Adirondack Forum  
Rules Membership Donations and Online Store Adkhighpeaks Foundation ADKhighpeaks Forums ADKhighpeaks Wiki Disclaimer

Go Back   Adirondack Forum > The Adirondack Forum > General Adirondack Discussion
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-08-2019, 11:38 AM   #1
Lucky13
Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 348
SAR Press release

DEC, ADK, and 46ers Announce Initiative to Reduce Number of Search and Rescue Incidents


Effort Starts Presidents' Day Weekend in High Peaks Wilderness and Addresses High Use and Popularity of The Region

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that DEC and its partners are launching a preventative initiative to reduce the number of search and rescue incidents in the Adirondacks and help to ensure the public has an enjoyable and safe outdoor experience. The measure will increase engagement between hikers and experienced backcountry users and is part of DEC's multi-year, comprehensive effort to promote sustainable tourism while also addressing public safety in the Adirondack region.

"New Yorkers are discovering the incredible treasure that is the Adirondacks, and outreach and education are the most effective means to protect the natural resources of the area and ensure the safety of backcountry users," said Commissioner Seggos. "Hikers who properly prepare and plan before going out on the trails are less likely to get lost or injured. Hikers who are knowledgeable about proper backcountry practices have significantly less impact on the natural resources, infrastructure, and other users. This effort will increase face-to-face interactions with hikers-the most effective means of educating visitors to the backcountry."

DEC Forest Rangers, Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) stewards and educators, and the Adirondack 46ers' volunteer trailhead stewards will promote proper planning and preparation through direct conversations with hikers at trailheads and on the trails.

This initiative, which builds on DEC's efforts to work with the communities and recreating public to address issues associated with the popularity of this region, will start in the High Peaks Wilderness on February 16-18, coinciding with the upcoming Presidents' Day holiday weekend. DEC Forest Rangers, ADK Summit Stewards, and volunteers from Keene and the Keene Backcountry Rescue organization will interact with hikers to ensure they are properly dressed, equipped, and prepared for the conditions they are likely to face on their hikes.

Hikers can expect to see Forest Rangers, stewards, and volunteers at the ADK's High Peaks Information Center, at trailheads, and on the trails of popular hiking routes in the High Peaks. DEC encourages hikers to stop and speak with the staff they encounter, ask questions, and listen to what these backwoods experts have to say so that everyone's experience is safer and more enjoyable.

"We are excited to continue our partnership with DEC and the 46ers to promote responsible recreation," said ADK Executive Director Neil Woodworth. "Planning ahead and preparing for your adventure is the most important principle of Leave No Trace. These outdoor skills and ethics protect recreationists and our valuable natural resources. Our cumulative voice in sharing this message is a powerful way to protect our public lands."

Due to the rising popularity of the Adirondacks, DEC Forest Rangers have seen an increase in backcountry search and rescue incidents requiring response. This is especially true in the High Peaks Wilderness, where the most recent four-year average rose to 97 search and rescue incidents per year. During the previous four years, Forest Rangers responded to an average of 65 incidents per year. Many of these incidents are the result of hikers being improperly prepared.

The initiative is based on the successful Preventative Search and Rescue program developed by the National Park Service. This program has decreased the number of search and rescue incidents on popular backcountry routes in Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Yosemite National Parks. Face-to-face education is a vital component of the program.

"Plan Ahead and Prepare" is the first of the Leave No Trace Seven Principles and the main theme of Hike Safe's Hiker Responsibility Code. DEC reminds hikers recreating this winter to plan ahead and be prepared for the elements:
•Know your skill level and physical capabilities - choose trails within your or your group's ability. Remember it takes more effort and energy to move through snow;
•Inform someone of your travel plans and let them know where you are going, your planned route, when you plan to return, and emergency numbers to call if you do not return at the scheduled time;
•Wear base layers of moisture-wicking fabric to keep your skin dry and insulating layers such as wool or fleece, waterproof or water-resistant outer layers, thick socks, a winter hat, gloves or mittens, gaiters, and waterproof, insulated boots;
•Wear snowshoes or skis and bring trail crampons or micro spikes; Bring plenty of food and water. Eat, drink, and rest often to prevent hypothermia;
•Pack a first aid kit, extra clothing, a fire starter kit, headlamp with extra batteries, and a trail map;
•and Keep an eye on the weather, and if conditions worsen, head back immediately.


