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Rangers aid hikers in distress — and a dog, too

State Department of Environmental Conservation forest rangers recently assisted three hikers who were injured or lost and one dog who had fallen off a trail and onto a ledge.

Town of North Elba

On Oct. 8 at 12:18 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook dispatch received a request for assistance from a married couple from Cornwall, Vermont, whose Australian Shepherd had become stranded on a ledge after falling off the side of the trail on Pitchoff Mountain.

Forest Rangers Benjamin Baldwin, David Russell and Scott van Laer responded to assist. The rangers arrived on scene at 1 p.m. and headed in to locate the hikers. Once the rangers met up with the couple, they completed a 10-foot raise in a narrow crevice to rescue the uninjured dog.

Rangers escorted the dog and hikers back to the trailhead. All units were cleared of the scene by 5:30 p.m.

Town of Keene

On Oct. 9 at 3:30 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook dispatch from a man reporting that his wife had fallen and injured her upper left leg while hiking Blueberry Mountain.

Using coordinates attained through 911, dispatch placed the couple’s location on the section of the Blueberry trail that goes over private land. Forest Rangers Scott van Laer, Scott Sabo and Benjamin Baldwin responded to the Marcy Field trailhead where they were met by the Keene Fire Department and the Keene Valley Fire Department Backcountry Rescue Team. Forest Rangers and volunteers located the hiker and evaluated the injury before placing her in a litter to be carried out.

Once back at the trailhead, the 58-year-old woman from Keene was transported by Keene EMS to a local hospital for treatment. All units were cleared from the scene at 5:22 p.m.

Town of Indian Lake

On Oct. 10 at 4:39 p.m., a call came into DEC’s Ray Brook dispatch from a group of hikers on the OK Slip Falls Trail. The caller reported that a 29-year-old female hiker in his group had an ankle injury and was on Northern Frontier Road. The caller requested assistance since the subject was unable to walk.

Forest Ranger Arthur Perryman responded and picked up the hiker from Ontario, Canada, with his patrol vehicle and gave her a ride to the main gate where other members of the hiking party were waiting with their vehicle.

The hiker refused medical attention and advised she would seek it on her own.

Town of Clifton

On Oct. 13 at 12:03 p.m., St. Lawrence County 911 contacted DEC’s Ray Brook dispatch regarding a lost hiker near Olmstead Pond in the Five Ponds Wilderness Area. The missing hiker was off the trail without a map.

Forest Rangers Nathaniel Shea and William Benzel responded by boat on Cranberry Lake for faster access to cell coordinates provided by 911.

The hiker was located and brought out by boat. All units were cleared of the scene at 5:25 p.m.