The Morning Report

Thursday, August 27, 2015

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Caribbean Parks
Preparations For Tropical Storm Erika Underway

Tropical Storm Erika, with sustained winds of 45 mph, is approaching the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Tropical storm warnings have been issued throughout that area. Reports have been received from two parks:

  • San Juan NHS – The park began shutting down yesterday. The fortifications of Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Castillo San Cristobal were closed at 5 p.m. and will remain closed until further notice. All administrative facilities were also closed. All commercial use authorization holders (tour operators) are being notified and special use permits issued for yesterday and today have been canceled.
  • Virgin Islands NP – The superintendent has issued a delegation of authority to the park’s incident management team (Rick Gupman, chief ranger, is IC) for the response to the storm. They will be completing all preparations today. The visitor center will likely be open part of today, but St. Thomas staff will likely be unable to work since the island’s ports were set to be closed last night.

[Submitted by Walter Chavez, Superintendent, SAJU; Brion FitzGerald, Superintendent, VIIS]

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area (MT,WY)
Fisherman’s Life Saved With AED

Ranger Jordan Sjogren was called out early on the morning of August 20th to respond to a report of an elderly male who had collapsed from an apparent heart attack while fishing in the Bighorn River. CPR was reportedly in progress.

Upon arrival, Sjogren attached the AED to the patient while a Bighorn County deputy and other civilian responders continued CPR. The AED called for a total of three shocks and CPR was continued. After the third shock, the man regained a pulse. 

St. Vincent’s Help Flight arrived on scene and assumed care of the patient. He was flown to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Billings, Montana, and is currently in the intensive care unit.

[Submitted by Dale E Kissner, Acting Chief Ranger]

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (AZ,UT)
Two Rescued Woman Charged With Assault On Rescuing Rangers

On August 4th, Ryann Shelly Holmes of Kayenta, Arizona, pled guilty to a Class A misdemeanor count of assaulting/resisting federal law enforcement officers during the commission of their duties.

The charge stemmed from an incident that had occurred on June 28th. Rangers had received a call of two intoxicated women, one of whom was having difficulty in the water while swimming dangerously close to the main channel of Lake Powell off the shore of Antelope Point.

The rangers rescued Mary Ann Gray, of Phoenix, Arizona, when it became apparent she was in danger of drowning.  Once she was pulled to shore, Gray became combative with the rangers. Holmes then interfered by pushing and hitting the rangers while they were attempting to place Gray under arrest.

Holmes was sentenced to ten days in jail, will be on probation for one year, and is banned from the park during that time. Gray is scheduled to appear in court later in August.

[Submitted by Investigative Services Branch]

Golden Gate National Recreation Area (CA)
Park Joins In Multi-Agency Warrant Service On Sex Crimes Suspect

On June 26th, the Sausalito Police Department, Central Marin Police Department, and Golden Gate National Recreation Area's Problem Solving Unit served an arrest warrant on Kenneth Pierce of Sacramento, California, and a search warrant on his residence. Pierce is a registered sex offender in Sacramento County.

The case stemmed from a sex crimes investigation begun after Sausalito police received a report from the parents of a boy who had received explicit photos and videos from a man on his cellular phone. Earlier that same day, the boy had received a teddy bear in the mail for his birthday from a man named Douglas Stevens in Jacksonville, Florida. This unusual gift from a man not known to the parents prompted them to immediately call the police.

Information from the teen’s phone was used to identify two additional suspects, Jason Carbone of San Diego and Kenneth Pierce of Sacramento. Evidence revealed that Pierce and the teen took explicit photographs and videos of themselves engaging in sex acts together in Golden Gate National Recreation Area within Marin County, an area of concurrent jurisdiction.

Additional evidence was collected at Pierce's residence and he was taken into custody at that time without incident. Carbone was arrested by the U.S. Marshal’s Service in San Diego on June 27th and was released on bail. Stevens was arrested by authorities in Florida and is awaiting extradition to Marin County to face charges.  

