The Morning Report

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Recent Editions  


Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks (CA)
Body Of Missing Hiker Found By Searchers

On the afternoon of Wednesday, August 20th, the body of missing hiker Gregory Muck was recovered in the area northwest of Mount Gardiner in Kings Canyon National Park. He is presumed to have fallen in a steep and rocky area at approximately 12,000 feet in elevation.
The cause of the accident is under investigation.

On August 10th, Muck departed on a solo hike from the Roads End area of Kings Canyon National Park. He planned to hike to Gardiner Basin via Gardiner Pass. After several days in the basin, he planned to hike out Gardiner Creek to Woods Creek Trail and return to Roads End in Cedar Grove by August 17th.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks’ SAR staff, supported by searchers from Yosemite SAR, Yosemite’s search dog team (YODOGs), and a helicopter from the California Highway Patrol, began a search for this 46-year-old Santa Cruz, California, man on August 18th after he was reported overdue from a backpacking trip in Kings Canyon. A total of 71 NPS staff and park partners worked on the three-day-long search.

[Submitted by Ned Kelleher, Incident Commander, and Dana Dierkes, Public Affairs Officer]

Grand Teton National Park (WY)
Search In Progress For Missing Man

The Teton County Sheriff’s Office and Grand Teton National Park yesterday began a search for a missing Russian visitor.

Aleksandr Sagiev, 21, was last seen at 1 p.m. on Sunday, August 17th, in Moose, Wyoming, using his cell phone near the bar at Dornan’s Pizza & Pasta Restaurant, which is located within the park. 

Sagiev has black hair and brown eyes, stands approximately 5’7” tall and weighs 155 pounds. When last seen, he was wearing tan shorts and a camouflage shirt. He may also be wearing a metallic blue jacket with the words “Sochi” on it.

Anyone with  information regarding Sagiev’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Teton Interagency Dispatch Center at 307-739-3301.

[Submitted by Jackie Skaggs, Public Affairs Officer]


Centennial Logo Unveiled During Director’s Webchat

Yesterday, Director Jarvis hosted an employee webchat in which he unveiled the National Park Service’s new centennial logo. He also asked employees to support the Founders Day social media campaign and the Share Your Story project.

He encouraged every park and program to be creative and have fun with the Founders Day social media campaign.

Download the birthday sign from the link below, gather a group of NPS employees (and partners, if possible), and take a photo. Post the photo on your park or program’s social media outlets on August 25th. More details are available on the WASO Communications Office InsideNPS page.

The director also reminded employees to share their favorite or defining moment regarding national parks in the Share Your Story project. Express your passion for the National Park Service and the work you do every day through video, poem, song, photo, essay, or any other appropriate forum.

If you would like to submit a question, feedback, or topic for future webchats, please email

[Submitted by Kathy Kupper]

Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division
First-Ever Dark Sky Festival Encourages Visitors To Look Up

Visitors were seeing more than big trees at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks on the weekend of July 25th at the parks’ first-ever Dark Sky Festival.

In conjunction with the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, the event emphasized the importance of natural nocturnal lightscapes to wilderness character. The Sequoia Natural History Association organized the festival, which included an impressive array of activities, guest speakers, and Ranger programs. 

The Dark Sky Festival included a well-attended star party at Wuksachi Village, an ideal observing site, where visitors could not only experience natural darkness surrounded by the mature conifer forests of the western Sierra Nevada, but also peer deeper into the cosmos through a variety of astronomical telescopes. Volunteersfrom the Kern Astronomical Society provided equipment and expertise.

A steady stream of astronomy-related programs were available at the visitor center, including screenings of the feature film “The City Dark,” presentations about the Mars Exploration Rovers, celestial navigation, and astrophotography for digital camera owners.

Individuals and families walking by the Lodgepole Village Visitor Center were enthralled by views of sunspots and active solar prominences, as they observed the sun through specialized telescopes provided by Riverside Astronomical Society. Other activities included cave walks, water rocket launches, and a hike through a 2,000-foot scale model of the solar system.

Motivational speaker and former astronaut Story Musgrave delighted audiences at the Lodgepole Amphitheater with his inspirational life lessons. In addition, astronauts Robert Behnken and Megan McArthur were available for questions and answers all weekend.

World-renowned photographer Wally Pacholka presented "America the Beautiful at Night", with images from many national parks and spectacular dark sky sites throughout the United States.

