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For Release: Monday, December 7, 2015

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 11/30 - 12/6/15

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.

"Across New York, DEC's Forest Rangers' are on the front lines helping people safely enjoy the great outdoors," said Acting DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "Their knowledge of first aid, land navigation and technical rescue techniques are critical to the success of their missions which take them from remote wilderness areas, with rugged mountainous peaks to white-water rivers, and throughout our vast forested areas statewide."

Recent missions carried out by DEC Forest Rangers include:

Chenango County

Town of Coventry
Bobell State Forest
Lost Hunter:
On December 4, 2015 at approximately 12:30 p.m., Broome County 911 transferred a call to Chenango County 911 reporting a lost hunter. The 53-year-old man from Port Crane, NY, lost his way while hunting in Bobell State Forest. Chenango County sent two sheriff's deputies to the area to investigate. A DEC Forest Ranger overheard the call and headed to the area as well. The Deputies arrived on scene, located the missing hunter's vehicle on Wylie Horton Road and ran their sirens to assist in getting the man out of the woods. The hunter notified 911 that he was having trouble hearing the sirens, was becoming tired and had fallen down a few times. The responding DEC Forest Ranger decided to go into the woods to search. The Ranger located the hunter in good condition on private land and escorted him out of the woods and back to his vehicle. The incident concluded at about 3:00 p.m.

Essex County

Town of Schroon
Pharoah Lake Wilderness
Lost Hunter:
On December 5, 2015 at 10:47 a.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC Ray Brook Dispatch from a lost hunter. The 47-year-old man from Paradox, NY left his property that morning to hunt the surrounding lands off NYS Route 74 when he wandered off into a swamp near Alder Creek in the Crane Pond area and became disoriented. DEC Forest Rangers responded to the GPS coordinates provided by Essex County 911. Forest Rangers located the man in good condition at 1:10 p.m. and he walked out on his own. The incident concluded at 1:45 p.m.

Town of Keene
Giant Mountain Wilderness
Lost Hikers:
On December 5, 2015 at 4:57 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC Ray Brook Dispatch from a hiker reporting that he and two companions became lost while descending Giant Mountain. The 27-year-old man from Plattsburgh, NY and the 24-year-old and 27-year-old women from Lake George, NY veered off the main trail and followed a brook downstream. The group had no lights and could not continue. Essex County 911 provided GPS coordinates, which a DEC Forest Ranger followed. The Ranger located the hiking party at 5:42 p.m. approximately 1/4 mile up the Roaring Brook Falls Trail and escorted them back to the trailhead. The incident concluded at 6:14 p.m.

Town of Keene
Giant Mountain Wilderness
Injured Hiker:
On December 6, 2015 at 12:35 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC Ray Brook Dispatch from an injured hiker. The 58-year-old man from Gansevoort, NY slipped on wet rocks near the middle pool of Roaring Brook Falls and sustained a lower leg injury. DEC Forest Rangers located the injured man at 1:40 p.m. Rangers assisted him as he walked back to the trailhead. The incident concluded at 3:10 p.m.

Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC's Hiking Safety webpage and Adirondack Trail Information webpage for more information.

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