On June 26th, the Sausalito Police Department, Central Marin Police Department, and Golden Gate National Recreation Area's Problem Solving Unit served an arrest warrant on Kenneth Pierce of Sacramento, California, and a search warrant on his residence. Pierce is a registered sex offender in Sacramento County.

The case stemmed from a sex crimes investigation begun after Sausalito police received a report from the parents of a boy who had received explicit photos and videos from a man on his cellular phone. Earlier that same day, the boy had received a teddy bear in the mail for his birthday from a man named Douglas Stevens in Jacksonville, Florida. This unusual gift from a man not known to the parents prompted them to immediately call the police.

Information from the teen’s phone was used to identify two additional suspects, Jason Carbone of San Diego and Kenneth Pierce of Sacramento. Evidence revealed that Pierce and the teen took explicit photographs and videos of themselves engaging in sex acts together in Golden Gate National Recreation Area within Marin County, an area of concurrent jurisdiction.

Additional evidence was collected at Pierce's residence and he was taken into custody at that time without incident. Carbone was arrested by the U.S. Marshal’s Service in San Diego on June 27th and was released on bail. Stevens was arrested by authorities in Florida and is awaiting extradition to Marin County to face charges.  

[Submitted by Ryan C. Wright, Park Ranger]


NIFC/NPS Fire and Aviation Management
National Fire/Incident Situation Highlights

National Fire Activity

NIFC is at PL 5. There are 73 uncontained large fires burning nationwide, down four from yesterday. Current resource commitments appear below, with changes from yesterday’s numbers in parentheses:

  • 44 incident management teams (down six)
  • 539 crews (down 24)
  • 28,040 firefighters and overhead (down 840)
  • 1,786 engines (down six)
  • 192 helicopters (up 11)

Fire Weather Forecast

High pressure will dominate the weather pattern over the western United States today for generally warm, dry and unstable conditions. Heavy smoke will bring hazy skies and poor visibility to the northwestern states. Midlevel moisture circulating beneath the upper ridge will produce scattered rain showers across the southwest, Colorado and into much of the eastern Great Basin with the possibility of isolated coverage as far north as eastern Idaho and central Montana. Thunderstorms and wetting rain will also form in the Great Plains region as a shortwave moves around the high pressure. Conditions over the eastern United States will continue to be cooler than normal with mostly clear skies except in the far Southeast where heavy rain continues and also over the Hawaiian Islands where widespread precipitation also persists. Puerto Rico will begin to see significant widespread precipitation this evening as a result of Tropical Storm Erika approaching from the east.

For more information:

NPS Fire Summaries

Lake Roosevelt NRA – The park has been operating all North District operations and visitor services within the incident command system sinceThursday, August 20th,due to the effects of multiple surrounding wildfires – the Kettle Complex(with acombined total of 56,000 acres, 12% contained), the Colville Complex(combined total of 8,660 acres), the Carpenter Road Fire (37,100 acres, 20% contained),and the North Star Fire(150,000 acres, 5% contained). Local and county authorities continue to update evacuation notices as these wildfires continue to burn. Heavy smoke and the threat of rapidly changing fire behavior has resulted in the park closing day use areas, campgrounds and boat launches as well as all limiting NPS operations in the North District. Park service staff are working with the area command to provide current information to the public, assisting with evacuation notices, and providing logistical support for fire teams.Both Ferry and Stevens Counties have active evacuation notices and have been declared to be in a state of emergency.All roads in theSpokaneTribalReservation have been closed and the entire ColvilleConfederated TribalReservation has been closed to the public.Unhealthy air quality has impacted the entire region for over a week, reducing visibility for motorists and boaters and causing health concerns. Fires throughout Eastern Washington State have claimed the lives of three firefighters and one civilian. Firefighters and park staff continue to exercise precautionary measures as weather fronts move through the area, increasing winds and temperatures. [Craig Brouwer Chief Ranger]

