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For Release: Monday, June 27, 2016

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 6/20 - 6/26/16

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 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:

Essex County

Town of North Elba
High Peaks Wilderness
Injured hiker:
On June 23, 2016 at 7:44 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received report of a 17-year-old female from Scarsdale, NY with a knee injury on Allen Mountain. Her hiking companions helped her down the trail but they worried that they would not make it out of the woods before dark. They advised they were traveling toward the junction of Hanging Spear Falls. DEC Forest Rangers responded to Allen Mountain Trailhead at the Upperworks. Rangers located the hikers on the trail at 10:15 p.m. and escorted them out to the trailhead. The incident concluded at 10:40 p.m.

Town of Newcomb
High Peaks Wilderness
Lost hikers:
On June 23, 2016 at 9:21 p.m., Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC Ray Brook Dispatch from an 18-year-old male and 17-year-old female Odessa, NY reporting they were lost on Mt. Jo. They told dispatch they were near a sign that said "Indian Pass Summit." Essex County 911 provided coordinates that placed the pair on the Indian Pass Trail near Wallface Mountain. Due to their location, it was more feasible to reach them from the Upperworks side. DEC Forest Rangers responded by 6 x 6 and made it to Wallface Lean-to with no sign of the hikers. At 11:54 p.m., the pair called Dispatch and reported they were one mile past the Scott Clearing Lean-to heading toward ADK Loj. Against the instructions from Dispatch to stay at their location, the lost hikers decided to try to find the trail themselves. Forest Rangers from the south side were turned around and one Ranger from the north side met the couple at ADK Loj. After a brief interview and some safe hiking tips they were released. The incident concluded at 1:10 a.m. on June 24.

St. Lawrence County

Town of Oswegatchie
Private land
Overdue kayakers:
On June 26, 2016 at 4:21 a.m., DEC Central Dispatch received a call from New York State Police in Canton requesting assistance with a group of four overdue kayakers. DEC Forest Rangers responded to Little River in Oswegtachie where they were assisted by NYSP aviation to locate the group. They located the kayakers in good condition at 9:11 a.m. and brought them out of the woods. The incident concluded at 9:30 a.m.

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

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