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For Release: Monday, February 23, 2015

Adirondack Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights: 2/16-2/22/15

New 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:

Essex County
Sentinel Range Wilderness
Town of Keene
Lost Hiker:
On February 20, 2015 at 6:30 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiker off trail on Pitchoff Mountain. The 56 year-old-male from Corning, NY stated that after coming from the north summit he had lost the trail due to heavy snow pack. DEC investigators obtained location coordinates by having the hiker contact 911 at 6:41 p.m. Six DEC Forest Rangers responded. As they reached higher elevations, three foot snow pack of unbroken trail, wind, snow drifts and temperatures at 0°F limited responders speed to a ½ mile per hour. The Rangers located the hiker at 11:15 p.m. in good condition, and he was able to snowshoe back to the trailhead. The incident concluded at 1:25 a.m.

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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