Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Salem Maritime National Historic Site (MA) Demonstration Against Power Plant Held In Park
A group of almost 400 local residents, environmental activists and concerned citizens recently gathered at Salem Maritime National Historic Site to protest the planned development of a natural gas power plant in the town of Salem.
The peaceful protest featured banners, homemade wind turbines, music, and an array of colorful signs highlighting related issues, including climate change, clean air and renewable energy.
Demonstrators gathered opposite the steps of the U.S. Custom House and walked the length of historic Derby Wharf to pose for pictures with the existing Salem Harbor coal-fired power plant in the background. The proposed power plant would be constructed outside of the federal boundary of the park, but would be visible within the park's waterfront viewshed.
Law enforcement rangers and staff monitored the protest throughout the afternoon in conjunction with the Salem Police Department. The Saturday afternoon protest was the largest First Amendment activity in the park in recent years. It was conducted under the terms of a First Amendment permit.
[Submitted by Jonathan Parker, Public Information Officer]
NEWS AND NOTES
Olympic National Park (WA) Progress Continues In Glines Canyon Dam Removal
Two controlled blasts were used last month to continue the process of notching and lowering Glines Canyon Dam.
On January 15th, a two-part blast removed 578 cubic yards of concrete from the west side of the dam and on January 26th an additional 900 cubic yards of the dam were turned into rubble. Approximately 30 feet of the once 210 foot-high dam remain.
The latter blast removed an approximately 45 foot by 22 foot by 25 foot section of the dam and shifted the river channel from the east to the west in preparation for the next notch. Each dam lowering shot shifts the river to either the east or west side of the canyon, leaving a high and dry section of the dam where construction crews and blast specialists can safely work to clear the area of debris and drill holes for the next shot.
While the explosions themselves are over in less than two seconds, each shot takes days of preparation. The layout of the explosives and the timing for the shot are carefully designed by a blast specialist. According to the design, 40 to 80 holes are drilled into the concrete and then filled with a blasting agent and packing material. At the moment of the blast, each explosive has its own timing.
Each shot is designed to remove a specific amount of concrete and force it into a designated area downstream of the dam. The rubble will create a downstream platform that will be used during work on the base of the dam. When work is completed, the concrete will be carefully removed from the park and recycled.
Click on the link below for more information about the Elwha River restoration project or go to the Elwha River restoration Facebook page.
Office of Communications
Director Announces Four Senior Leadership Appointments
Director Jarvis yesterday announced four new appointments to his senior leadership team. The appointments are:
- Mike Caldwell as regional director for Northeast Region, based in Philadelphia
- Dr. Bert Frost as regional director for Alaska Region, based in Anchorage
- Mike Reynolds as associate director for workforce, relevancy and inclusion, based in the Washington headquarters of the National Park Service
- April Slayton as chief of public affairs and chief spokesperson, also in the Washington headquarters office
“As we prepare for a second century of service to the American public, I am very excited about the addition of these four people to the senior leadership team of the National Park Service,” said Jarvis. “Mike Caldwell, Bert Frost, Mike Reynolds and April Slayton bring a broad range of expertise, and our parks, programs, partners and visitors will benefit from their deep commitment to the preservation of our nation’s natural, cultural and recreational resources.”
Mike Caldwell, Northeast Regional Director
Mike Caldwell, a 22-year career veteran of the NPS will serve as the regional director for Northeast Region, where he will oversee 80 national parks across 13 states from Maine to Virginia. With half of the country’s national historic landmarks and 17 of 37 National Heritage Areas, the Northeast Region welcomes over 50 million visitors annually, with an economic impact of over $1.5 billion. Caldwell previously served as deputy regional director/chief of staff for Northeast Region.
Dr. Bert Frost, Alaska Regional Director
As the regional director for the National Park Service’s Alaska Region, Herbert (Bert) Frost will be responsible for the largest national park and preserve acreage in the United States – 54.7 million acres in 23 National Park System areas – and an annual operating budget of more than $100 million. Frost goes to Alaska from Washington, where he was the associate director for natural resource stewardship and science for the National Park Service, and previously served as the chief scientist for the National Park Service.
Mike Reynolds, Associate Director for Workforce, Relevancy and Inclusion
Mike Reynolds, a 28-year National Park Service veteran, comes to Washington from the National Park Service’s Midwest Region, where he has served as its regional director since April 2011, managing 60 national parks that span 13 states and welcome more than 20 million visitors each year. As associate director for workforce, relevancy and inclusion, Reynolds will oversee human resources, learning and development, equal opportunity, youth, and relevancy, diversity and inclusion programs affecting all employees of the National Park Service.
April Slayton, Chief of Public Affairs & Chief Spokesperson
April Slayton joins the National Park Service from the United States Embassy in Australia, where she was chief of staff for the U.S. ambassador. Her previous work includes communications director and press secretary for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture and public affairs specialist with the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. As chief of public affairs and chief spokesperson, she will be responsible for the development, implementation and management of national communications strategies for the National Park Service while providing guidance to public affairs officers at the National Park Service’s 401 parks and community assistance programs across the country.
[Submitted by Mike Litterst]
Intermountain Region David Vela Named Superintendent Of Grand Teton National Park
David Vela, currently the associate director for workforce, relevancy and inclusion in the Washington Office, has been named superintendent of Grand Teton National Park. He will begin his duties in about six weeks.
In his current position in Washington, Vela oversees several NPS programs, including human resources, learning and development, equal opportunity, youth, and the relevancy, diversity and inclusion.
