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USFS allow Operation Relentless Pursuit to carry out its mission to #FINDSAMSAYERS

This petition made change with 4,847 supporters!


 

  • Samantha Sayers, 28, has been missing since her day-hike to Vesper Peak on August 1st. The official SAR team has suspended their search, but the search by volunteers has grown ever-stronger. Operation Relentless Pursuit has been formed and in action with non-stop search for Sam. With nearly 34,000 followers and volunteers, the search will continue until Sam is found.

After exhaustive Action Plans, Incident Action Plans, Standard Operations Procedures have been compiled and approved, and all supplies needed have been obtained, many through donations, Operations Relentless Pursuit was hit by a last-minute critical and unnecessary roadblock.

We are asking that the Darrington Ranger District, Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest approve our previously approved Action Plans, Incident Action Plans and Standard Operating Procedures (which include Environmental Protection Precautions), to move forward with the use of helicopter deployment to remotely drop supplies to Vesper Peak, with expediency needed due to foreseen weather conditions.

The Darrington Ranger District, Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forrest has denied Operation Relentless Pursuit approval to set up a forward operating base/incident center needed in their mission to #FindSamSayers. The use of a helicopter to provide initial logistical support is necessary to drop in necessary medical, communication, and team supplies for the Command Center (which would consist of a 10’x12’ footprint in an area previously used for camping).

This decision to deny helicopter access (which has not been an issue before now) reduces the chance of finding Samantha Sayers, as searchers will not have direct logistical support therefore increasing fatigue levels and further placing SAR teams at risk.

The reasoning stated per Darrington Ranger District:

  • In the search area, the only footprint should be backpack based camps.  Anything going up to those higher elevations should be carried in by people, not helicopters. If you want to have a small satellite camp of tents up there, that is workable.
  • The command post needs to be set up in an area that is less fragile and not along the trail.


The families and Operation Relentless Pursuit are asking specifically: 

  1. Establish a base camp on the ridge above Lake Elan in pre-established campground sites. (Our understanding is that this territory falls under DNR, please advise)
  2. Allow the Forest Service to provide an environmental professional who can monitor our operations and make sure that our environmental impact is kept as limited as possible.  


We need to bring Sam home, and we need your help. Thank you!

 

 

 



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