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For Release: Thursday, January 21, 2016

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 1/11 - 1/17/16

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:

Columbia County

Town of Austerlitz
Beebe Hill State Forest
Lost hiker:
On January 12, 2016, at approximately 4:20 p.m., DEC dispatch received a request for assistance in locating a 66-year-old woman from Chatham, lost after hiking to the Beebe Hill fire tower. After hiking to the tower, the woman took the truck road back down the hill, but missed a turn that would have taken her back to the Barret Pond trailhead where she began her hike. She ended up at the Engle Road trail head. Unsure of where she was, the woman attempted to walk north on the truck road until it ended and turned into a heard path. She then called 911 and reported being lost. A DEC Forest Ranger and Columbia County Sheriff's office responded and established a command post at the Barret Pond trail head. Crews began searching the trails leading from both the Barret Pond and Engle Road trail heads when the woman called 911 at 5:23 p.m. from a residence on Stonewall Road to let authorities know where she was. A Sheriff's Deputy picked her up from the residence and drove her back to her vehicle.

Greene County

Town of Hunter
Kaaterskill Wild Forest
Rescued hikers:
On January 16, 2016, at 6:15 p.m., DEC dispatch received a call from Greene County 911 reporting three male hikers stranded near the top of Kaaterskill Falls. The hikers, all in good health, became stranded due to unsafe trail conditions. Three Forest Rangers responded and set up a rope safety line that allowed the hikers to safely hike up the trail to the top of the falls. The hikers met the Rangers at the top of the falls and then walked out safely on the rail trail.

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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