“David has a great blend of senior management experience both within and outside of the Park Service,” said Intermountain Regional Director Sue Masica, “including an extensive and proven record of achievement in managing large and complex park operations. He has also had great success in working with partners and local communities, and he is especially passionate about making our national parks more relevant to diverse populations.”
As superintendent, Vela will manage more than 310,000 acres of park lands, including the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway and much of the iconic Teton Range, whose jagged peaks and distinctive geology make it a classic vista of the American West. Also iconic are Grand Teton’s diverse wild species, including grizzly bears, gray wolves and American bison. The park and parkway protect 51 miles of wild and scenic rivers and a cherished assortment of significant cultural resources and historic objects, including 19th century ranch structures.
Before his time in Washington, Vela served four years as regional director for Southeast Region, where he oversaw 66 national park sites in nine states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Vela began his NPS career in 1981 as a cooperative education student at San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in Texas and later became a permanent park ranger there. In 1984, he transferred to Appomattox Court House National Historical Park in Virginia to serve as supervisory park ranger. Two years later, he moved to Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia as a district ranger.
From 1987 to 1998, Vela worked in a variety of federal posts outside the NPS. He was a special agent in the Department of Health & Human Services Inspector General’s Office, conducting white-collar criminal investigations in New York and New Jersey. He also was special assistant for Hispanic affairs to the late U.S. Rep. George Thomas “Mickey” Leland of Texas. He was a federal investigator for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 1996, the Texas attorney general appointed Vela director of Texas Child Support Program, where he supervised more than 70 field offices and 2,400 employees.
Vela returned to the National Park Service in 1998 as superintendent of Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site in Texas, one of eight states in the Intermountain Region. In 2002, he became Texas state coordinator for the region. After a stint as superintendent of Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park in Texas, he transferred in 2006 to George Washington Memorial Parkway in the Washington, DC, area.
"I am humbled at the opportunity to serve as superintendent of Grand Teton and the Rockefeller Memorial Parkway,” Vela said. "I look forward eagerly to working with the parks’ dedicated staff, the local community, and the many partners who care so deeply about these park treasures. It is truly a spectacular place and one that provides inspiration and enjoyment for current and future generations to come."
Vela is a graduate of Texas A&M University, with a bachelor of science degree in recreation and parks. He graduated from the U.S. Department of the Interior Senior Executive Service candidate development program in May 2006. He and his wife, Melissa, have two children, Christina and Anthony, and four grandchildren.
[Submitted by James Doyle]
Southeast Region Regional Office, Some Parks Close Due To Storm
All federal offices in the metropolitan Atlanta area, including Southeast Regional Office, are closed today due to the winter storm moving through the region.
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal yesterday issued a state of emergency declaration that included Atlanta area counties due to winter weather conditions across central Georgia that included accumulating snow, freezing rain and ice.
Some parks have also closed wholly or partly due to the severe weather.
[Submitted by Marianne Mills]
United States Park Police Park Police Canine Team Attends Humane Society Event
United States Park Police Officer Jerre Psak and her dog, "Jersey," were invited to attend the Washington Humane Society's Sugar and Champagne Affair on February 5th.
Sugar and Champagne is the Washington Humane Society's annual dessert and champagne reception honoring local crusaders against animal cruelty – Washington Humane Society's humane law enforcement officers, animal care and control officers, and humane educators.
"I met some lovely people from Washington Humane Society and all walks of life who share one thing in common, the love of animals," said Psak.
While networking with animal control investigators, Psak further noted that it gave her "the opportunity to thank them for what they do to help us with our animal and wildlife cases."
As a canine handler, Psak is well aware of the bond that can be forged between animals and humans and is passionate about educating others on ownership and care.
The Washington Humane Society's assistance is often called upon to assist United States Park Police officers with a variety of animal/wildlife cases, such as dogs at large in parks, animals found confined in vehicles or RV's, and even in rare cases where animals need a temporary safe haven when their owners are involved in a crash, an arrest, or some other unfortunate circumstance within the Park System.
"Jersey" was noted to have a great time – "not only did she overindulge in treats, she got tons of attention from everyone, something she enjoys almost as much as doing police work."
Sugar and Champagne provided a wonderful opportunity for the United States Park Police to show its support and appreciation for the Washington Humane Society's law enforcement officers, animal care and control officers, and humane educators.
Shenandoah National Park (VA) GS-0101/0401/1301-12 Backcountry/Wilderness Manager
Dates: 02/07/2014 - 02/20/2014
Shenandoah National Park has issued an interdisciplinary announcement for a backcountry and wilderness manager.
The person selected will be responsible for management and operations of the more than 175,000 acres of combined park backcountry and designated wilderness, more than 380 miles of park boundary, and the 500 mile network of park trails. Included is the “park within a park” cooperative management of the Appalachian Trail, working with related agencies and organizations.
For a full desciption of duties, see the announcement at the "More Information" link below. It closes on February 20th.
For more information, contact Jim Schaberl (email@example.com).
[Submitted by Jim Schaberl, firstname.lastname@example.org, 540-999-3500 ext. 3491] More Information...
National Capital Region GS-0318-8 Secretary
Dates: 02/06/2014 - 02/20/2014
Rock Creek Park has issued an announcement for a secretary that is open to the local commuting area. Click on the "More Information" link below to apply via USAJobs.
[Submitted by Jennifer Grimes, JENNIFER_GRIMES@NPS.GOV, (202) 619-7272] More Information...