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For Release: Monday, February 8, 2016

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 2/1 - 2/7/16

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:

Warren County

Lake George
Lake George Wild Forest
Lost hiker:
On February 4, 2016 at 12:48 p.m., Warren County 911 transferred a call to DEC Ray Brook Dispatch from a lost hiker on Prospect Mountain. A 53-year-old man from Queensbury, NY said he decided to follow the water drainage down the mountain and became disoriented. Dispatch advised him to turn around and walk back up until he reached the road. DEC Forest Rangers arrived on scene and began driving up the highway. They located the man at the first trail and road intersection at 1:40 p.m. Rangers evaluated him and determined he did not need medical attention. They transported him back to his vehicle at the trailhead. The incident concluded at 2:06 p.m.

Essex County

Town of North Elba
High Peaks Wilderness
Lost hiker:
On February 6, 2016 at 12:46 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received notification of a spot locator beacon activated in the High peaks Region near Mount Marcy. Coordinates placed a 47-year-old woman from Valley Stream, NY, northwest of the Schofield Cobble. Dispatch established text contact with the woman who stated she was not injured, but lost. DEC Forest Rangers responded to Mount Marcy while the Lake Colden Caretaker responded to the area where the spot locator coordinates were provided. Through texting and a compass bearing, the woman eventually met up with the Lake Colden Caretaker near the Schofield Cobble at 4:44 p.m. Rangers and the Caretaker evaluated her at the Four Corners intersection of the Van Hoevenberg trail and then escorted her to the Lake Colden Outpost where she spent the night. The following morning, they escorted her back to Lake Arnold where she reunited with the rest of her party who were camping at that location.

Hamilton County

Town of Morehouse
Ferris Lake Wild Forest
Missing snowmobilers:
On February 6, 2016 at 11:51 p.m., an officer from the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department contacted DEC Central Dispatch reporting two missing snowmobilers. A 23-year-old man from Fishkill, NY and 18-year-old man from Poughquag, NY were believed to be between Technidock on Route 8 and Polly Road in Arietta. They were last seen north of Powley Piseco Road on Sheriff Lake trail. DEC Forest Rangers located their truck and trailer parked on Route 8 at Morehouse Lake Road. A Forest Ranger snowmobiled from the south end of Powley Piseco Road and found one of the snowmobiles abandoned just north of Powley Place. He found the second snowmobile abandoned about 3 miles from Route 10. The 23-year-old was found walking approximately one mile from Route 10 and was transported out to the waiting Forest Ranger. The Ranger returned to the second snowmobile and found the 18-year-old man approximately 1000 feet in the woods south of Powley Piseco Road. He showed symptoms of mild hypothermia. Rangers gave him a warm drink, food and a coat before transporting him back out to his partner and their vehicle. The pair did not need further medical treatment. The incident concluded at 5:26 a.m. on February 7.

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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