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Randy Udall, brother to Sen. Mark Udall, and not someone we want to lose has been reported missing in the Rocky Mountains (Wind River Range) of Wyoming.

Randy Udall, green energy advocate, healthy watershed advocate, all-around good guy environmentally and politically and in every way humanly possible is not someone we want to lose.

I met Randy a few years ago at a solar array dedication at Rocky Mountain School, a private high school in Carbondale, Colorado, adjacent to the neighborhood in which I used to live. Such a likeable guy.

Hoping for the best, but am quite concerned.

Here's some further info from Aspen Business Journal.

Randy Udall, a Carbondale resident and nationally known energy expert, is missing after he went backpacking alone in the rugged Wind River Mountains of Wyoming.

He was reported overdue on Friday.

Udall, 61, is also the brother of Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado and a cousin of Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico. He was the original director for the Community Office for Resource Efficiency in the Roaring Fork Valley, and he co-founded the Association for the Study of Peak-Oil. Udall has been a vocal critic of hydraulic fracturing, aka fracking, and its impacts on the environment. His friends and family say he is an avid hiker and outdoorsman who had hiked in the Wind River Mountains on multiple occasions over the span of 30 years.

Authorities say Udall began his hike June 20 and was expected to return to civilization six days later.

"Mark is concerned about his brother's whereabouts, and he continues to closely monitor the situation. He and his family hope for the best," according to a statement from Sen. Mark Udall's office.

Wish I had superpowers to fly the Wind River range, zero in on Randy and bring him home safe and sound.

Updates below the orange squiggly.

4:09 PM PT: Some comments from Randy's daughter and a few more details in this story from Carbondale/Glenwood Springs.

CARBONDALE — Environmentalist James “Randy” Udall, 61, has been reported missing in the Wind River Range of western Wyoming, near the town of Pinedale, after he reportedly went hiking alone and failed to return as scheduled on June 26.

His daughter, Ren Udall, confirmed to the Post Independent on Monday that her father was missing, and that search and rescue teams were hunting for him.

She declined to say more, explaining, “We’re just trying to keep the phones open and do some logistical work from here.”

According to a reports on the website, Udall headed out from Elkhart Park, a popular trailhead into the Wind Rivers that is located close to Pinedale.

According to Deputy Steve Smith of the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office, Udall’s family called the sheriff’s office on June 28, and the Tip Top Search and Rescue organization started searching that day and were continuing to search on Monday.

The search and rescue operation, according to a statement from Sublette County Sheriff Dave Lankford, has involved ground teams and aerial sweeps by helicopter, and is focused on an area approximately 225 square miles in circumference.

Udall, brother of Senators Mark Udall of Colorado and Tom Udall of New Mexico, also is a son of the late Morris “Mo” Udall of Arizona, reportedly had planned on backpacking alone for nearly a week, starting on June 20. He is known to be an experienced mountaineer, and to have hiked in the Wind River Range numerous times.

Udall, a locally well-known advocate for alternative energy and the need to protect the environment from over-development, co-founded and was the original director of a valleywide energy efficiency organization, called the Community Office for Resource Efficiency or CORE.

Udall also has been an outspoken critic of the oil and gas recovery method known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” which is in widespread use around the U.S. and in Western Colorado, particularly in Garfield County.

8:18 PM PT: WA PO story about the Udall family and it's missing member, Randy.

...The Udall family has deep roots in the American West, with many members holding seats in public office. Udall’s father and his uncle Stewart, who was interior secretary during the Kennedy administration, have been heralded as the pioneers of the conservation movement in the West.

“It was the Udall family that helped bring environmental issues into prominence and develop natural approaches and solutions,” said Howard Boigon, a natural gas lawyer from Denver who has worked with Randy Udall and his brother, the senator. “Their offspring have continued that tradition.”

In 1994, Randy Udall founded the Community Office for Resource Efficiency (CORE) to promote renewable energy in western Colorado. For a decade, his most prominent project was to commercialize coal mine methane...

8:30 PM PT: NOLS groups helping in the search.

CHEYENNE, Wyo. • A wilderness search for James "Randy" Udall, whose family is well-known in Western politics, continued Tuesday with no sign of the environmentalist and energy efficiency advocate overdue almost a week from a solo backpacking trip in the shadow of Wyoming’s highest mountain.

Udall is a brother of Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, cousin of New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall, and son of the late Arizona Rep. Morris "Mo" Udall. His uncle, Stewart Udall, was Interior secretary in the 1960s...

Dozens of searchers on the ground and in two helicopters were looking for Udall in a 225-square-mile area of the Wind River Range southwest of 13,809-foot Gannett Peak.

Udall, 61, left June 20 from a trailhead 10 miles northwest of Pinedale in western Wyoming. He was due back last Wednesday. The search for him began Friday, the day he was reported missing.

The Wind River Range sprawls 100 miles southeast of the Yellowstone ecosystem...
Compared to other wilderness areas in Wyoming, the area’s maze of trails is popular with summertime backpackers and day hikers. Many who explore the area venture off-trail to fish or climb, said Rick Rochelle, director of professional training for the Lander-based National Outdoor Leadership School.

A well-known wilderness training academy, NOLS currently has 29 groups of 14 students and instructors participating in courses in the Wind Rivers. Groups headed into the mountains were being told to keep an eye out for Udall. Half a dozen NOLS employees joined the core search party Tuesday, he said.

The search area includes dense pine forests.

"You can’t see through the forest canopy to see the ground, if you’re searching from a helicopter," Rochelle said. "So you need people on the ground to search that kind of area."

Thin air and slick snowfields are challenges higher up, said Rochelle, who has taken part in search efforts in the Wind River Range over the years.

It's comforting knowing the NOLS groups are out there on the lookout.

Originally posted to akmk on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 02:04 PM PDT.

Also republished by Colorado COmmunity.

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