The Morning Report

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Recent Editions  


Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park (CO)
Injured Climber Rescued During Spring Storm

The combined efforts of search and rescue teams from Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Ouray Mountain Rescue, West Elk Mountain Rescue and Western State Mountain Rescue resulted in the successful evacuation of an injured climber from the Atlantis buttress during a spring storm on Sunday, April 13th.

The park received a report of an injured climber on Saturday evening.  Climbing rangers, including a park paramedic, located the climber late that evening and bivouacked overnight with him, treating his several injuries.  He was injured when he pulled a large boulder off the wall while leading a pitch on a route called “Hotlanta” on the Atlantis buttress.

Additional technical rescue teams arrived on Sunday to help raise the climber 1,800 feet to the canyon’s North Rim. Intermittent whiteout conditions with heavy, wet snow and gusty winds challenged the rescuers during this high angle rescue.

The climber, who is from Durango, Colorado, was taken to a medical facility with ankle, chest, and facial injuries. He is in stable condition.

[Submitted by Sandra Snell-Dobert]


Catoctin Mountain Park/Harpers Ferry National Historical Park - MD
Two Parks Host Basic Technical Rescue Training Course

During the week of March 31st, over 60 search and rescue personnel from all over the United States, including several from as far away as Oregon, Washington, and Louisiana, attended the five-day NPS Basic Technical Rescue Training—East course (BTRT—E) at Catoctin Mountain Park and Harpers Ferry NHP in Maryland and Pennsylvania’s Michaux State Forest. 

This year marked the eighteenth consecutive year, tenth state, tenth NPS park, and fourth NPS region for the course. 

Students learned the full gamut of basic technical rescue skills at three different cliff sites, including Harpers Ferry’s dizzying Maryland Heights (see photo), as well as the best indoor training facility—provided by Catoctin Mountain—that the course has seen since its inception. 

As an added bonus this year, course participants had an opportunity to attend an optional three-hour helicopter hoist class, hosted by the US Park Police Aviation Unit, during which time all attendees were trained in how to ride Eagle 2 helicopter’s “Jungle Penetrator” with an injured patient.  Maryland State Police Aviation, which is the oldest air medical evacuation unit in the country, also made an appearance with their helicopter, Trooper 3, providing a capabilities familiarization of its ship and personnel. 

Course instructors again placed a high premium on safety by completing GAR risk analyses for each operational period, providing a 1.5:1 student to instructor ratio, mandating the wearing of high-visibility yellow course T-shirts and full PPE, and conducting thorough safety briefings each morning and after action reviews at the close of each training evolution.  As a result, zero injuries were sustained by any of the over 60 participants throughout the week, despite the inherent hazards of the training.  

Several participants completed work on their technical rescue technician (TRT) position task books, which will help them eventually earn their TRT2 and/or TRT1 certifications on their all hazards gray cards. 

Graduating this year were 36 students from 15 parks, US Park Police SWAT, US Park Police Aviation, the US Forest Service, US Marine Corps, US Navy, and others, including two wilderness medical/ER doctors and members of the National Ski Patrol and three volunteer search and rescue teams. 

The course drew heavy media attention, making headlines in three newspapers, including the Washington Post. 

This year’s training could not have been possible without its outstanding instructor/command staff cadre, who came from eight parks, the US Forest Service, US Navy, and eight volunteer partner organizations. Also assisting were NPS retirees and VIPs. Partners included North Carolina Outward Bound, SOLO, the Pocono Environmental Education Center, Shenandoah Mountain Guides, Shenandoah Mountain Rescue Group, Appalachian Mountain Rescue Team, Old Rag Mountain Stewards, and a local SAR team out of Virginia. 

Thanks go to all who helped make the course a success, including Catoctin’s superintendent and chief ranger, Mel Poole and Holly Rife; Harper’s Ferry’s superintendent and chief ranger, Rebecca Harriett and Jeffery Woods; Dean Ross and Ken Phillips from WASO Emergency Services; Michelle Blevins from the Pennsylvania State Bureau of Forestry; on-the-ground site coordinators from Catoctin and Harpers Ferry, rangers Dave Dunaj Sean Isham; and the management staff of participants’ home parks for providing the much-needed support that enabled them to attend this year’s course.

[Submitted by Kevin Moses, Incident Commander]

Office of Partnerships and Philanthropic Stewardship
New Disneynature Bears Film Premiers On Friday

The National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service, has teamed with Disney on the new Disneynature “Bears” film premiering just in time for Earth Day and National Park Week on Friday, April 18th.

