Monday, February 24, 2014
Zion National Park (UT) Woman Killed In Illegal BASE Jump In Park
On the evening of February 8th, the park was notified that a fatal BASE jump had occurred at Mount Kinesava.
A couple from Salt Lake City, both experienced BASE jumpers, had come to Zion to jump from the mountain, although jumping is not permitted in the park. Mount Kinesava is also an area of the park that contains important natural resource habitat protecting threatened and endangered species.
Investigation revealed that the man had previously jumped from this location on several occasions. His wife was wearing a custom-made wing suit, which she was using for the first time from this location. According to her husband, her main chute did not open in time to stop her from hitting the mountain’s talus slope.
The husband completed his base jump and hiked out to report the incident after dark. Rangers were short-hauled by Grand Canyon’s helicopter to the victim’s location on a cliff band 1500 feet below the summit and recovered her body.
[Submitted by Cindy Purcell, Chief Ranger] More Information...
Lake Mead National Recreation Area (AZ,NV) Body Of Missing Boater Found, Search Continues For Two Others
On February 20th, the park was advised that three men who’d gone on a multi-day boating trip on the park had failed to call in as planned the previous night.
A search was begun, and their capsized 1977 Glastron boat was found on the lake the next morning. The body of one of the missing men was found a half mile north of the vessel.
A land, water and air search for the other two men continues. The search team this past weekend consisted of four National Park Service vessels with rangers and side scan sonar, a Nevada Department of Wildlife vessel, and Metro Air and Civil Air Patrol aircraft. Around 40 Red Rock Search and Rescue volunteers combed seven miles of land on both sides of the shore.
[Submitted by Christie Vanover, Public Affairs Officer]
NEWS AND NOTES
Chaco Culture National Historical Park (NM) Park Receives International Dark Sky Park Designation
Chaco Culture National Historical Park, best known for its monumental ancient buildings and high desert solitude, has added another facet to its allure – a refuge for dark night skies.
The park’s natural nighttime darkness, commitment to reducing light pollution, and ongoing public outreach recently led to its certification as an International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). Chaco Culture NHP is the twelfth park to receive the designation worldwide and only the fourth unit within the U.S. National Park System.
The park undertook its bid to become an IDA International Dark Sky Park in response to the National Park Service initiative, “Starry, Starry Night,” through which the agency has pledged to “lead the way in protecting natural darkness as a precious resource and create a model for dark sky protection by establishing America’s first Dark Sky Cooperative on the Colorado Plateau.”
Due to Chaco’s remote northwestern New Mexico location, the park’s night sky is nearly pristine. Since 2002, technicians from the NPS Night Skies Program have monitored natural and human-introduced light levels at the park; a recent monitoring report confirmed that the night sky at Chaco remains among the darkest in the National Park System. Night sky enthusiasts often call Chaco one of the best places in America to stargaze.
The Albuquerque Astronomical Society (TAAS), a key partner in the park’s public astronomy program for more than two decades, formally nominated Chaco Culture for the IDA designation. TAAS members will help the park celebrate its new status by co-hosting the Chaco Canyon Star Party on Thursday, April 24th. The International Dark-Sky Association will formally present the International Dark Sky Park designation to the park during this public event.
[Submitted by Christine Czazasty, Chief of Interpretation] More Information...
Keweenaw National Historical Park (MI) Passing of Park Volunteer And Friend Liz Sheridan
Park staff, partners, and community members are mourning the unexpected death of outstanding park volunteer and friend, Elizabeth “Liz” Sheridan.
Liz died on February 14, 2014, at her home on the shores of Lake Superior on her beloved Keweenaw Peninsula.
Liz was a dedicated park volunteer, working at the Calumet Visitor Center, providing great assistance at special events, and assisting with special projects at park headquarters. She was also a valued member of the board of the National Parks of Lake Superior Foundation, providing support to the five national parks on the lake.
A retired public school superintendent, administrator, and teacher, Liz was a real “doer” who made a positive difference in the park and broader community. On the day before her passing, she brought in food treats for the park staff and visited with those present, as she often did. Her husband, Ed, is also a dedicated park volunteer and a board member of the Isle Royale Keweenaw Parks Association.
“Together, Liz and Ed have been ever present for years at our parks in a very positive way – a real park power couple,” said Mike Pflaum, the park’s superintendent. “They have both become good friends with many of the park staff, volunteers, and park partners in the way of the NPS family. We will miss Liz dearly. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to Ed and their daughter Allison.”