http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/press.html
Lucky13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2019, 02:45 PM   #2
TCD
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,722
This is VERY encouraging. I've been preaching the need for this (to deaf ears) for about a decade. It's nice to know that the DEC may finally be listening. This is the first thing I have seen from DEC administration that will actually be helpful. (In fact, this is the first thing that I have seen that is not completely stupid and wrongheaded.)

My only disappointment is that I don't see any $ tied to this. Once again, it relies mostly on volunteers. $16 million for a bathroom at exit 18; $20 million for a campground that no one will use at exit 29; nothing for this program.

So at least the idea is right - I hope to see good execution, and maybe eventually some $ to make the program sustainable.
TCD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2019, 09:03 PM   #3
Hear the Footsteps
Member
 
Hear the Footsteps's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Saratoga County, NY
Posts: 189
Googleing "Preventive Search and Rescue" with "National Park Service" returns lots of hits.

This is one just one of them. It seems relevant to the tread.
http://www.jonfrancis.org/resources/NPSRangersPSAR.pdf

I'd heard of Jon Francis for the first time this fall when the foundation was contacted concerning another search and rescue in Washington State that I was following. Jon Francis is hiker that is missing for a decade or more.
Hear the Footsteps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2019, 01:22 PM   #4
adkjack
Admin
 
adkjack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 213
The press release may not be 100 percent factual in which parties are directly involved with the initiative, but that being said it is positive step in the right direction in an educational approach to a possible slight reduction in SAR calls.
As someone who spends a fair amount of time on summits educating people about the fragile ecosystem we recreate in knowledge is just the start, changing behaviors requires a bit more effort.
Don't get me wrong I am all for it and will actually be one of the people at a trailhead to participate in the project. However the cynic in me see's Seggos trying to reinforce his non-support of an increase in rangers in the area by utilization of a largely volunteer support system. While I and so many of the great people who do volunteer work in the Adirondacks do so with great passion we know that when push comes to shove we would like to see more rangers in conjunction with efforts to support safe recreation and protection of the resource.
__________________
"Climbing is about freedom. There's no prize money; there are no gold medals. The mountains are all about going there to do what you want to do. That's why I'll never tell anyone else how to climb. All I can say is, This is how I prefer to do it."
Ed Viesturs
adkjack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2019, 02:54 PM   #5
Buckladd
Member
 
Buckladd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Hogtown
Posts: 1,008
Quote:
Originally Posted by TCD View Post

My only disappointment is that I don't see any $ tied to this. Once again, it relies mostly on volunteers. $16 million for a bathroom at exit 18; $20 million for a campground that no one will use at exit 29; nothing for this program.
Don't expect an increase in staff, only a status quo, if that. Everyone wants more Forest Rangers, and I get it. But DEC is not getting any of that kind of cash from the Dept. of Budget. With staff comes the cost of benefits, not just the salary.

Thus the volunteers. The sporting community would love to see more ECO's, biologists, etc., but it's not happening. And we actually pay for a license and are taxed on our gear. We're lucky to have groups like QDMA, NWTF, DU, TU and others channel their resources into wildlife programs, as well as getting some of that tax money back.
__________________
Life's short, hunt hard!
Buckladd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2019, 02:15 PM   #6
Schultzz
Low Impact Skidder
 
Schultzz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 794
Why not have a special permit which could be free but requires a short course and test in survival preparations. After all it could be the difference between life and the other option.
__________________
Never Argue With An Idiot. They Will Drag You Down To Their Level And Beat You With Experience.
Schultzz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2019, 11:11 AM   #7
gebbyfish
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 160
There are just not enough volunteers to accomplish the task.
gebbyfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2019, 11:45 AM   #8
Wldrns
Member
 
Wldrns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Western Adirondacks
Posts: 3,920
Quote:
Originally Posted by gebbyfish View Post
There are just not enough volunteers to accomplish the task.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schultzz View Post
Why not have a special permit which could be free but requires a short course and test in survival preparations. After all it could be the difference between life and the other option.
It is hard enough to break a ranger or two away somewhere in the state once a year to schedule and hold basic trainings (as is mandated by the state) for basic SAR procedures for firefighters and SAR team new members. Often requires overtime on their part. Similarly for infrequent Wilderness Guide exam sittings. I can imagine that administering a survival course and test for the masses would be another kind of DEC regulatory, administrative and assignment nightmare. How would permit compliance be monitored and enforced?

