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For Release: Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Adirondack Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights

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
High Peaks Wilderness
Town of Newcomb
Distressed Hikers:
On May 4, at 7:00 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call reporting two distressed hikers traveling from Upper Works to the Adirondak Loj. The 34-year-old man and 27-year-old woman, both from Plattsburgh, left Upper Works at noon. They texted a family member at 5:45 p.m. stating "the trail to the Loj is closed" and requested assistance. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded first, one from Upper Works and one from the Adirondak Loj. The Forest Ranger who started from the Adirondak Loj encountered high water from snow melt and was forced to turn back. Additional Forest Rangers were sent to Upper Works. The Rangers located both hikers at 2:08 a.m. on the Indian pass trail. The male hiker had lost a boot in the snowpack and sustained a possible lower leg injury. Due to the extent of the injuries, New York State Police Aviation responded at 7:35 a.m. and airlifted the pair to AMC Lake Placid for treatment. The Lake Placid Fire Department assisted in the rescue. The incident concluded at 8:05 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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