ZOAR VALLEY – Following a 911 call to Cattaraugus County 911 Dispatch at 3 p.m. Saturday, DEC Forest Rangers and the Gowanda Fire Department responded to a search and rescue along the South Branch of Cattaraugus Creek.
Dispatchers received a call from two subjects who were hiking in the South Branch of the Cattaraugus Creek when localized heavy rains forced water from the creek bed into the woods. The hikers were unaware of how to return to their vehicle parked in the DEC parking area in the Zoar Valley Unique Area.
Forest Ranger Robert Rogers, Wayne Krulish, Assistant Forest Ranger Feather, and members of the Gowanda Fire Department and Gowanda Ambulance Company responded to the area. Cattaraugus County was able to get a cell phone location from the 911 call.
Forest Ranger Rogers, Feather, and members of the Gowanda FD operated a UTV along trails of The Nature Conservancy’s Deer Lick Preserve and then hiked the remaining half mile to the location of the coordinates. As the search team approached, Forest Ranger Rogers made contact with the two individuals and guided them back to the remaining rescuers for the final hike back to the UTVs and a motorized evacuation.