A couple of years ago, Jack Drury (author of The Backcountry Classroom) and promoter of Adirondack "Hamlets to Huts" proposed a plan for knowledgeable community volunteers to provide basic information/training to newcomers (tourists) in villages and at trailheads. I don't know that the plan received much traction.
DSettahr may have updated information on this.
__________________
"Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman
Wldrns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2019, 06:49 PM   #9
Justin
Moving along
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 6,333
I’m happy to see more efforts are being made to help reduce the number of unprepared & uneducated “hikers & backcountry users”. However, the article seems to only focus on “hikers” and doesn’t really say anything about educating people about proper overnight camping practices & etiquette, especially in the Eastern High Peaks region. Hopefully this will also be part of the education process, as it seems clear that is still an on going issue in the region as well.
Justin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2019, 07:23 PM   #10
Hear the Footsteps
Member
 
Hear the Footsteps's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Saratoga County, NY
Posts: 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by gebbyfish View Post
There are just not enough volunteers to accomplish the task.
Was there actually anything new in the commissioners announcement?

Or to stay in another way. What is new in this announcement?

My point of view is at a high level Nothing New here. Just kicking the can down the road.

Don
Hear the Footsteps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2019, 02:33 PM   #11
1bluefin
Member
 
1bluefin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Johnstown, N.Y.
Posts: 77
How rangers spent their time in 2017

https://www.northcountrypublicradio....ger_report.jpg
Rangers spent 14% of their time on search and rescues according to the article.
__________________
~ADK's UPHILL ON THE WAY IN & UPHILL ON THE WAY OUT~
1bluefin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2019, 09:28 PM   #12
Buckladd
Member
 
Buckladd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Hogtown
Posts: 1,008
Three things:

1) Like the folks that got stuck on Algonquin, many underestimate the weather
2) They also underestimate the time it takes to complete an outing.
3) No map and compass skills. How many actually know what direction their destination is from their vehicle, and vice-versa? They just follow the yellow brick road known as a trail.

I could go on and on, and I'm sure many on this forum could too. But these are the big three in my opinion.
__________________
Life's short, hunt hard!
Buckladd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2019, 10:00 PM   #13
Wldrns
Member
 
Wldrns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Western Adirondacks
Posts: 3,920
I'll add that many underestimate the time it takes to get out and many of the SAR reports I see are the result of not having a source of light after dark. hint: a cell phone does not count as a flashlight or headlamp.
__________________
"Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman
Wldrns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2019, 11:33 PM   #14
Schultzz
Low Impact Skidder
 
Schultzz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 794
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schultzz View Post
Why not have a special permit which could be free but requires a short course and test in survival preparations. After all it could be the difference between life and the other option.
Before we all come up with excuses. This could be an online course similar to the requirements for operating a jet ski. You study and take the test. You print out your mountain hiking permit. At the base you enter your permit number on a roster. Free permit. No permit? Big fine. Which will motivate most people into getting the permit. Want to take a chance on not having it? Who is going to enforce it? It self-enforces. The whole idea is to educate those who have no idea on being prepared. It WILL reduce incidents and prevent the need for as many SAR rescues.
__________________
Never Argue With An Idiot. They Will Drag You Down To Their Level And Beat You With Experience.
Schultzz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2019, 08:42 AM   #15
aft paddle
Member
 
