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For Release: Monday, November 14, 2016

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 11/7 - 11/13/16

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:

Oneida County

Town of Boonville
Hogsback State Forest
Lost hunter:
On Sunday November 6, 2016, at 2:45 p.m., A DEC Forest Ranger overheard Oneida County 911 dispatching assistance for a lost 64-year-old man from Whitesboro, NY hunting in Hogsback State Forest. DEC Ray Brook dispatch also contacted the Ranger to respond. Oneida County Sheriff Deputies first tried sound signals to direct the lost hunter with negative results. They established cell phone communication with the lost man and responders bushwhacked to the vicinity he was believed to be in. They located the hunter and escorted him out of the woods. He declined medical treatment. The incident concluded at 5:00 p.m.

Essex County

Town of Keene
Sentinel Range Wilderness
Unprepared hiker:
On November 7, 2016 at 5:43 p.m. DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from the family member of a 25-year-old man from Lake Placid, NY stranded on Pitchoff Mountain. The hiker was not injured, but did not have a flashlight and his cell phone battery was dying. DEC Dispatch directed him to contact Essex County 911 to obtain coordinates and confirm his location. A DEC Forest Ranger responded and located the hiker in good health at 8:09 p.m. The Ranger escorted him out to the trailhead and back to his vehicle. The incident concluded at 9:37 p.m.

Town of Minerva
Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest
Lost hunter:
On November 11, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. A motorist flagged down by a hunter near the Stony Pond Trailhead contacted DEC Ray Brook Dispatch. The passing motorist stated that the hunter had become separated from his 14-year-old son and asked him to contact DEC Forest Rangers for assistance. Forest Rangers met the father and followed him to the last point where he had seen his son. Additional Rangers also responded and hiked in from other trail directions. An Environmental Conservation K-9 officer and his dog assisted one Ranger in the search. Responders located the teenager in the Lost Pond Area at 6:50 p.m. They warmed him up and brought him out to a Ranger Patrol vehicle on Northwoods Club Road. Minerva EMS evaluated the boy and released him to his father. The incident concluded at 8:19 p.m.

Clinton County

Town of Black Brook
Conservation Easement Lands - Potter Mountain Tract
Injured climber:
On Sunday November 13, 2016 at 12:21 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a 23-year-old man from Short Hill, NJ reporting he fell approximately 30 feet off a ledge while attempting to climb the Hairy Upper Lip Drip. DEC Dispatch directed the man to contact Clinton County 911 to obtain his coordinates. The climber suffered injuries but was mobile. He and his companion managed to climb down from the ridge where DEC Forest Rangers met them. The Rangers transported him by vehicle to the trailhead and the man said he would seek medical attention on his own. The incident concluded at 3:22 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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