The Morning Report

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Recent Editions  


Buffalo National River - AR
Man Arrested After Shooting His Wife

On the evening of September 8th, dispatch received a report of multiple gunshots being heard at the Buffalo Point Campground.

Ranger Daniel Williams responded within a matter of minutes, found the reporting party, and conducted a quick interview. After gaining valuable information, Williams assessed the situation and tactically approached the campsite where the witness said the gunshots had come from, placing himself in a position of advantage and ordering the man out of his tent. He then ordered the man to lie on the ground, quickly handcuffed him and made the scene safe.

Rangers Dale Johannsen, Mark Miller, Logan Tucker and Mike DeSanto arrived on scene while Williams was rendering aid to a woman in the tent who had suffered multiple gunshot wounds. She was flown to Springfield Medical Center, where she was operated on for upwards of ten hours. She remains in stable but critical condition.

Several rangers assisted in securing the crime scene overnight and staying at the hospital with the victim.

Special agents with the Investigative Services Branch conducted interviews, obtained a search warrant and processed the crime scene. Processing the crime scene took three days with the assistance from the park’s law enforcement specialist and numerous rangers.

Buffalo National River and Marion County Sheriff’s Department are conducting a joint investigation.

[Submitted by Karen Bradford, Chief Ranger]

New River Gorge National River (WV)
Three Ginseng Poachers Caught

Ranger Karl Keach received a tip about possible ginseng poaching in the area of Claypool Hollow while conducting a vehicle stop on September 4th.

Keach located the unoccupied suspect vehicle and set up surveillance along the two possible exit routes with Ranger Mark Faherty. Hours later, the rangers conducted a stop on the vehicle and, after issuing a warning for an equipment violation, received consent to search the car.

During the search, they found marijuana paraphernalia, an unloaded revolver and 148 ginseng roots, which weighed just over one pound. Local buyers are currently paying up to $600 for a pound of ginseng. After thoroughly documenting the evidence, the rangers worked with the park’s resource management staff to have the ginseng replanted. Three suspects in the vehicle were identified and charges are pending.

The park’s GIS specialist and a Student Conservation Association summer intern have created a computer model and map identifying high-probability ginseng locations throughout the park in order to aid in the detection and apprehension of ginseng poachers. Though illegal within NPS boundaries, West Virginia has a legal ginseng harvest season which runs from September 1st through November 30th.

Ironically, just days after this incident, the park permits office received a request from producers of History Channel’s “Appalachian Outlaws”, a television series showcasing ginseng harvesting in southern West Virginia, both legal and illegal. The show wanted to film inside the park. The permit request was denied but the show’s popularity is anticipated to have an impact on park resources.

[Submitted by Chuck Noll, Law Enforcement Specialist]


Olympic National Park (WA)
Enchanted Valley Chalet Moved Away From River Bank

Work to temporarily relocate the Enchanted Valley Chalet to protect the East Fork Quinault River was completed last Friday.

Work to temporarily relocate the chalet began on September 1st. Contractor Monroe House Moving of Sequim, Washington, used hydraulic jacks to push the structure 100 feet along steel beams and away from the eroding river bank.

Once the move was complete, the building was lowered onto cribbing towers and secured. The building will remain closed to the public while in its current temporary location.

A planning and environmental analysis process will begin within the next year to determine the final disposition of the building.

The chalet relocation project was examined in the “Emergency Action to Temporarily Relocate the Enchanted Valley Chalet for the Protection of the East Fork Quinault River Environmental Assessment” and a finding of no significant impact was issued on July 25th.

The Enchanted Valley Chalet is located 13 miles from the nearest road, deep within the Olympic Wilderness.  The chalet was constructed by Quinault Valley residents in the early 1930s, prior to establishment of Olympic National Park.  It served for several decades as a backcountry lodge, and, more recently, as a wilderness ranger station and emergency shelter.  The chalet was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.  

Photos shared by park visitors in early January showed that the main channel of the East Fork Quinault River had migrated to within 18 inches of the 1930s-era chalet.  Last winter’s storms and high flows resulted in the Quinault’s main channel continuing to shift by at least 15 feet.  Recent photographs showed that the river had undercut the building by approximately eight feet.  

Migration of the East Fork Quinault’s channel is common in the loose, unconsolidated soils of Enchanted Valley.  Storms, fallen trees, rockslides and simply the constant process of erosion can all cause the river to shift and carve a new channel.

Photos and videos – including time lapse footage of the building being moved – are available on the Olympic Public Affairs Office Flickr page at the link below.