aft paddle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Northern Greene County
Posts: 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1bluefin View Post
https://www.northcountrypublicradio....ger_report.jpg
Rangers spent 14% of their time on search and rescues according to the article.
It reads search and rescues and training. Big difference than just search and rescues I imagine.
aft paddle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2019, 10:35 AM   #16
JohnnyVirgil
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Porter Corners, NY
Posts: 820
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schultzz View Post
Before we all come up with excuses. This could be an online course similar to the requirements for operating a jet ski. You study and take the test. You print out your mountain hiking permit. At the base you enter your permit number on a roster. Free permit. No permit? Big fine. Which will motivate most people into getting the permit. Want to take a chance on not having it? Who is going to enforce it? It self-enforces. The whole idea is to educate those who have no idea on being prepared. It WILL reduce incidents and prevent the need for as many SAR rescues.
I think this could work. But as you say, someone somewhere will object, "What about people with no access to a computer, or the ones who can't read? It will exclude them unfairly." So it will never get off the ground.
JohnnyVirgil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2019, 12:24 AM   #17
Schultzz
Low Impact Skidder
 
Schultzz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 794
Hi Johnny. Thanks for your comment. Folks could access the information at a library or the Addacks Museum, or...at a retail store or gas station. Some people are afraid of computers but I am sure they know someone who has one. Nowadays smart phones can be used to access the info along with PSA radio announcements, etc. Not trying to reinvent the wheel, just want folks to know the possible dangers of hiking without proper preparation. SAR is expensive and expansive. Most forum members here I am sure know how to take precautions but there are many lurkers who may not.
__________________
Never Argue With An Idiot. They Will Drag You Down To Their Level And Beat You With Experience.
Schultzz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2019, 04:44 AM   #18
JohnnyVirgil
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Porter Corners, NY
Posts: 820
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schultzz View Post
Hi Johnny. Thanks for your comment. Folks could access the information at a library or the Addacks Museum, or...at a retail store or gas station. Some people are afraid of computers but I am sure they know someone who has one. Nowadays smart phones can be used to access the info along with PSA radio announcements, etc. Not trying to reinvent the wheel, just want folks to know the possible dangers of hiking without proper preparation. SAR is expensive and expansive. Most forum members here I am sure know how to take precautions but there are many lurkers who may not.
I still like the idea and think it could work. Like a hike safe card but free.
JohnnyVirgil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2019, 08:16 AM   #19
adkman12986
Member
 
adkman12986's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Tupper Lake
Posts: 825
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schultzz View Post
Before we all come up with excuses. This could be an online course similar to the requirements for operating a jet ski. You study and take the test. You print out your mountain hiking permit. At the base you enter your permit number on a roster. Free permit. No permit? Big fine. Which will motivate most people into getting the permit. Want to take a chance on not having it? Who is going to enforce it? It self-enforces. The whole idea is to educate those who have no idea on being prepared. It WILL reduce incidents and prevent the need for as many SAR rescues.
Why not have a free class like they do for hunting licenses It would include First aide preparedness clothing needs etc. Of course it would be optional but I would bet there would be a lot of people comming to them.
adkman12986 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2019, 10:04 AM   #20
TCD
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,722
I think some kind of education program is a good idea to create some baseline awareness in some people. But I think that something like that would be a supplement to, NOT a substitute for face to face interaction with a human at the trailhead:
>Education programs are minimally effective. Look at some of the products of our formal education system, even after thousands of hours of forced attendance.
>Many folks today don't read signs. They won't read an education presentation either, just click through it as fast as they can to get whatever cert is provided at the end.
>Many folks today are not aware of what's going on around them, and won't remember something they heard 5 minutes ago, much less last year.

So nothing wrong with this kind of a program; I don't oppose it. My concern with it is that it will become a cover/excuse for the state to continue steadfastly refusing to fund a (fairly inexpensive) program of full time, paid trailhead educators to meet hikers face to face and discuss the "top three most important things" as mentioned above.
TCD is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:32 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

DISCLAIMER: Use of these forums, and information found herein, is at your own risk. Use of this site by members and non-members alike is only granted by the adkhighpeak.com administration provided the terms and conditions found in the FULL DISCLAIMER have been read. Continued use of this site implies that you have read, understood and agree to the terms and conditions of this site. Any questions can be directed to the Administrator of this site.