of first aid, land navigation, and technical rescue techniques that are critical to the success of their missions in remote wilderness areas, rugged mountainous peaks, white water rivers, frozen lakes, and forested areas statewide. We are proud of the work our Forest Rangers perform and look forward to another 50 years and beyond of highly trained service."
Town of Minerva
Wilderness Search: On Nov. 7 at 12:30 p.m., Forest Ranger Quinn contacted DEC's Ray Brook Dispatch advising he was commencing a search for a lost hunter on Northwoods Club Road. Forest Rangers Kabrehl and Sabo were also contacted and responded to assist. At 3:34 p.m., Forest Rangers located the 19-year-old hunter from Wilton based on coordinates he provided, which placed him on the southwest side of Pine Mountain in the Hudson Gorge Wilderness Area. The hunter and Rangers proceeded out of the woods and at 5:30 p.m. The hunter was reunited with his hunting party and Forest Rangers cleared the scene.
Town of Wilmington
Wilderness Rescue: On Nov. 7 at 3:35 p.m., DEC's Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiking party on Bear Den Mountain reporting one of the hikers had sustained an ankle injury. Forest Rangers Sabo, Lewis, and Evans responded to assist. Upon locating the 29-year-old hiker from Framingham, Massachusetts, Forest Ranger Evans splinted the injured ankle and slowly began to escort the woman down to the base of the mountain where a six-wheeler was waiting to bring her out to the trailhead. At 8:55 p.m., the hiker was out of the woods and being transported to a local hospital for additional medical treatment and all Rangers cleared the scene.
Town of Collins
Wilderness Search: On Nov. 7 at 6:00 p.m., Forest Ranger Rogers was contacted by Erie County Sheriff's Deputies about two lost hikers on the north side of the Zoar Valley Multiple Use Area. Once on scene, Ranger Rogers was accompanied by a Deputy to the coordinates provided by Erie County Dispatch, locating the lost hikers from Corfu. Based upon their location, Ranger Rogers hiked the subjects out to the Button Road access instead of returning to the Holcomb Pond trailhead. The accompanying Deputy contacted his counterparts on the roadside and directed them go to that location so the hikers could be transported back to their vehicle.
Town of Ossian
Wildland Fire: On Nov. 8 at 6:55 a.m., Central Dispatch received a call concerning a fire on Ossian State Forest. Forest Rangers Cordell and Dormer responded and worked with local volunteer fire departments to establish a control line around the fire. Forest Rangers Thaine and Wickens also responded to assist. By 5:00 p.m., there was a control line around the 48-acre fire and all resources had cleared the scene. On Nov. 9, Rangers returned to the fire to continue suppression efforts and investigate its cause, which is currently unknown.
DEC Forest Ranger responds to fire at Ossian State Forest
Town of North Elba
Wilderness Rescue: On Nov. 8 at 9:25 a.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC's Ray Brook Dispatch reporting an injured hiker on the trail for Wright Peak. The caller stated that a member of his party slipped and fell on a rock causing her to dislocate her right shoulder near the Wright and Algonquin junction. Forest Rangers LaPierre, Evans, and Lewis responded. Once on scene, Forest Ranger LaPierre assessed the injury and concluded it could not be reduced. Ranger LaPierre requested Advance Life Support (ALS) assistance for pain management. Lake Placid Rescue staged an ambulance at the Adirondack Loj while an ALS provider was transported into the woods by Ranger Lewis using an UTV. Ranger Evans followed them on a six-wheel ATV. Once with the 39-year-old hiker from Winhall, Vermont, the ALS provider administered pain medication and Rangers escorted the subject back to the ATV where she was given a ride out to a waiting ambulance.
Town of Webb
Wilderness Rescue: On Nov. 8 at 7:47 p.m., Herkimer County 911 transferred a call to DEC's Ray Brook Dispatch requesting Forest Ranger assistance for a lost hunter in the area of Twitchell Lake. The hunter was last seen at 2:00 p.m. on the northern end of the lake in shorts and a t-shirt, carrying a backpack. A concerned friend went out to look for the man but only found the subject's walkie talkie. Per 911, the Town of Webb Police Department and New York State Police were responding to the area. Forest Rangers Evans, Savarie, Candee, and McCartney responded to assist, along with New York State Police Aviation. The 52-year-old hunter from Honeoye Falls was located at 12:40 a.m. by Rangers Savarie and Candee. Rangers walked the hunter out and released him to his friends at their hunting camp at 3:00 a.m.
Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC's Hike Smart NY and Adirondack Backcountry Information webpage for more information.