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Five DNR Officers Recognized for Rescue Efforts

Five Department of Natural Resources employees have been honored for helping to rescue two snowmobilers who had been stranded in the western Upper Peninsula near the Porcupine Mountains State Park in Ontonagon County in late January. Four Porcupine Mountains State Park rangers – Justin Farley, David Merk, Jimmy Newkirk and Emily Pleiness – and William Doan, Parks and Recreation’s western U.P. district supervisor, received DNR Director’s Awards for their efforts. Upon hearing that father and son snowmobilers from Minnesota were stranded, the Parks and Recreation group volunteered to head out on snowshoes to search in sub-zero temperatures and blizzard conditions. The lost pair had weathered overnight temperatures near 40 degrees below zero. Overcast skies and whiteout conditions made an aerial search impossible. After several hours of off-trail snowshoeing, the searchers made contact with the snowmobilers, who were found safe but suffering from hypothermia and dehydration. They were treated at a local hospital.

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