Crater Lake NP – The National Creek Complex includes two fires – the Crescent Fire in Crater Lake National Park and the National Fire burning on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. The fires have burned 12,504 acres (up 236 acres from yesterday) and are 25% contained. Firefighters constructed fire line in the Soda Springs area to the west of the fire yesterday to prepare for burnout operations, taking advantage of existing features and road systems to improve containment. Crews continued looking for spotting outside of containment lines on the fire’s north and east flanks and mopping up any hot spots along Highway 230. Openings and closures:

  • Rim Drive and all Crater Lake National Park facilities are open and accessible via the south entrance. The north Park entrance is closed. Smoke may impair visibility at certain times of the day, but sunrises and sunsets are spectacular.
  • A segment of the Pacific Crest Trial is closed from the north park boundary to the junction with Lightning Springs Trail. A suggested reroute is posted along the trail.
  • Area closure orders have been issued for the Rogue River-Siskiyou and Umpqua National Forests near Diamond Lake.
  • There are trail closures in the pPark and on the Rogue River-Siskiyou and Umpqua National Forest.
  • Diamond Lake and Thielson View campgrounds are now accepting reservations. The temporary hold on new reservations for these campgrounds has been lifted. Broken Arrow Campground remains closed.

For more information on the fires, go to:

Glacier NP – The Thompson-Divide Complex is comprised of the Sheep and Granite Fires on Flathead National Forest and the Thompson Fire in Glacier National Park. The fires have burned 18,481 acres, up 728 acres from yesterday, and are 14% contained. Tuesday was another fairly quiet day on all complex fires due to an inversion keeping fire activity at a minimum. Isolated thunderstorms are expected throughFriday. A cold front is predicted forSundaythat may bring some precipitation and higher windson Saturday. Temperatures will be on the rise through this coming week under an unusual high pressure system, with 82-87 degree highs predicted in the valleys. More information:

North Cascades NP – The Upper Skagit Complex has burned 7,832 acres (up 1,177 acres from yesterday) and is 28% contained. The complex includes eight fires, all within the park. Yesterday, firefighters employed suppression tactics to continue directing the fire past the national park visitor center, tying into the Skagit River. Firefighters also began implementing structure protection measures in Diablo, including pumps, hose lays, sprinkler systems, and vegetation removal. Fire engine crews remain in place for structure protection in Newhalen and the park’s visitor center area. Direct suppression actions continued in Goodell Creek to keep the fire from moving west. The State Route 20 closure was moved yesterday to insure public safety, as the fire has moved westward. The highway is closed from approximately five miles north of Marblemount to Rainy Pass. In addition to the fire activity on the west side loosened soil, rock, and vegetation continue moving down the steep slopes onto the roadway creating a continuing unpredictable driving hazard. Multiple trail, campground, and boat launch closures remain in effect. Additional information:

Additional Information

For additional information on all fires, check the following web sites:

[Submitted by Bill Halainen, Editor, InsideNPS]


Department of the Interior
Flags To Remain At Half Mast Through Sunday

On Monday, Secretary Jewell directed that all Department of Interior United States flags be lowered to half mast and remain there until yesterday in honor of the three Forest Service firefighters who died in Washington last week.

That order has been extended through sunset on Sunday, August 30th.

Ocmulgee National Monument (GA)
Park Conducts Butterfly Bioblitz

On August 21st and 22nd, Ocmulgee held its third butterfly count. This bioblitz provided crucial data about the different species of butterfly living within the 702-acre park. The park employed community volunteers to count as many different species of butterfly as possible over the course of the two day event.

On August 21st, the park used elementary school age children from the local community to help do the count and on August 22nd the park invited the general public to come and participate in the event. Each participant received a free t-shirt, water bottle, and backpack for helping with the event.

The park had seven teams of scientists from Florida and Georgia helping the community volunteers find and identify the different species they came across in the park. Participants roamed the park along with the scientists, equipped with cameras, binoculars, various field guides and checklists – all on the hunt for a colorful fluttering butterfly.

