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For Release: Monday, May 9, 2016

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 5/2 - 5/8/16

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:

Saratoga County

Town of Hadley
Wilcox Lake Wild Forest
Lost hikers:
On May 6, 2016 at 2:54 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from two lost hikers on Hadley Mountain. A 48-year-old woman and 39-year-old woman, both from Hudson Falls, became disoriented while descending the mountain. The woman reported they could see the fire tower and were headed back up to wait for assistance. A DEC Forest Ranger contacted the women by cellphone and directed them back to the trail. A second Forest Ranger began hiking in and located the women at 4:05 p.m. The Ranger escorted the women to the trailhead where their vehicle was located. They did not require any medical attention. The incident concluded at 4:28 p.m.

Essex County

Town of Newcomb
High Peaks Wilderness
Missing hiker:
On May 8, 2016, at 11:15 a.m., New York State Police contacted DEC Ray Brook Dispatch regarding a vehicle found parked at the Tahawus Mines in Newcomb. The vehicle belonged to a 59-year-old man from New Hartford, Connecticut whose family reported him missing on May 3. DEC Forest Rangers and Environmental Conservation Officers responded to the area. Four Forest Rangers conducted searches covering trails and the Tahawus Mine with assistance from K9 units from DEC Division of Law Enforcement and New York State Police. State Police Aviation attempted an aerial search but turned back due to high winds. At 9:22 a.m. the following morning a Forest Ranger on route to this search assignment located the man walking on Opalescent Road after he had been camping in the area for several days. The man was transported to the Glens Falls Hospital for medical evaluation.

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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