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      DNR search crew awarded for rescuing snowmobilers

      Michigan DNR employees awarded after successful efforts to rescue lost snowmobilers

      The Director of the Department of Natural Resources recognized five Parks and Recreation Division employees last week for their efforts in locating two snowmobilers lost in the Porcupine Mountains.

      Porcupine Mountains State Park staff members Justin Farley, David Merk, Jimmy Newkirk and Emily Pleiness, along with Parks and Recreation's western U.P. district supervisor William Doan, were awarded last week at the monthly Natural Resources Commission meeting.

      According to the DNR, the crew volunteered to search on foot in sub-zero temperatures for a father and son that became lost while snowmobiling in the area. The two snowmobilers were found after a night in frigid conditions by search crews snowshoeing off-trail.

      "This recognition is a tribute to our dedicated personnel in every state park and recreation area throughout Michigan, who are well trained and always prepared to assist in any situation," said DNR Parks and Recreation Division Chief Ron Olson.

      Officials say the honored employees were nominated for a DNR Director's Award and received plaques from the office of Governor Rick Snyder.

      "We know that DNR employees have a meaningful impact on many of our customers' lives, but it isn't often they actually save those lives," said Keith Creagh, DNR Director. "We are proud to honor these five employees for their exemplary service to the citizens of the state of Michigan."