Liz’s funeral took place in her hometown of Pewee Valley, Kentucky, this past Saturday; a celebration of her life will be held at the family home in Winter, Wisconsin, on March 1st.
Liz’s family has suggested that those who wish to honor her life and work for parks do so by making a donation in her honor and memory to the National Parks of Lake Superior Foundation (NPLSF). Cards can be sent to Ed Sheridan at W6736 Old Highway 70, Winter, WI 54896.
Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs
Weekly Legislative Activities Report
The Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs puts out weekly reports on hearings, new legislation and other activities on the Hill. This report covers activities in Congress for the week ending February 21st.
In order to obtain the full text of any of the bills that appear below, click on the following link: http://thomas.loc.gov/ . That will take you to Thomas, the Library of Congress legislative tracking system. Enter the bill number in the “Search Bill Text” block, being sure to also click on the “Bill Number” option below the block.
New Public Laws
Nothing to report.
Nothing to report.
Nothing to report.
New Bills Introduced
Nothing to report.
Upcoming Committee Activity
On February 26th, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation (Bishop) will hold a hearing on the following bills of interest to the National Park Service. The hearing is scheduled for 10:00 AM in 1334 Longworth. The Department’s witness will be Vic Knox, Associate Director, Park Planning, Facilities and Lands:
- H.R. 503 (Roe, R-TN-1), to authorize the National Desert Storm Memorial Association to establish the National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial as a commemorative work in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes.
- H.R. 712 (Frelinghuysen, R-NJ-11), to extend the authorization of the Highlands Conservation Act through fiscal year 2024.
- H.R. 1192 (McClintock, R-CA-4), to redesignate Mammoth Peak in Yosemite National Park as "Mount Jessie Benton Fre'mont".
- H.R. 1501 (Jeffries, D-NY-8), to direct the Secretary of the Interior to study the suitability and feasibility of designating the Prison Ship Martyrs' Monument in Fort Greene Park, in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, as a unit of the National Park System.
- H.R. 2569 (Welch, D-VT-At Large), to amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate segments of the Missisquoi River and the Trout River in the State of Vermont, as components of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
- H.R. 3222 (Meng, D-NY-6), to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study of sites associated with the 1657 signing of the Flushing Remonstrance in Queens, New York, and for other purposes.
- H.R. 3802 (Lynch, D-MA-8), to extend the legislative authority of the Adams Memorial Foundation to establish a commemorative work in honor of former President John Adams and his legacy, and for other purposes.
For additional information, please visit the Legislative and Congressional Affairs Office website at http://www.nps.gov/legal/
[Submitted by Susan Farinelli]
Yosemite National Park (CA) GL-0025-9 Protection Ranger (Lateral)
Yosemite National Park is seeking qualified candidates interested in a lateral reassignment to a GL-9 protection ranger (6c covered) position. The ranger selected will be assigned to the Wawona District.
This is a required occupancy position. In order to be considered, candidates must currently hold a GL-0025-9 position and possess either a Level I or level II law enforcement commission.
Yosemite National Park encompasses 748,000 acres in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range of California. The Wawona District is located in the southern third of the park and is within a reasonable driving distance to full-service towns and metropolitan areas, including Oakhurst (30 minutes) and Fresno (75 minutes). The community of Wawona includes the Wawona Hotel and Golf Course complex, stores, gas, a K-8 elementary school, county library, and approximately 300 houses of intermixed federal and private ownership.
The Wawona District is a true all-hazard work environment that includes resource protection oriented law enforcement, emergency medical services, search and rescue, wildland and structural fire, wilderness patrols, and participation in park-wide incidents. The primary area of responsibility includes the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, the Badger Pass Ski Area, Glacier Point, and Wawona. Opportunities may exist in the park’s tactical Special Response Team, park medic program, structural fire brigade, and all-hazard incident management. With a unique community of private citizens, businesses, and park employees, the ranger selected will be expected to engage in community oriented policing and work with park partners.
For more information regarding this position contact Supervisory Park Ranger Chad Andrews at 209-375-9520, ext. 228 or email (email@example.com).
To be considered for this position you must submit: a resume which includes your commission level and number; your most recent SF-50 (Notification of Personnel Action) indicating current grade and step; a copy of your most recent performance appraisal.
Send your complete application package to Yosemite National Park’s Human Resources Office, Attention: Cyndi Mattiuzzi, PO Box 700-HR, El Portal, CA 95318. You may also fax your application package to (209) 379-1800.
Applications must be received in the Human Resources Office no later than March 5th. If you have questions regarding the application process, please call Cyndi Mattiuzzi at (209) 379-1806.