ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- New York State Forest Rangers spent the majority of search and rescue missions in 2018 responding to hiking or hiking-related activities like rock/ice climbing and walking. Altogether it was 75% of all searches and rescues.
The rangers actively patrol five million acres of public lands, but are responsible for 18.6 million acres of forested land in the state with over 2,000 miles of trails in state parks/historic sites, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation and Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
Out of 468 searches and rescues during 2018, 354 of them were for hiking, rock/ice climbing and walking. Of those 354, 91% were strictly for hiking. Most hiking-related searches and rescues were either due to an individual being lost or injured, a combined 212.
The data is further broken down by situation and response type. Most are categorized as either a search or rescue but some are categorized as a recovery. A search and rescue becomes a recovery mission when the subject is known to be dead, according to Public Participation Specialist Regina Willis, from the Communication Office at the Department of Environmental Conservation.
The graphs below highlight the number of searches/rescues/recoveries, the number of calls by age group, and the number of calls for each month during 2018.
For information regarding hiking safety, the rangers suggest visiting hikesafe.com.
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