Participants were encouraged to take pictures of the different species of butterfly they saw in the park and turn them into the park staff. Hundreds of photographs were taken during the event, leading to the identification of 28 different species. More species were identified during the event but couldn’t be captured with a picture; in all, over 30 species were identified during the two day period.

The event also had a children’s education area where younger children could learn the different life cycles of a butterfly and participate in hands-on craft programs.

During the event, the park had over 800 community volunteers helping identify the different species of butterfly at Ocmulgee National Monument. The event helped raise awareness in the community of the important role that butterflies have on our ecosystem. 

[Submitted by Angela R. Bates]

Fire Island National Seashore (NY)
West Nile Virus Detected On Fire Island

West Nile Virus-infected mosquitoes have been found on Fire Island. The mosquitoes were collected on August 14th from a trap set by the park as part of its mosquito monitoring program on federal land near Watch Hill.

There is presently no major human health concern because the species of mosquito (Culex) that tested positive for WNV does not readily bite humans. The mosquito monitoring program is a collaborative effort between the Seashore and Suffolk County Department of Health Services, which announced the positive WNV result on August 21st.

The surveillance program is attempting to monitor the severity and extent of WNV in the park. As per Fire Island’s mosquito monitoring program protocols, there will be increased surveillance at Watch Hill.

If threats to human health are identified, actions to protect the public may include control methods such as larviciding, spraying, or area closures. The National Park Service works closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Suffolk County Vector Control, Suffolk County Department of Health, and local Fire Island and Long Island municipalities to determine the best course of action to protect residents, visitors, and park employees.

Residents, visitors, and staff are being advised to avoid areas with high densities of mosquitoes. If contact with mosquitoes is unavoidable it is advisable to wear protective clothing and use an effective insect repellent, such as one containing at least 30% DEET. People most at risk of becoming ill from WNV are those over 50 years of age or whose health is impaired. Such people are advised to stay away from areas with mosquitoes.

For general information on WNV, please contact your local health department.  Information can also be obtained from the CDC, or New York State or Suffolk County WNV websites.  If you have information or questions for the park, please contact our headquarters at (631) 687-4750.

[Submitted by Elizabeth Rogers]

Southeast Region
Brian Mitchell To Head Regional Inventory And Monitoring Division

Brian Mitchell has been selected as the new chief of Southeast Region’s Inventory and Monitoring Division.

Brian has served as the manager for the NPS Inventory and Monitoring Program’s Northeast Temperate Network since 2005.  He has been the acting program manager for the South Florida/Caribbean Network since April.  His start date in Atlanta is August 24th.

Brian began his National Park Service career in 1994 at Cape Lookout National Seashore as a seasonal interpreter. He then worked as a seasonal interpreter at Acadia National Park.  While with the Northeast Temperate Network he finalized the network monitoring plan and got involved with protocol development and pilot monitoring.  He was actively involved in developing monitoring protocols for forest vegetation, birds, wetlands, rocky intertidal and phenology.

Brian has a bachelor’s degree in Biology and English from Brown University. His doctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley, focused on coyote communication and behavioral ecology. At the University of Vermont Brian studied how the distributions of birds and amphibians would change under different development and climate change scenarios.

Brian is originally from the Atlanta area and developed a love for hiking, boating, camping and exploring national parks in the Southeast Region. This included snorkeling in Dry Tortugas, camping at Cumberland Island, hiking along the Appalachian Trail, plunging into the darkness at Mammoth Cave, canoeing through the Everglades, slogging through the swamp at Big Cypress, seeing the scenery along the Blue Ridge Parkway and rafting the Chattahoochee River.

Brian currently enjoys hiking, biking and spending time with his wife Narissa, son Kai (4) and daughter Ari (3).

[Submitted by Bill Reynolds]

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail (IA,ID,IL,KS,MO,MT,ND,NE,OR,SD,WA)
Midwest Regional Office Hosts Naturalization Ceremony

As part of the National Park Service's 99th birthday celebration at the Midwest Regional Office in Omaha, Nebraska, Midwest Regional Director Cameron H. Sholly welcomed 40 applicants from 22 countries for a naturalization ceremony. 

