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For Release: Monday, December 14, 2015

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 12/7 - 12/13/15

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers and Environmental Conservation Officers (ECO's) 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' and ECO's 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 include:

Warren County

Pharaoh Lake Wilderness
Lost Hikers:
On December 12, 2015 at 10:45 p.m. DEC Central Dispatch received a transferred call from Warren County 911 from two lost hikers. The 28-year-old and 26-year-old men reported being lost in the vicinity of Desolate Brook. The pair had fading headlamps and cellphones and did not have overnight gear. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded to their GPS location provided by Warren County 911. The Rangers located the men in good health in the Desolate Brook drainage area just north of the Mill Brook Trailhead and escorted them back to the trailhead on Beaver Pond Road before releasing them to a third party. The incident concluded at 2:00 a.m. the following morning.

Rensselaer County

Grafton State Park
Lost Hunter:
On December 13, 2015 at approximately 5:00 p.m. a 64-year-old man from Latham, NY called Rensselaer County 911 reporting he became lost while hunting in Grafton State Park. The Rensselaer County Sheriff Department responded along with Grafton State Park Police and DEC Environmental Conservation Officers (ECO's) who overheard radio traffic about the search. At approximately 8:00 p.m. DEC dispatch received a call requesting Forest Ranger assistance. Four ATV teams searched trails but returned at approximately 11:00 p.m. without finding the lost hunter. Two ECO's continued their ATV search to Pittstown State Forest. At approximately 1:06 a.m. ECO's located the man in a swamp in the Pittstown State Forest, walked him to their ATV's and transported him out of the woods. They located the man nearly two miles from his last known point.

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

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