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Missing Skier, Ranger, Had Salina Connections

KSAL Staff - January 7, 2017 9:54 am

social media photo

A U.S. Forest Service Ranger, who died while he was being treated for hypothermia after going missing while back country skiing, was a graduate of Salina Central High School.

Authorities say one of two missing back country skiers who were found in the central Colorado mountains died while he was being treated for hypothermia.

The Lake County Office of Emergency Management posted on its Facebook page that Brett Beasley and a boy he was skiing with were found near Turquoise Lake west of Leadville on Thursday afternoon. The boy was uninjured and was taken from the area on a snowmobile to be reunited with his family. Beasley was treated for hypothermia but did not survive.

The two had not been heard from since Wednesday.

Skiers throughout the West flocked to the mountains Thursday to take advantage of deep, fresh snow that also proved treacherous as a series of winter storms moved east and threatened turbulent weather across much of the Southeast.

Beasley grew up in Salina. He attended Meadowlark Ridge Elementary School, Roosevelt Lincoln Junior High School, and graduated from Salina Central High School in 1988. He studied forestry at Kansas State University, and after graduation became a ranger working for the U.S. Forest Service in Colorado.

Beasley was beloved where he lived.

The Colorado Trail Foundation posted on social media: “RIP Brett Beasley. He did a lot of good in his work with the Salida Ranger District of the US Forest Service. Brett loved trails and working with volunteers. He was a source of endless energy and could inspire all of us at the end of a long day. He will be greatly missed as a friend and trail advocate.”

The Keith Baker for Chaffee County Commissioner account posted: “Our community lost an outstanding public servant yesterday. Brett Beasley of the U.S. Forest Service, Salida Ranger District worked hard to maintain sustainable and enjoyable access to our public lands for all user groups. Brett was a champion of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail and the many other trails that crisscross Chaffee County, offering safe, natural recreation, pathways to connect with nature and ourselves, and an economic driver for our citizens. Brett succumbed to hypothermia on a back country ski trip in Lake County. His family, many friends, and the Central Colorado conservation community he leaves behind will miss him. Godspeed Brett.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story

 

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Kammy Reeves

January 7, 2017 at 12:45 pm

The 14-year old boy is just fine because of the selflessness of U.S. forrest ranger, Brett Beasley. After an avalanche, Brett made a snow fort & did everything he knew possible to ensure the safety of that teen. And, by the grace of God expressed through Brett, that kid is alive! Brett died, so that kid could live. May the Beasley family find comfort in knowing his death spared another’s life.That kind of courage can be acknowledged as heroism, but it’s can also be a reminder of COMPASSION.