Representatives Jack and Beverly Sales from the International Dark-Sky Association were on hand to host presentations and provide information on how to protect the world's cultural heritage of the night sky.

NPS Scientist Dan Duriscoe gave a presentation on night skies and wilderness, including a readings from important American literature describing how wilderness character leads to a transcendent experience.

Night Sky Festivals are events designed to highlight the importance of the natural nocturnal environment to the integrity of protected areas. They provide outstanding opportunities for visitors to NPS areas to view the Universe beyond Earth in a natural outdoor setting. With the assistance of experts and volunteers, first-hand educational experiences relating to astronomy, space science, wilderness values, and night sky protection are readily available.

The National Park Service Natural Sounds & Night Skies Division provides assistance to parks with education outreach events. The Sequoia Natural History Association is committed to enriching the experiences of visitors and promoting public awareness of the significance of public lands through educational programs, publications,and financial support.

For more information, go to:

[Submitted by Dan Duriscoe,, 760-872-5044]

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Heritage Preservation Assistance Programs
National Heritage Areas 30th Anniversary Being Celebrated

Thirty years ago, national heritage area designation was conceived by community leaders and the National Park Service to conserve and develop the historic Illinois and Michigan Canal. This launched a national movement to unite preservation, conservation, recreation, education and economic development through national heritage areas.

Today visitors can hike and bike on the I & M Canal Towpath Trail and ride on replica boats. Looking back to the 1960 - 80's, this was unimaginable as the canal was all but forgotten. Leaders sought to unite the 96-mile region from Chicago to LaSalle-Peru, not as a national park, but as a national heritage area, including historic, cultural and natural sites, with homes, businesses, and industry.

Signed into law by native son, President Reagan on August 24, 1984, I & M Canal National Heritage Corridor's designation sparked a movement.  

"I have witnessed the growth and maturity of the heritage areas movement, and of individual heritage areas, and am convinced of their effectiveness," wrote NPS Director Jon Jarvis in the NHA policy memo. "National heritage areas are places where small investments pay huge dividends, providing demonstrable benefits in communities across the country and in partnership with our national parks."   

NHAs are celebrating the I & M Canal National Heritage Corridor and 30 years of partnership and accomplishments throughout the country this coming week. Join the national celebration on the NPS Heritage & Historic Preservation Facebook and Twitter. Add to the discussion by sharing your stories or images using #HeritageArea30.

As of today, Congress has designated 49 NHAs that work as public/ private partnerships with NPS. Interest in the heritage area approach is a testament to the benefits. NHA partners are reviving historic towns, preserving battlefields and industrial sites, providing new and improved recreation opportunities, telling our nation's history in innovative ways, engaging youth, and conserving waterways and wetlands. 

In 2013, NHAs leveraged approximately $48 million to the $16 million from NPS. Collectively, NHAs awarded over 600 grants for $4 million and engaged over 60,000 volunteers. For more data, information, and an interactive map:

Click on this link to read the NHA newsletter,


[Submitted by Katie Durcan,, 202-384-2268]

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Cultural Resources
GS-0193-13 Archeologist

The Cultural Resources, Partnerships, and Science Directorate is currently recruiting for a full-time permanent archeologist. The position is located in Natchitoches, Louisiana, at the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training.

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

For additional information on this announcement, contact Jamie M. Barnes at or 303-985-6851.

It closes on September 2nd.
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Bandelier National Monument (NM)
WG-4749-7 Trails Maintenance Worker (Detail)

Bandelier National Monument is seeking candidates for a detail to the park as a trail crew leader.

The preferred EOD date is September 7th, but is negotiable.

The detailee will serve as a park trail crew leader working with a youth corps trail crew on backcountry trail repair projects. Experience in trail repair and building/repairing rock retaining walls, water bars and steps is required.

During this detail, salary will continue to be paid by the detailee’s home park. Travel and per diem will be paid by Bandelier National Monument. Government housing may be available for this assignment.  This is a detail opportunity, not a temporary promotion.  Selectee’s salary will remain the same. 

Interested individuals should discuss the opportunity with their first-line supervisors and obtain concurrence from their superintendents or managers prior to applying.  Once approval is gained, interested individuals should submit a one-page resume detailing work history, educational background, and any special qualifications they might possess. 

Resumes should be submitted by electronic mail to: Beth Betts ( no later than August 27th. 

Please contact Dale Coker at (505) 672-3861 x345 with additional questions about the detail opportunity.