The Morning Report

Thursday, January 29, 2015

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Grand Teton National Park (WY)
Historic Luther Taylor Cabin Repaired After Vandalism

Spray-painted graffiti on an important cultural site in Grand Teton National Park was recently removed through an extensive cleanup effort. 

Sometime last September, the Luther Taylor homestead cabin, located along the Gros Ventre Road between Kelly Warm Springs and the eastern boundary of the park, was defaced with graffiti.

A black and blue spray-painted depiction of a devilish creature wearing a crown was discovered by a park visitor on the inside wall of the homestead cabin and reported to park law enforcement rangers. The subsequent investigation yielded no suspects and provided inconclusive answers as to the possible source or meaning of the graffiti.

Historic preservationists from both Grand Teton and the Western Center for Historic Preservation painstakingly removed the graffiti in mid-December, though evidence of the damage remains.

Their efforts were largely successful, though some paint remained in the cracks and crevices of the wood. Unfortunately, the cleaning process also removed the 100-year-old gray patina from the logs. To remedy this problem and return the cabin wall to its historic appearance, park cultural resource specialists plan to use a wood product that will help accelerate the ageing process along with exposure to sunlight and moisture.

The site was originally homesteaded in 1916 by John Erwin and purchased by Luther Taylor in 1923, who built a cabin and outbuildings. The culturally significant site is now famous for its appearance in the 1953 western film Shane, starring Alan Ladd. In fact, the site is commonly recognized as the “Shane cabin.” Though currently in a state of decay, this site is eligible for—and soon to be listed on—the National Register of Historic Places.

Anyone with knowledge about this act of vandalism is encouraged to call Teton Interagency Dispatch Center at 307.739.3301. Callers can remain anonymous.

[Submitted by Jackie Skaggs, Public Affairs Officer]


Director's Office
Directors Orders Promote More Diverse And Inclusive Workforce

As the National Park Service prepares for our centennial in 2016, having a strong, diverse, inclusive, and professional workforce will be essential in carrying out our mission. To remain relevant for the next 100 years, we need to have employees who bring diverse life experiences, skills, and knowledge to make our organization stronger.

Promoting a diverse and welcoming workforce that mirrors our multi-cultural country is one of our principle objectives. As we strive to bring more diverse people to visit the national parks and to use NPS programs, we must also strive for more diversity in the ranks of our employees. We need to be proactive and reach out to people who may never have envisioned a career with the NPS.

At the same time, we need to protect our current workforce from discrimination and harassment. We must also ensure that our work environment(s) allow all employees—present and future—to advance and succeed in this organization.

We all have roles and responsibilities to make sure the NPS is an exemplar of equity and inclusiveness inside and outside the Federal government. As such, Director Jarvis has asked each of us to help carry out EEO policies, to help others to understand them, and to cooperate fully in their enforcement. We must maintain a workplace where everyone is treated with dignity and respect and assure our recruitment and selection processes support full consideration of all qualified people.

Each year, Director Jarvis issues a series of Equal Employment Opportunity memoranda. Their purpose is to:

  • Educate managers and hold them accountable for keeping our workplace free from discrimination;
  • Ensure that we offer equal employment opportunities to all NPS employees and to those who seek to join our workforce;
  • Remind all employees of their legal rights and responsibilities; and
  • Inform employees about how to seek assistance if they believe they have been the target of employment discrimination.

Federal laws, Presidential Executive Orders, and regulations protect NPS employees from discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), sexual orientation, parental status, national origin, age, disability, family medical history, or genetic information. These protections extend to all management practices and decisions, including recruitment and hiring, appraisal systems, promotions, training, and career development.

Federal laws also protect NPS employees from retaliation for engaging in protected activities, such as whistle blowing, or exercising appeal or grievance rights. In addition, consistent with the Conflict Resolution PLUS (CORE PLUS), the NPS does not tolerate retaliation against those who choose to participate in CORE PLUS processes. NPS managers and supervisors are also reminded of their responsibility to prevent, document, and promptly correct harassing conduct in the workplace.

For further guidance, please refer to the following:

The Director appreciates your continued dedication to creating a workplace that respects and values the differences each employee brings to the NPS which helps us in fulfilling our mission.

Thank you for your service to the Nation.

Office of Communications
Robert MacLean Sworn In As Chief Of U.S. Park Police

Chief of the U.S. Park Police Robert D. MacLean received his badge in an official swearing-in ceremony at Ford’s Theatre on Wednesday morning in Washington.

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis honored Chief MacLean for his past service and expressed confidence in his ability to lead the Force. 

