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For Release: Monday, October 31, 2016

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 10/25 - 10/31

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 Forest Rangers are on the front lines helping people safely enjoy the great outdoors," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "Our Rangers' 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
Distressed hikers:
On Oct. 25 at 7:05 a.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch was forwarded a call from Essex County 911 from a 29-year-old male from Schenectady, a 26-year-old male from Latham, and a 22-year-old male from Delanson, who were near the summit of Mt. Marcy. The hiking party had set out on an overnight camping trip but stated they were "very cold and unprepared for winter conditions." The trio requested assistance in finding a nearby shelter, indicating that they had awoken to find their gear, boots and clothing frozen in a whiteout. Essex County 911 provided coordinates that confirmed the group's location. Dispatch established text contact with the men. They were instructed to begin the descent while DEC Forest Rangers began to hike in. The Rangers traveled by all-terrain vehicle to Marcy Dam and then proceeded on foot. The Rangers located the men at 11:45 a.m. approximately three miles from Marcy Dam, warmed them, and assisted them off the mountain and out to the Adirondak Loj. They were advised to seek further medical care but declined. The incident concluded at 2:30 p.m.

Hamilton County
Town of Hope
Wilcox Lake Wild Forest
Overdue hiker:
On Oct. 25 at 11:40 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance from Warren County 911 for a 25-year-old female from Colonie overdue from a hiking trip. The woman had advised her family she planned to hike near Stony Creek in Warren County and return that day. Her family called 911 after she failed to return by that evening. DEC Forest Rangers and New York State Police Road Patrols were dispatched to look for her vehicle at trailheads in the Stony Creek Area and additional trails in Hamilton and Saratoga counties. Her vehicle was located at Hope Falls Trail in the town of Hope on Oct. 26 at 10:55 a.m. Additional Rangers were dispatched to Hope Falls, one Ranger responded from the Harrisburg entry point, one Ranger checked the Wilcox Lake area, and New York State Police Aviation assisted from the air. The woman was located at Wilcox Lake Outlet on the trail to Willis Lake. She and her dog were escorted out to Harrisburg Lake and shuttled back to Hope Falls, where she was reunited with family. She informed Rangers she had taken a wrong turn the day before and had proceeded in that direction for a few miles. She turned back once she realized her error. She made the decision to spend the night in the woods after being overcome by darkness. The next morning she continued to walk back out but at a slow pace as her dog was having trouble walking. The incident concluded at 9:30 p.m.

Ulster County
Town of Shandaken
Slide Mountain Wilderness
Injured hiker
: On Oct. 30, a 67-year-old woman twisted her ankle while descending Slide Mountain. Her hiking companion sought help, and at 2:30 PM three Forest Rangers and emergency medical personnel from Shandaken and Pine Hill Fire Department hiked in to assist. The woman was brought out by ATV and transported to the Margaretville Hospital at 6:06 p.m.

Dutchess County
Town of Beacon
Lost Hikers:
On Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. Central Office Dispatch received a call from Dutchess County 911 reporting that a 43-year-old man and a 62-year-old woman were lost on Beacon Mountain. Three Rangers were assigned to search for the hikers on the yellow trail. The lost hikers were located at 10:46 p.m. and escorted out of the woods.

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

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