Forest Ranger searches & rescues

The following are the activities of the state Department of Environmental Conservation forest ranger highlights.

Town of Indian Lake

Hamilton County

Wilderness Rescue: On April 4 at 6:20 p.m., Hamilton County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook dispatch reporting a family of hikers from Johnstown took the wrong trail while visiting Rock Lake in the Blue Mountain Wild Forest area.

Dispatch called the family, and with coordinates obtained through 911, placed them near the end of the Rock River Trail about three miles from the trailhead.

Forest ranger Lt. Brian Dubay directed the hikers to head south on the trail and pass straight through the four-way intersection to reach their vehicle.

Forest ranger Gary Miller was notified, responded to the trailhead, and started walking in to meet with the family.

At 8:27 p.m., dispatch contacted the hikers again and requested new coordinates that showed they had taken a left at the intersection and were heading down a snowmobile trail that eventually parallels Route 28.

With this information, Miller returned to his vehicle and drove down Route 28 to the group‘s last known location and was able to make voice contact with the family.

The ranger then entered the woods, found the family, and at 9:15 p.m. everyone was out and heading back home.

Town of Warrensburg

Warren County

Wilderness Rescue: On April 5 at 3:50 p.m., Warren County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook dispatch reporting a group of three girls lost on Hackensack Mountain.

A 17-year-old, 10-year-old, and four-year-old from Warrensburg took a walk and lost the trail. Coordinates provided by 911 placed the group in the woods near a private road.

Forest ranger Art Perryman responded to their location and brought the girls out to Pennock Drive where they were met by parents.


COVID-19 response: DEC personnel from across agency divisions and regions statewide are supporting the state’s response to COVID-19. Personnel from more than 20 state agencies are working on response efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19. DEC forest rangers’ expertise in the Incident Command System and experience in applying ICS to wide area searches and large wildland fire have made them a key part of this statewide effort.

By Kerry Minor

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