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For Release: Monday, November 28, 2016

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 11/13 - 11/25

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:

Clinton County
Town of Black Brook

On Nov. 13 at 12:21 p.m. DEC's Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a subject who stated that he fell approximately 30 feet off a ledge while attempting to climb the Hairy Upper Lip Drip. The subject contacted Clinton County 911 to obtain his coordinates. The climber was complaining of back pain but was mobile. The climber and his companion were able to get down from the ridge, where they were met by two Forest Rangers. The subject was then transported by Ranger vehicle to the trailhead. The subject stated he would seek medical attention on his own. The incident concluded at 3:22 p.m.

Franklin County
Town of Brighton

On Nov. 15 at 2:23 p.m. DEC's Ray Brook's Dispatch received a direct call from a subject who was lost on St Regis Mountain. The subject was able to send GPS Coordinates from his phone and was directed to call Franklin County 911 to verify his coordinates. Forest Rangers utilized NYSP Aviation to locate the subject using the GPS coordinates provided by the subject. One NYSP member was inserted to the subject. The officer then assisted the subject to the trail to an awaiting Ranger who assisted them to the trailhead. The subject was not in need of medical attention and was released. The incident concluded at 5:12 p.m.

Greene County
Town of Windham
Elm Ridge Wild Forest
On Nov. 20 at 11:20 a.m., Greene County 911 received a call from a 79-year-old male hunter from Brooklyn who was lost in the Elm Ridge Wild Forest. Two Forest Rangers responded and began their search along the escarpment trail. Upon reaching the intersection of the yellow and blue trails they split up. One Ranger headed east on the outer loop yellow trail and the other Ranger continued north on the blue trail. The subject was located at approximately 1 p.m. sitting at the intersection of the outer loop yellow trail and trail 6, about a quarter mile east of where the rangers split up. The subject was in good health and was waiting for assistance from the Rangers. The Rangers escorted the subject out of the woods back to the trailhead.

Hamilton County
Town of Indian Lake

On Nov. 24 at 6:20 p.m. DEC's Ray Brook Dispatch received a call about a 49-year-old son and 87-year-old father who were overdue from a hunting trip on their property in Indian Lake. Four Forest Rangers responded and used gun shots to assist in locating the subjects. The subjects stated that they went further than they thought and the father started having issues with walking so they took a break and started a fire. The Rangers assisted the men to their home. The incident concluded at 9:16 p.m.

Saratoga County
Town of Greenfield
On Nov. 24 at 2:12 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance in locating a 56-year-old male from Wilton who was overdue from hunting in Lincoln Mountain State Forest near Greenfield. The subject was last seen by his wife at 6 a.m. The subject was supposed to be out of the woods by 10 a.m. and when the subject did not return home, his wife drove to Lincoln Mountain State Forest, located her husband's vehicle on Strackos Road and requested Ranger Assistance. Under Lt. Solan's authority, four Forest Rangers were dispatched to help locate the subject. Lt. Solan contacted the Saratoga County Sheriffs to have a deputy wait with the wife until ranger assistance arrived. The subject's daughter, who was en route to the location to be with her mother, located the subject walking down the road toward his vehicle. The subject was turned around in the woods and having difficulty getting out. He advised that he heard the sirens and walked out toward them and eventually found the road. His was picked up by his daughter and reunited with reporting party. The incident concluded at 4:30 p.m.

Essex County
Town of Keeseville

On Nov. 25 at 2:58 p.m. DEC's Ray Brook Dispatch received a call about a despondent individual who told a family member he was in the Wickham Marsh on the second trail. Two Forest Rangers responded and began searching the immediate area for the subject. Meanwhile multiple police agencies began checking for the man at points of interest. The officers located the subject at a family member's home, and he was then taken into custody by NYSP and escorted to a local hospital for a mental health evaluation. All rangers were back in service at 6:42 p.m.

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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