The Morning Report

Monday, September 15, 2014

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Upper Delaware S&RR/Delaware Water Gap NRA - PA
Massive Manhunt Underway For State Trooper’s Killer

A major multi-agency manhunt is currently underway for the person or persons who ambushed and killed a Pennsylvania state trooper and seriously wounded another outside the Blooming Grove barracks in Pike County in northeast Pennsylvania on Friday night.

Troopers from Blooming Grove work closely with rangers from both Upper Delaware S&RR and Delaware Water Gap NRA, both of which are partly in Pike County.

The NPS has been in touch with incident managers at the Pennsylvania State Police command post and notified them of the availability of rangers and an NPS special agent. At present, however, they are not actively engaged in the search.

Rangers in both parks have been advised to exercise extra caution both on and off duty.

[Submitted by Joe Hinkes, Chief Ranger, Upper Delaware S&RR]

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Grand Teton National Park (WY)
Three Lives Saved Over Six Days

Rangers and park paramedics saved the lives of three people – two visitors and a concession employee – over the course of a six-day period.

On August 30th, a 64-year-old visitor from California who was staying at the Jackson Lake Lodge was reported to be in distress and experiencing chest pains. Prior to the arrival of rangers, he lost consciousness and suffered a cardiac arrest.  Grand Teton Lodge Company security officers and bystanders began CPR immediately; arriving rangers and paramedics then used an AED to restore a heart rhythm.

Utilizing a LifePak cardiac monitor, paramedics recognized that the patient had suffered a massive heart attack and arranged for medical evacuation by air ambulance to the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, where he is reported to be in a stable condition.

On September 2nd, a 20-year-old concession employee was reported to be unresponsive in his dormitory room. Responding rangers found him lying face down on the floor with a compromised airway. Although he was breathing, he remained unresponsive and had obviously consumed an inordinate amount of alcohol. He had been aspirating liquids, thereby requiring park paramedics to intubate him and utilize a portable transport ventilator. 

He was taken to St. John’s Hospital in Jackson and admitted. Once he was stabilized by the hospital staff, the breathing tube was removed and he was subsequently discharged from treatment – but he has been charged with several offenses, including being intoxicated to such a degree that he was a danger to himself.

As reported previously in this publication, rangers responded on September 4th to a report of an unconscious 80-year-old kayaker on the Snake River. The emergency care and treatment provided by the first on-scene Colorado firefighters and responding rangers and park paramedics were successful; although he remains in intensive care, he is responsive and expected to recover. 

[Submitted by Patrick W. Hattaway, North District Ranger]

Yellowstone National Park (ID,MT,WY)
Two Stricken Visitors Resuscitated On Same Day

Just after 8:30 a.m. on September 10th, park dispatch received a report of a woman in her 70s experiencing difficulty breathing at the Grant Village campground. Rangers and volunteers were dispatched to her location. By the time they arrived, her heart had stopped.

Ranger/paramedic Bob Elliott took charge of providing care while an air ambulance responded. CPR and other advanced life support measures were employed to restore the woman’s pulse.

Due to weather conditions, she was taken by park ambulance toward the park’s south entrance and then transferred to an Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center medevac helicopter at Flagg Ranch and flown to St. Johns Hospital in Jackson.

Later that afternoon, rangers were dispatched to a report of an 80-year-old man who was choking in the Tower-Roosevelt area. Minutes after the man collapsed, visitors and Xanterra concession staff began CPR and called for help.

EMT/rangers quickly responded to the man’s location down a two-mile-long dirt. Rangers Tom Schwartz and Matt Lussier provided patient care.  The man soon regained a pulse and began breathing on his own. He was taken by ambulance to a location where he could be picked up by Summit Air Ambulance and flown to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital.

Rangers and NPS medics responded to a total of nine medical calls on September 10th.  Six of the nine were related to cardiac problems, including these two CPR calls.

[Submitted by Bonnie Schwartz, Acting Chief Ranger]

Mount Rainier National Park (WA)
Motorcyclist Killed On Stevens Canyon Road

Park rangers responded to a motorcycle accident on the east end of Stevens Canyon Road on Thursday, September 11th.

There were no witnesses to the accident, although the victim was riding with friends when he went off the road at a hairpin turn. Park climbing rangers conducted the technical recovery of the man’s body.

Washington State Patrol officers are assisting with the investigation. Quincy Maret was the incident commander.

[Submitted by Patti Wold, PIO]


Flight 93 National Memorial (PA)
September 11th Heroes Honored At Annual Ceremony

Flight 93 National Memorial honored the 40 passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 on the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11 with the annual observance on Thursday, September 11th.

Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Dennis Hastert, who was speaker on 9/11, delivered remarks and presented the park with the flag that flew that day over the United States Capitol, the terrorists’ target.