For every ticket sold during “Bears” opening week, April 18-24, Disneynature will make a contribution to the National Park Foundation to protect wildlife and wild places across America’s National Park System. 

Disneynature's 2014 big-screen "Bears" film follows a bear family as impressionable young cubs are taught life's most important lessons.  You can view the "Bears" trailer and learn more about the National Park Foundation and Disneynature’s “Bears” here.

Disneynature has developed a free “Bears Educator’s Guide” to help educate youth about bears and other wildlife. It includes nearly 100 pages of lessons and activities targeted to grades two through six. The lessons are aligned to Next Generation Science Standards, National Science Standards, and common core Language Arts and Math Standards. Download a free copy here.

The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service.  Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help protect more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts, connect all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history, and inspire the next generation of park stewards. 

[Submitted by Office of Partnerships and Philanthropic Stewardship,, 202-354-2182]

Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail (HI)
Trail Restoration Project Recognized With State Award

Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail and its many partners have been recognized for their efforts in stabilizing and preserving part of the trail seriously damaged during a major earthquake in 2006.

The preservation honor award will be presented on May 30th at the Historic Hawai’i Foundation’s 2014 preservation honor awards ceremony. Along with the trail, recipients include the Hawai'i Division of State Parks, 'Ohana of Napuu Area; Hui Aloha Kiholo; Na Ala Hele Trails and Access Program, Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Department of Land and Natural Resources; and Ala Kahakai Trail Association.

This award is for the 2014 Kiholo-Puako trail earthquake damage stabilization project. This historic trail, an alanui aupuni (government road) also known as the King's Trail, dates to the mid-1800s and represents one of the finest examples of trails constructed by the Kingdom of Hawai'i.

Listed on both the State and National Registers of Historic Places, the Kiholo-Puako trail is a primary north-south route for trail users in Kiholo State Park Reserve and Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail and is still actively used for cultural and recreational purposes.

Two sections of the historic Kiholo-Puako Trail in Pu'uanahulu on Hawai'i Island were repaired and stabilized while effectively demonstrating community-based management and engagement. These trail sections, consisting of two massive masonry causeways, were extensively damaged during a major 2006 earthquake and aftershocks.

This project is a great example of architectural stabilization using traditional Hawaiian dry-set masonry (hapai pohaku) by a team of highly qualified masons and archaeologists working together. The project documented, repaired and stabilized 180 linear feet of dry set masonry trail fabric and included detailed documentation of the trail, the adjacent ancient ala loa (long trail), and associated archeological features before, during and after the repair work that will contribute to the preservation of this very important piece of Hawaiian history. The funding for this project was provided by the cultural cyclic maintenance program.

This is the 40th year of the preservation honor awards, which are Hawaii's highest recognition of preservation projects that perpetuate, rehabilitate, restore or interpret the state's architectural, archaeological and/ or cultural heritage.

[Submitted by Ida Hanohano]

Pu`uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park (HI)
Park Recognized For Preservation Efforts

Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park will be recognized with a Historic Hawai'i Preservation Honor Award for its work to preserve, protect, and maintain the historic resources located in the Ki'ilae section of the park.

Situated on the southwestern coastline of the Island of Hawai'i, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau was established in 1961 as a 182-acre national historical park. The park’s enabling legislation is to preserve and protect the pu‘uhonua complex and surrounding archaeological features and landscape and the historic fishing village of Ki‘ilae.

In 2006, in partnership with the Trust for Public Land, the park acquired an additional 238-acres in the Ki‘ilae ahupua‘a. This acquisition increased the size of the park by 130 percent and included portions of Ki‘ilae Village specified in the park’s enabling legislation but not included within the original park boundaries. This allowed the park to begin a unified study of the village area, including key sites that were once outside the park boundary.

Beginning in 2009, the park sought and received funding from the cultural resources, cultural cyclic maintenance, and fee fund sources to support preservation work in Ki'ilae. Staff of the resources management division worked diligently to stabilize archaeological resources damaged by invasive vegetation and flood damage, updating park databases about the resources located there, and developing an interpretive program for the area. 

The park was nominated for the award by the Trust for Public Land in recognition of the enormous energy and resources the park has devoted to the preservation and protection of Ki'ilae.

[Submitted by Adam Johnson, Chief of Integrated Resources Management/Archaeologist]


Olympic National Park (WA)
GS-0560-7 Budget Analyst

Olympic National Park is seeking candidates for a position as budget analyst.

The position is currently open on USA Jobs and is being advertised under two methods of consideration:

It closes on April 25th.