Brother of Mark Udall missing in Wyoming

A Carbondale man who is the brother of U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., and has spoken widely on energy issues is missing in the Wyoming backcountry.

James “Randy” Udall, 61, was scheduled to have completed a solo, weeklong hiking outing in the Wind River Range of western Wyoming on Wednesday. He was reported overdue Friday, the Sublette County Sheriff’s Department said.

Udall and his brother, Mark, are the sons of the late U.S. Congressman Morris “Mo” Udall of Arizona. Their late uncle, Stewart, was a secretary of the Interior, and Stewart’s son, Tom, is a U.S. senator from New Mexico.

“Mark is concerned about his brother’s whereabouts, and he continues to closely monitor the situation. He and his family hope for the best,” the senator’s office said in a prepared statement.

Randy Udall is the former director of the Community Office for Resource Efficiency, a Roaring Fork Valley organization focused on renewable energy, energy efficiency and green building. He has continued to advocate for alternative energy causes and has spoken publicly and written commentaries for publications frequently on issues such as climate change, natural gas development and efforts to develop oil shale in western Colorado.

The Sublette Sheriff’s Department said in a Facebook posting that a search for Udall is being conducted with the help of Tip Top Search and Rescue, Teton County Search and Rescue, the U.S. Forest Service and Sublette County Emergency Management.

An Air National Guard helicopter and one contracted by the Sublette Sheriff’s Departmet also are involved in the search.

The search area is about 225 square miles. Udall began his trip at the Elkhart Park trail head outside Pinedale, in the central part of the Wind River Range. Udall reportedly has 30 years of experience hiking in the Wind River area.

The Udall brothers have both undertaken numerous adventures in the mountains, both together and separately. James Owens, a spokesman for the senator, called them “both very experienced outdoorsmen, for sure.”

The Sublette County Sheriff’s Department said Randy Udall, who is 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 200 pounds, may walk with a limp because of a prior hip injury.

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