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For Release: Monday, July 11, 2016

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 7/4 - 7/10/16

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 Keene
High Peaks Wilderness
Distressed hiker:
On July 4, 2016 at 8:44 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from the Adirondak Loj reporting a 22-year-old woman from Utica, NY in medical distress. A member of her hiking party stayed behind with the woman in the Feldspar Brook area. The Lake Colden caretaker also received reports of the distressed woman who had reportedly moved to the Uphill Lean-to. The caretaker hiked to the lean-to and assessed the woman. She decided she would stay at the lean-to overnight and hike out to Marcy Dam in the morning. The next day DEC determined the woman should be evacuated by New York State Police Aviation from the Lake Colden Outpost. The aircraft transported her to an area hospital for medical treatment. The incident concluded at 12:05 p.m. on July 5.

Town of Keene
High Peaks Wilderness
Distressed hiker:
On July 5, 2016 at 8:30 a.m., DEC Central Dispatch received a call reporting a 56-year-old man from Malone, NY in medical distress at a campsite at Lake Arnold. DEC Forest Rangers responded with New York State Police Aviation. They transported the man to an area hospital for medical treatment.

Town of Ticonderoga
Private Land
Lost hikers:
On July 9, 2016 at 6:55 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a transferred call from Essex County 911 from three lost hikers. A 26-year-old woman, 27-year-old man and a 24-year-old man, all from Rochester, NY became lost off trail at Cook's Mountain Preserve on private property. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded. No GPS coordinates were available from 911 or from the caller's cell phones. Based on their description of the location the local responding Ranger made voice contact at 7:45 p.m. The Ranger escorted the group back to their vehicle in good health. The incident concluded at 8:59 p.m.

Franklin County

Town of Tupper Lake
High Peaks Wilderness
Distressed hiker:
On July 8, 2016 at 3:05 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a radio transmission from the Raquette Falls interior outpost caretaker requesting assistance for a 50-year-old man from Fitzburg, MA in medical distress. A DEC Forest Ranger and a DEC Environmental Conservation Officer met the caretaker and distressed man on Coreys Rd. From there they took the man to an awaiting Saranac Lake Rescue Ambulance for transport to an area hospital for medical treatment. The incident concluded at 4:04 p.m.

Town of Harrietstown
High Peaks Wilderness
Lost hiker:
On July 8, 2016 at 8:35 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from the spouse of a 53-year-old man from Saratoga Springs, NY claiming her husband had not returned from a trip to Emmons and Donaldson in the Seward Range. The hiker had activated the SOS function on his DeLorme InReach satellite unit and texted that he was uninjured but lost. Franklin County 911 was also contacted directly by DeLorme InReach staff advising of the lost man. DEC Dispatch obtained initial coordinates, which showed the hiker on trail. A DEC Forest Ranger responded while DeLorme InReach staff advised the hiker via text to follow the trail in a northerly direction. They provided two additional sets of coordinates that allowed Dispatch to monitor progress during the response. The Ranger reached the hiker at 10:30 p.m. and escorted him back to his vehicle at 10:37 p.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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