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.
There has been an outpouring of concern for Udall from his friends, neighbors and others who know him.
"Sending prayers for your brother Randy, a true leader and inspiration in his own right, and your family," one woman wrote on Sen. Mark Udall's Facebook page.
Here is the press release from the authorities in Wyoming:
On Friday June 28th the Sublette County Sheriff's Office received a report of an overdue hiker in the Wind River Mountains. The hiker is identified as 61 year old James "Randy" Udall of Carbondale Colorado, an experienced backpacker who has hiked in the Winds many times over the past thirty years.
Tip Top Search and Rescue began a coordinated search effort Friday afternoon with multiple resources including ground teams and aerial sweeps with the Sheriff's Office contract helicopter. The search operation has continued over the weekend with assistance from the U.S. Forest Service. The search area is approximately 225 square miles.
Mr. Udall left Elkhart Park trailhead in the central part of the Wind River Range Thursday June 20th and was scheduled to exit the mountains on June 26th. He was hiking alone.