Secretary Jewell and Director Jarvis reflected on the many complex and challenging events to which the U.S. Park Police routinely responds. Director Jarvis spoke in particular about sharing these iconic landscapes and First Amendment rights and how important those are to Americans. He reminded those in attendance of the special responsibility the National Park Service carries out by ensuring that groups assembled to hear everything from Glenn Beck to John Stewart are respected.

Chief MacLean leads a police force with a long tradition of protecting some of the nation’s most cherished monuments and memorials, and its citizens’ rights. The U.S. Park Police is America's oldest Federal uniformed law enforcement agency. In 1791, President George Washington called for "Park Watchmen" to be provided by the United States Government in and around the public in Washington. Jurisdiction has since spread to include counties adjoining the district boundaries.

Chief MacLean leads approximately 700 employees. He thanked “the women and men that proudly serve around the clock, each and every day. Their sacrifices and selfless acts are the foundation upon which the US Park Police is built. The principles and values guiding their actions are a significant source of pride, inspiration, and guidance.”

MacLean joined the U.S. Park Police in 1991. He has served in a wide range of positions, including commander of the Services Division, commander of the Homeland Security Division, commander of the Icon Protection Branch, commander of the Special Forces/Special Events Unit, commander of Internal Affairs, public information officer, and  commander of SWAT and Canine Units. For the past year, MacLean has served as the acting chief. He succeeds Chief Teresa Chambers, who retired.

MacLean received his bachelor’s degree in history from Virginia Tech and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Naval Post Graduate School/Department of Homeland Security’s Executive Leaders Program. He also served his country as a member of the United States Navy Reserve.

Attending guests included many law enforcement officials from surrounding jurisdictions, National Park Service superintendents, members of the U.S. Park Police and Chief MacLean’s family, including his wife, two children and his parents.

[Submitted by Karen Mudar]

Mammoth Cave National Park (KY)
Passing Of Joy Medley Lyons

Joy Medley Lyons, 56, passed away on January 12th following a battle with cancer.  Lyons retired from Mammoth Cave National Park in 2013. 

Mammoth Cave retiree Bob Ward described her as “a beautiful person” who was also “hard-charging and driven but very affable and approachable.”

“She did a lot for Mammoth Cave National Park, particularly the cave (and) the African-American history,” he said. Her book, Making Their Mark, led to Lyons’s recognition as the Southeast Regional Interpreter of the Year in 2007 by the National Association of Interpretation and an Award of Merit from the Kentucky Historical Society in 2007.

Throughout Lyons’ 33-year NPS career – all spent at Mammoth Cave – she supervised and mentored the park’s guide force.  Lyons hired and trained literally hundreds of new interpreters as a supervisor, guide and friend.  She insisted that her staff read, research, and corroborate the stories they told to the public.

“Joy constantly sought out new sources of historic information and leaves that as a legacy to the rest of us,” said Vickie Carson, park PIO and longtime coworker. 

“Stephen Bishop is a perfect example,” added Carson.  “Joy knew more about Mammoth Cave’s slave-guides than anyone.  Bishop is one of Mammoth Cave’s most famous personalities – travelers in the mid-1800s wrote of him in their journals – yet, his death, at age 37, is still a mystery.”

“Such gaps in the cave’s history were challenges to Joy,” said Carson.  “She knew the answers lay waiting in articles or letters yet to be discovered.”

Lyons is survived by her husband Dave, and three daughters, Carrie, Rebekah and Hayley.  

[Submitted by Vickie Carson, Public Information Officer]

Mary McLeod Bethune Council House NHS - DC
New Children’s Program Series Launched

Park rangers at the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House NHS recently launched a new program series entitled “Reading Ranger.”

The program is a family story time and craft activity for our preschool visitors. Reading Ranger programs are geared toward children under the age of five, but, the whole family is encouraged to attend and participate.

The program was launched on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 19, 2015, with a happy and boisterous audience of 15 children from two to ten years old, along with their families and caregivers.

Ranger Samantha Christine read Elmer, by David McKee, about a brightly colored elephant who feels different from all the rest, then led the young visitors in a song about colors.  In the spirit of Elmer and of Bethune herself, an avid user of recycled materials who collected elephants, participants created their very own egg carton elephants.

“We saw it as an opportunity to reach out to the younger visitors in our community, right here in our own Logan Circle neighborhood,” said Park Guide Rosemary Sallee, who led the craft activity on Monday.

Park staff are excited about the new programs for younger children, choosing award-winning books that tell the story of civil rights and women’s history in a way that is playful, upbeat, and interactive. The stories are followed by a craft activity fitting the theme of the book and connecting our young visitors to the life and legacy of Mary McLeod Bethune.