The applicants witnessed the Offut Air Force Base Honor Guard present the colors and listened to Phyllis Cremonini, MWR Volunteer and Youth Programs Coordinator, sing the national anthem.  

After U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service officials administered the Oath of Allegiance and the Pledge of Allegiance, the new citizens were each presented with a "Passport to Your National Parks" courtesy of Western National Parks Association and treated to refreshments hosted by the Midwest Region Employee Advisory Committee and Midwest Region Activities Association.

Join us in welcoming the newest stewards of our nation's natural and cultural treasures.  

[Submitted by Lynda Orbik,, 402-661-1976]

Lassen Volcanic National Park (CA)
Naturalization Ceremony Held At Lassen Volcanic National Park

On Thursday, August 20th, Lassen Volcanic National Park hosted its first naturalization ceremony in partnership with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s Sacramento office.

The oath ceremony was held outdoors at the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center. Superintendent Steve Gibbons provided the opening remarks welcoming 27 news citizens to their national park. New citizens hailed from 12 countries, including Spain, Russia, Brazil, Germany, Laos, Thailand, Jamaica, Nigeria, Mexico, India, South Africa and the Philippines. The Lassen Park Foundation generously provided annual park passes to the new citizens.

The importance of the day was eloquently reflected upon by a new citizen originally from South Africa:

“All of us are standing here today because of what our families have sacrificed to come to America. It’s beyond just what we’ve sacrificed.  I’m feeling the weight today of all the people who have gone before us to fight for the freedom that we get to have the benefits of in America. The beauty of freedom is that you are free to be completely you and fully yourself and fully come alive and bring that to this country.”

[Submitted by Lisa Wilkolak]

 More Information...


Intermountain Region
GS-0201-13 Regional Employee Development Officer (Detail)

Intermountain Region is seeking candidates interested in a 90-120 day detail as the Regional Employee Development Officer.  The position is responsible for learning and employee development programs for the Region,including the IMR Mentoring Program, Supervisory Training, and the IMR Detail Opportunity Program, among others. 

During this detail, salary will continue to be paid by the selectee’s home park.  Travel and per diem will be paid by the receiving office.   This is a detail opportunity, not a temporary promotion.  Selectee’s salary will remain the same.  Please contact Colleen Osborne, at 303-969-2542, with additional questions about the detail opportunity.

To Apply:  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 short resume detailing work history, educational background, and any special qualifications they might possess.  Resumes should be submitted by electronic mail to:, no later than 09/08/2015.  

National Capital Region
GS-0807-12 Landscape Architect (Detail/Temp Promotion)

Dates: 08/25/2015 - 09/01/2015


 Announcement Number:  NPS-NCR-NAMA-15-24-LE

Position:          Landscape Architect, GS-0807-12

Location:        National Park Service, National Capital Region, National Mall and Memorial Parks, Washington, DC

Eligibility:       Qualified Permanent National Capital Region and WASO National Park Service employees only

Open:    August 26, 2015     Close:  September 1, 2015

This is a detail/temporary promotion opportunity that is expected to last up to 120 days.   The employee will be expected to assume the duties of the position within two weeks of being selected.

Detail: A detail is a temporary assignment of an employee to a different position for a Specific period with the employee returning to their regular duties at the end of the assignment.  While on detail, the employee continues to hold his/her official position from which detailed and keeps the same status and grade.

Temporary Promotion: A temporary promotion is the temporary assignment of an employee to a higher graded positionn for a specified period of time, with the employee returning to his/her permanent position at the expiration of the temporary action.

Candidates will be evaluated based on how their experience and training reflect the duties and responsibilities of the position.

The duties and responsibilities include the following:

Responsible for identification, research, planning, treatment, and preservation maintenance of cultural landscapes. Perform duties associated with the review, design, treatment and monitoring of cultural landscapes. Will represent the superintendent when working with others on matters of historical landscape architecture. Identify research needs and suitable research designs and conducts or oversees various levels of documentary research and field investigation. Conduct research involving historical documents, photographs, maps and drawings, and related items to develop knowledge of and data about specific landscapes, such as period design concepts, land use patterns, cultural traditions, and historic plant materials.