[Submitted by Barb Maynes and Rainey McKenna]

 More Information...
Stephen Mather Training Center
500th Student Trained In Resource Protection And Law Course

In May, the Natural Resource Stewardship Training Program trained its 500th student in the Interdisciplinary Resource Protection and Law course.

This course is one of seven modules in the Foundational Series of the Career Academy for Natural Resources, a course of study designed to help employees achieve the natural resource competencies at the entry/development level.

The courses in the Foundational Series may also benefit natural resource professionals at any level who are new to the National Park Service. Interdisciplinary courses within the academy provide employees from other career fields with opportunities to learn about natural resources and their management, and increase the capacity for resource stewardship throughout the NPS.

Interdisciplinary Resource Protection and Law provides employees with the ability to recognize the diversity of natural and cultural resources that exist throughout the national park system, and the threats and vulnerabilities associated with these resources.

Participants leave the class with the basic knowledge required to apply legal authorities to safeguard natural and cultural resources. They gain an understanding of the broad range of threats to park resources, and develop strategies to recognize, respond, and take action when confronted with resource impacts. Using a series of increasingly complex scenarios at Sea Otter Island, a fictitious national park, students practice team work using group process skills to ensure effective interdisciplinary collaboration while responding to incidents in which park resources are injured.

The course began in 1999 as Resource Stewardship for Protection Rangers, part of the interdisciplinary Resource Stewardship and Protection Curriculum developed by the Pacific West Region. The Director’s Law Enforcement Task Force recognized that this series of courses had the potential to resolve elemental deficiencies in resource protection implementation, and recommended that it be expanded servicewide. 

Funding from the Natural Resource Challenge was used to develop, deliver, evaluate and refine the course in conjunction with Indiana University, Eppley Institute for Parks & Public Lands. The current version, Interdisciplinary Resource Protection and Law, debuted in 2006. It has been adopted as part of the curriculum for the Facilities Management Leadership Program.

The class is held two to three times per year at locations around the country. The next class will be held at the Southeast Regional Office in Atlanta the week of November 17th. Registration in DOI Learn is open through September 26th. See the announcement at the “More Information” link below.

[Submitted by Jeri Hall, Training Manager]

 More Information...
Governors Island National Monument (NY)
President Clinton Visits Governors Island

Former President Bill Clinton visited Governors Island on September 3rd, the first day of school for the New York Harbor High School, a neighbor and programing partner with the National Park Service on the island.

While at the park, he visited the school's new marine aquaculture science and technology center and was briefed by the students on the school's Billion Oyster project, which is supported in part by the Clinton Foundation. The project aims to repopulate species in New York harbor not only to restore its ecosystem, but to also improve the water quality of the estuary.

Afterwards, Clinton gave a brief talk to the juniors and seniors about his role in establishing the national monument, how greatly impressed he was with the school's staff and mission, pointing it out as a unique example of providing both a college-prep educational program, but  also combined with providing students with a real and marketable skill set in demand in the maritime industry and its science and technology fields.

Before the talk, he shared with Leslie Koch. president of the Trust for Governors Island and Patti Reilly, superintendent of the Governors Island National Monument; the story behind his 2001 establishment of the national monument in the final days of his presidency and a Fourth of July gift this summer, his red shoes with blue and white star-spangled shoe laces.

[Submitted by Michael Shaver,]

Pacific West Region
NPS Receives Hawai’i Tourism Award

On August 28th, the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA), the state’s tourism agency, recognized the National Park Service at its 2014 Tourism Legacy Awards Luncheon during the 2014 Hawai‘i Tourism Conference. 

The Tourism Legacy Awards program was established to honor individuals, organizations and businesses that work to “nurture the host culture and create respectful and authentic visitor experiences while securing bonds between the visitor industry and the Hawaiian community.” 

In presenting the award, Mike McCartney, CEO and President of HTA, said that the national parks “not only help to preserve the natural beauty of the destination, but help to perpetuate and promote the people, place and culture that make Hawai‘i a unique and special place to live and visit.”

The eight NPS units recognized included Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic Site, Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park, Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail, Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, Haleakala National Park, Kalaupapa National Historical Park, and World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.  Awards were presented to each of the park superintendents and also to the Pacific West Regional Director. 

The full announcement can be seen at the link below.
 More Information...


Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks (CA)
GS-0025-9 Protection Ranger

Sequoia-Kings Canyon has issued merit promotion and all source announcements for a protection ranger.

Click on the links below for copies of the announcements with full details on duties, area information, and procedures for applying.

For further information, contact Jason Ramsdell at 559-565-4401.

The former closes on September 29th, the latter on September 22nd.