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For Release: Monday, October 24, 2016

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 10/17 - 10/24

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) 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:

Oneida County

Town of Steuben
Penn Mountain State Forest
Lost hunter:
On October 22 at 2:30 p.m., Oneida County 911 received a request for assistance from the hunting partner of a lost 78-year-old male from New Hartford. Oneida County Deputies, New York State Police and DEC Forest Rangers responded. Forest Rangers interviewed the reporting party and organized a Type 1 search. Radio contact was made with the lost man and he was asked to fire two single shots to determine his location. He was located at 3:57 p.m. and assisted out of the woods. He was evaluated and declined further medical treatment. The incident concluded at 5:15 p.m.

Hamilton County

Town of Inlet
Pigeon Lake Wilderness
Lost hunter:
On October 22 at 5:18 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Hamilton County 911 advising of a lost 57-year-old male from Liverpool. The hunter was last seen by his group around 2 p.m. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded and hiked in through Bug Lake and two Forest Rangers went in from the east side of 8th Lake. The Rangers located the man's footprints and followed them out to the Uncas Road. Forest Rangers discovered the man had come out of the woods in good health and found a ride back to his hotel. The incident concluded at 9 p.m.

Lewis County

Town of Osceola
West Osceola State Forest
Lost hunter:
On October 23 at 11:06 a.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Lewis County 911 advising of a lost 67-year-old male from Syracuse. DEC Forest Rangers and DEC Environmental Conservation Officers along with a K9 unit responded along with the Lewis County Sheriff's office. The hunter was located at 12:56 p.m. after a Forest Ranger was notified of a male hunter at a bridge over the Salmon River. The hunter had become disoriented and had fired multiple shots in an attempt to attract assistance. Eventually he made his way out to the bridge, where he was seen by a passing motorist.

Herkimer County

Town of Ohio
Ferris Lake Wild Forest
Lost hunter:
On October 23 at 1:03 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from the concerned wife of a 35-year-old male from New Port reporting that her husband had become lost while hunting in the Ferris Lake Wild Forest. DEC Forest Rangers, a DEC Environmental Conservation Officer and New York State Police responded and began searching the immediate area. Forest Rangers were notified at 3:08 p.m. that the man had made his way out of the woods in good health. The incident concluded at 4:07 p.m.

Greene County

Town of Hunter
Kaaterskill Wild Forest
Lost hikers:
On Oct. 22 at 6:30 p.m., DEC was contacted by Greene County 911 dispatch regarding two lost hikers in the Layman's Monument area. Two DEC Forest Rangers set out on foot and found the subjects, a 27-year-old female from New Jersey and a 25-year-old male from Iowa, both in good health. The Rangers escorted the hikers out to the Laurel House parking area trailhead and gave them a courtesy ride to the Molly Smith parking lot around 8 p.m.

Town of Hunter
Kaaterskill Wild Forest
Lost hiker:
On Oct. 23 at 1:50 p.m., DEC was contacted by Greene County 911 dispatch regarding a lost female hiker on a snowmobile trail in the Kaaterskill Wild Forest. Four Rangers responded and made contact with the subject via cell phone. The Rangers arrived at the Gillespie Road trailhead, where the subject's car was located, and bushwhacked up to the snowmobile trail. The Rangers were then notified by the subject via cell phone that she had been located by two hikers on the trail and were hiking out toward the trailhead. The Rangers intercepted the subject and escorted her out to the Gillespie Road trailhead, arriving around 4 p.m.

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

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