Will conduct on-site investigations of project sites to determine the feasibility of proposed projects and ensure that they are consistent with NPS policies, guidelines, and standards and environmental and cultural compliance laws and regulations.  Prepare and maintain cultural landscape inventories documenting the location, historical development, condition, and management of cultural landscapes in the park.  Review contractor shop drawings, samples, and material certification for contract and performance compliance and recommends them for approval or rejection.  Develops work plans and schedules, scopes of work, cost estimates, and proposals and/or grants to justify funding requests and accomplish goals.

 Conditions of Employment:

Applicants must possess or be able to possess a valid state driver's license or District of Columbia driver's license.

This is not a drug tested position, however all Federal government employees are subject to reasonable suspicious testing as appropriate.


Basic Requirement:

You must possess a bachelors or higher degree in landscape architecture or landscape design from an accredited college or university


You must possess a combination of education and experience, college-level education, training, and/or technical experience that furnished (1) a thorough knowledge of the arts and sciences underlying professional landscape architecture, and (2) a good understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the landscape architectural principles, methods, and techniques and their applications to the design and construction of improvement of buildings.

At the GS-12 level, must possess one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-11 level in the Federal service. Specialized experience is experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to successfully perform the duties of this position. Examples of specialized experience include, but are not limited to, the following: serving as landscape architectural project coordinator for planning, design, and construction projects; performing landscape architectural work involving the development or design of conceptual park site plans of a diverse, multi-functional, high profile, and possibly controversial nature (such as rehabilitation of a multi-facility development, visitor centers, wastewater treatment plants, national monuments, seawalls, historical structures, cultural landscapes, etc.); assisting with or establishing historic architectural project requirements and priorities and developing strategies to achieve short or long-term goals; developing scope of work and monitoring landscape architectural project activities and outcomes as Contracting Officer’s Representative.

How you will be evaluated:

You will be evaluated to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications required; and on the extent to which your application shows that you possess the knowledges, skills, and abilities associated with this position as defined below.

  • Ability to prepare and review scopes of work for landscape treatment, repair and construction projects.
  • Ability to prepare drawings and cost estimates for contracted landscape architectural and engineering design, documentation, and construction services. 
  • Ability to apply principles and practices of contract administration to manage and monitor historic landscape treatment and construction contracts. 
  • Ability to prepare historic landscape reports or other documents capturing compliance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA)/ABAAS, NHPA, and NEPA 
  • Ability to serve as Contracting Officer's Representative (COR) on historic and non-historic landscape preservation projects.

 Local Commuting Area:   Travel, transportation and relocation expenses will not be paid.

Any travel, transportation or relocation expenses associated with reporting for duty in this position will be the responsibility of the selected employee. 

In order to apply, applicants should submit their OF-612 or resume, a copy of latest Sf-50 (Notification of Personnel Action), a copy of valid state or District of Columbia Drivers License and a letter of approval from their supervisor to the following Address:  

National Park Service

National Capital Region

Branch of Human Resources

1100 Ohio Drive, S.W.

Washington, DC  20242

 Application information may also be faxed to (202) 619-7240 (Attn: Larissa Estlow) or Email:  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Larissa Estlow, Human Resources Specialist on (202) 619-7212.

National Park Serivce Emlpoyees

National Capital Region

Detail/Temporary Promotion Opportunity

Nominee Name:  _________________________ Title ________________________

Grade & Series ___________________________ Park ________________________

Please have your supervisor concur with your possible selection of this detail

not-to-exceed _______ days or _____ year(s). 

Supervisory approval obtained:  ______Yes  ______No

Supervisory Name:  ________________________ Title _________________________

Park: __________________________________


(Supervisory Signature)


(Candidate’s Signature)

[Submitted by Larissa Estlow,, 202.619.7212]