"Today that flag would not have been in existence...if not for the great heroes who we'll hold in our hearts for ever and ever," Hastert said.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett and Gordon Felt, president of the Families of Flight 93, also spoke during the ceremony. At 10:03 a.m. – the moment Flight 93 crashed – the names of the passengers and crew members were read and the memorial’s Bells of Remembrance tolled 40 times in their memory.

The ceremony was also marked by the first public display of the Congressional gold medal that was presented to Flight 93 National Memorial by U.S House and Senate leaders in a ceremony at the United States Capitol on Wednesday, September 10th.

The Fallen Heroes of 9/11 Act directed that a Congressional gold medal, the highest civilian award the United States Congress can bestow, be struck for each of the 9/11 sites to honor the men and women who perished as a result of the terrorist attacks. The Flight 93 medal was displayed in the park through September 14th; it will go on permanent display in the new Flight 93 National Memorial Visitor Center, which is scheduled to be dedicated in September 2015.

The obverse of the medal depicts the rural Pennsylvania field where Flight 93 crashed on September 11, 2001. The design features an image of the sandstone boulder that marks the crash site, and the towering hemlock trees at the edge of the field. The medal is inscribed with these words: “A common field one day, a field of honor forever” and “Act of Congress 2011”. 

The reverse of the Congressional gold medal features forty stars on a raised border, representing the forty passengers and crew members of Flight 93, and a sentinel eagle clasping laurel branches. The medal depicts the western front of the U.S. Capitol. Above the dome of the Capitol is the inscription: “We honor the passengers and crew of Flight 93 who perished in a Pennsylvania field on September 11, 2001. Their courageous action will be remembered forever.”

For images of the Flight 93, World Trade Center and Pentagon gold medals, click on the link below.

[Submitted by Mike Litterst]

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Isle Royale National Park (MI)
New Shipwreck Surveys Completed

Park divers at Isle Royale National Park recently completed shipwreck surveys in Passage Island cove, a remote island in the northeast corner of the park.

Under the direction of master’s degree candidate Sara Kerfoot from the Nautical Archeology program at East Carolina University, divers surveyed, mapped, and photographed the two shipwreck sites in the cove.

One of the wrecks, a 26-foot United States Coast Guard vessel, has been known to the park since its demise. In the spring of 1949, the vessel caught fire after the boat operator attempted to turn on the engine for the first time of the year. The vessel was pushed from the boathouse, burned to the waterline, and subsequently sank. The charred remains of the USCG vessel lie in 27 feet of water.

The other sunken vessel, a 36-foot cabin cruiser, had its location confirmed in 2012 when Lara Hutto, hydrographic technician with the Great Lakes I&M Network, surveyed the cove with the NPS sonar vessel Echo. Park divers then reconfirmed the wreck site by diving on it, but were unable to complete surveys and an assessment of the wreck until this year.

The wreck is approximately 50 years old and rests on a slope near shore between 15 and 34 feet of water. Fully intact and with no visible signs of damage, the cause of this wreck remains a mystery.

More wreck assessments are underway at the park this season. Eight of the park’s ten major shipwrecks appear on the ASMIS survey this year and park divers will continue to complete these valuable cultural resource assessments.

For more information, please contact .

[Submitted by Paul Brown, Chief of Natural Resources]

Office of Learning and Development
2014 Roger Kennedy Fellowship Recipients Named

The Office of Learning and Development is pleased to announce the 2014 Roger Kennedy Fellowship recipients – Michele Hartley and Gregory Hindsley.

Michele is a media accessibility  coordinator at Harpers Ferry Center, located in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.  Gregory is a historic preservationist with the American Battlefield Protection Program that is part of the Cultural Resources Directorate in Washington, DC. 

The two fellowship recipients were selected by the George Washington University Columbian College of Arts and Science (CCAS) admission committee based on the admission requirements of CCAS and George Washington University.

The Roger Kennedy Fellowship Program is a graduate-level certificate program through the Environmental Resources Policy Program in the Columbian College of Arts and Science at The George Washington University.

The fellowship recipients started attending classes last month at the George Washington University campus in Washington, DC.

The fellowship is designed to help prepare current and future NPS leaders who are responsible for the preservation and protection of our public lands and cultural heritage. 

The fellowship is funded by the Friends of Roger Kennedy and the program was inspired from a gift from previous Director Roger Kennedy and wife Frances Kennedy. 

For more information on the program please go to GWU’s website or contact Lisa Nicol,

[Submitted by Lisa M. Nicol]

United States Park Police
FLIR Systems Recognized For Outstanding Service

On Friday, September 5th, the United Stated Park Police held an awards ceremony recognizing and honoring FLIR Systems, Inc. (FLIR) for its dedicated service.

FLIR representatives and U.S. Park Police officials gathered at the "Eagle’s Nest," located in Anacostia Park, to commemorate FLIR’s contributions and continued support with Presidential inaugural celebrations, Fourth of July celebrations, and numerous special events. 

