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For Release: Monday, January 30, 2017

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 1/22 - 1/29/17

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:

Town of Shandaken
Ulster County
Search: On Jan. 22 at 8:52 p.m., DEC's Central Dispatch received a call from Ulster County 911 reporting an overdue/lost hiker. The subject had been bushwacking with a group of 17 other hikers who made their way to Fir Mountain and then on to Big Indian Mountain. At Big Indian Mountain, the subject became tired and was left behind by the group at approximately 1 p.m. The group exited the trailhead at 5 p.m. at McKinley Hollow Road, where the subject's vehicle was parked at the trailhead. Four Region 3 Forest Rangers searched the Big Indian Wilderness Area throughout the night with negative results. Eight additional Forest Rangers were requested from Regions 3 and 4 to be at the command post at the Belleayre Mountain maintenance building the next day. On Jan. 23, Forest Ranger crews departed for their assignments, focusing on the trails and stream beds. A crew working from the McKinley Hollow Trailhead located the subject hiking out approximately three quarters of a mile above the lean-to. The subject was escorted out of the woods. During an interview the subject explained that he had hunkered down in a protected drainage for the night and began hiking out at daybreak. All crews were cleared of the scene by 9:30 a.m.

Town of Keene
Essex County
Rescue: On Jan. 28 at 5:01 p.m., DEC's Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a passerby concerning a 40-year-old female near the AuSable Lake Dam who had an ankle injury. The subject was mobile but had difficulty walking. Her hiking companion called shortly after and stated that the subject was no longer mobile and needed help. One Forest Ranger responded to the Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR) and utilized AMR's snowmobile. The Ranger located the woman and assisted her back to her car. The subject stated she would seek further medical attention on her own.

Town of Hunter
Greene County
Rescue: On Jan. 29. at 1:20 p.m., Central Dispatch notified Region 3 and Region 4 Forest Rangers of a subject who fell off the Kaaterskill Falls. A 26-year-old female was hiking on an undesignated herd path above the designed trail that leads to the middle pool of the falls. The subject slid and fell approximately 80 feet to the bottom of the lower falls, sustaining injuries to her head, back, and legs. Forest Rangers, Fire, and EMS personnel stabilized and packaged the subject and carried her out to the Route 23A trailhead. From there she was transported by ambulance to a helicopter and transported to an area hospital.

Town of Hunter
Greene County
Rescue: On Jan. 29 at 2:10 p.m., Greene County 911 reported that a 27-year-old male fell approximately 50 feet while ice climbing in the Dark Side climbing area off of Platt Clove Road. Forest Rangers, paramedics, and fire personnel reached the subject at 4:35 p.m. after a difficult hike. After assessing and treating the subject for head injuries and hypothermia, he was able to hike out with the assistance of technical rope systems and was transported to an area hospital.

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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