The next book in the series will be Duke Ellington, by Andrea Davis Pinkney, with illustrations by Brian Pinkney; after story time, visitors will make and decorate their own kazoos. Other books to be featured will include Under the Quilt of Night, by Deborah Hopkinson, We March, by Shane Evans, and Martin’s Big Words, by Doreen Rappaport and Brian Collier.

[Submitted by Rosemary Sallee, Park Guide]

Women's Rights National Historical Park (NY)
Musical Celebration Honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On Saturday, January 17th, visitors packed Women Rights National Historical Park’s visitor center to hear the interdenominational, multi-cultural music of New York’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Choir.

The group performed inspirational gospel songs that Dr. King loved and sang growing up in Georgia. The park hosted the event to mark the 85th anniversary of Dr. King’s birth and to celebrate his leadership within the civil rights movement. 

The celebration provided the perfect send-off as the park closes temporarily for the month of February in preparation for National Women’s History Month and to begin phase one of the museum’s new transformation.

Public spaces within the park will receive a fresh coat of paint and updates on exhibits will soon feature some of the park’s more significant historical objects related to the first Women’s Rights Convention. A new art exhibit will be installed and an immersive education space is being created to engage and inspire youth.

A grand re-opening is planned for Sunday, March 1st, when the public will be invited to be among the first to see the park’s newest updates, to rediscover the park and experience the 1848 Women’s Rights Convention, and to learn about current issues facing women today.

Women’s Rights National Historical Park has been the touchstone of the women’s rights movement, telling the story of the largest social movement in American history. It seems fitting that this work is being accomplished now as the park also prepares for Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s 200th birthday event in November of 2015 and the 2016 National Park Service’s Centennial Celebration.

[Submitted by Kimberly Szewczyk]


Natchez Trace Parkway (AL,MS,TN)
GS-0303-7 Administrative Support Assistant

Natchez Trace Parkway has issued an announcement for a GS-7 administrative support assistant  The position is duty-stationed in Tupelo, Mississippi. 

The person selected will serve as the administrative and support assistant for the Ranger Activities Division of Natchez Trace Parkway.  She/he will work directly for the chief ranger, with a primary function of providing administrative information and assistance to the division, which includes both  law enforcement and dispatch.  

This position will be based at the Natchez Trace Parkway Headquarters in Tupelo, Mississippi.  For more information on the parkway, click For information about the city of Tupelo, click  

For more information on the position contact Chief Ranger Sarah Davis at 662-680-4014 or via email at

The position is posted on USA Jobs as open to both merit promotion and all source candidates: (Merit Promotion) or (All Sources).

It closes on February 15th.

Glacier National Park
GS-0341-13 Administrative Officer (Detail)

Glacier National Park is soliciting applications for a detail/temporary promotion as the park’s administrative officer. 

This temporary assignment is expected to last 120 days, but 90 day appointments will be considered if individuals are not able to complete the full 120 day assignment.  More than one individual may be selected based on time commitment, skills and length of position vacancy. The tentative start date is March 2nd.

The administrative officer oversees all administrative and business functions in the park and serves as a key advisor to park management. She/he plans, analyzes and monitors the formulation and development of park-wide plans, programs, operating policies and internal controls. 

Operations managed include budget/finance, housing, property and supply, warehousing, IT, radio, alarms, and mail and file services. 

The person in this position also works closely with the SHRO and MABO offices located at Glacier National Park and provides liaison services to those offices.  The administrative officer is a member of the park leadership team and as such is involved in park-wide operational issues as well as short and long term planning

National Park Service employees at the GS-12 grade level or higher are the target audience for this position. Individuals who meet minimum qualification and time-in-grade requirements will be temporarily promoted.  Individuals currently at the GS-13 grade level or who are not eligible for a temporary promotion will be considered for a temporary detail to this position. 

Base salary will continue to be paid by the selectee’s home park.  Glacier will cover travel and per diem as well as the difference in salary if the selectee is eligible for a temporary promotion.  Furnished government housing may be available for the duration of this assignment.  Per diem will be reduced if housing with kitchen facilities is available.   

Interested individuals should discuss the opportunity with their first-line supervisor and obtain concurrence from the Superintendent or Manager prior to applying. Once approval is gained, interested individuals should submit a resume detailing work history and any special qualifications they might possess.

Applications should be emailed to Mary Lou Fitzpatrick, human resources specialist, at  Applications must be submitted by close of business on February 10th.

Cultural Resources
GS-0399-5 Student Trainee (Administrative Support Assistant)

Cultural Resources is seeking a candidate from the Pathways internship program for an administrative support position in Washington, D.C.

Click on the link below for a copy of the announcement with full details on duties, area information, and procedures for applying.

For more information, call Jamie Barnes at 303-985-6851.

It closes on February 26th.
 More Information...