The Park Police’s Eagle 2 helicopter is equipped with a FLIR 8500 infrared and color sensor that provides stable thermal imaging as well as color video that assists with a range of law enforcement and rescue operations. 

Pioneers in thermal imaging, FLIR Systems designs, develops, manufactures, markets, and distributes technologies that enhance perception and awareness. 

[Submitted by Sergeant Lelani Woods, Public Information Officer]

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Fire and Aviation Management
Wildland Fire Stories Meet Cohesive Strategy Goals

On behalf of the National Park Service, the Division of Fire and Aviation submitted twelve stories to the Department of the Interior Office of Wildland Fire last week that met the cohesive strategy goals for fire-adapted communities, response to wildfire, and maintaining and restoring resilient landscapes.

The stories are available on the Wildland Fire section of the NPS Fire and Aviation website. Additionally, they will be shared via FAM's social media channels of Facebook and Twitter.

They are expected to be posted to the Department of the Interior’s Forests and Rangelands website within a month.

We recommend that you widely share stories relevant to your park / region with your leadership, within your local community, and to other relevant internal and external audiences to get the word out about successes happening in the national parks. 

The links to each story submitted are listed below by region.

Intermountain Region

  Fire Adapted Communities

  Response to Wildfire

  Maintain and Restore Resilient Landscapes

  NPS Fire Stories (not tied to Cohesive Strategy)

Midwest Region

  Response to Wildfire

  Maintain and Restore Resilient Landscapes

  NPS Fire Story (not tied to Cohesive Strategy)

Northeast Region

  Maintain and Restore Resilient Landscapes

Pacific West Region

  Fire Adapted Communities / Response to Wildfires

Southeast Region

  Fire Adapted Communities / Response to Wildfire / Maintain and Restore Resilient Landscapes

The next deadline for submitting Cohesive Strategy stories is Monday, September 15, through regional fire communication contacts.

[Submitted by Tina Boehle,, 208.387.5875]

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Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs
Weekly Legislative Activities Report

The Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs puts out weekly reports on hearings, new legislation and other activities on the Hill. This report covers activities in Congress for the week ending September 12th.

In order to obtain the full text of any of the bills that appear below, click on the following link: . That will take you to Thomas, the Library of Congress legislative tracking system. Enter the bill number in the “Search Bill Text” block, being sure to also click on the “Bill Number” option below the block.


New Public Laws

Nothing to report.   

Floor Action

On September 8th, the House passed by voice vote the following bills of interest to the National Park Service:

  • H.R. 4527 (Michaud, D-ME-2), to remove a use restriction on land formerly a part of Acadia National Park that was transferred to the town of Tremont, Maine, and for other purposes.  The Department could support the bill if amended to require that the property revert to the Federal government if the property does not remain in public ownership for specified uses.  As passed, the bill does not contain that requirement.
  • H.J. Res. 120 (Butterfield, D-NC-1), approving the location of a memorial to commemorate the more than 5,000 slaves and free Black persons who fought for independence in the American Revolution.  The resolution would authorize the Liberty Memorial to be constructed in Area I designated under the Commemorative Works Act.  The Department has not taken a position on the resolution.

On September 10th, the House passed by a vote of 422-0 H.R. 4751 (Kilmer, D-WA-6), to make technical corrections to Public Law 110-229 to reflect the renaming of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, and for other purposes.  The Department supports the bill.

On September 10th, the Senate passed by unanimous consent H.J. Res. 120 (Butterfield, D-NC-1), approving the location of a memorial to commemorate the more than 5,000 slaves and free Black persons who fought for independence in the American Revolution.  Senate passage clears the bill for the President. 

Committee Activity

On September 9th, the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation (Bishop) held a hearing on the following bills of interest to the National Park Service.  The Department’s witness was William Shaddox, Chief, NPS Land Resources Division:

  • H.R. 5003 (Gingrey, R-GA-11), to adjust the boundary of Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park to include the Wallis House and Harriston Hill, and for other purposes.  The Department supports the bill.
  • H.R. 5162 (Goodlatte, R-VA-6), to amend the Act entitled “An Act to allow a certain parcel of land in Rockingham County, Virginia, to be used for a child care center” to remove the use restriction, and for other purposes.  The bill would allow the property, which was conveyed to the county through the Federal Lands to Parks program, to be used for any purpose.  The Department opposes the bill. 

New Bills Introduced     

The following new bill of interest to the NPS was introduced:

  • S. 2780 (McConnell, R-KY), a bill to direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study to evaluate the significance of the Mill Springs Battlefield located in Pulaski and Wayne Counties, KY, and the feasibility of its inclusion in the National Park System, and for other purposes. 

Upcoming Committee Activity

Nothing to report.


For additional information, please visit the Legislative and Congressional Affairs Office website at

[Submitted by Melissa Kuckro]