The Morning Report

Monday, November 24, 2014

Recent Editions  


Big Bend National Park (TX)
Boulder Damages Laguna Meadow Trail

On November 6th, following heavy rains and a hiker’s report of trail damage, the park’s trail crew discovered that a large boulder had detached from one of the pinnacles below Emory Peak and had damaged the Laguna Meadow Trail. 

As part of a larger rock fall, the boulder tumbled about half a mile down the side of the mountain, tore a path through the forest, crossed a section of trail with several switchbacks, crossed a drainage, and ultimately came to rest on the trail.  At least 11 segments of trail were damaged by the rockfall and the trail was immediately closed to public use.

After examination of the detachment site, consultation with Eric Bilderback of the Geologic Resources Division, and careful assessment of risk, utilizing Operational Leadership principles, the park has concluded that it is safe to reopen the trail.  Trail repairs will begin immediately, but the 25-ton boulder will remain on the trail for the foreseeable future. 

[Submitted by Don Corrick, Park Geologist]


Independence National Historical Park (PA)
Independence Hosts World Affairs Council Debate

In anticipation of the 2016 presidential election campaign, the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia and Independence National Historical Park jointly hosted a conversation on the executive office.  Participants explored the different leadership styles of our great American presidents, asking the question, “should we, as citizens, continue to aspire to ‘greatness’ in our only nationally elected office—and what does that mean, anyway?”

“The End of Greatness, Why America Can't Have (and Doesn't Want) Another Great President,” was held in Congress Hall, a perfect location for a debate on how the presidency is defined. The U.S. Congress met in Congress Hall when Philadelphia was the capital from 1790-1800. The transfer of power from George Washington to John Adams, one of the most defining moments in the history of the US presidency, took place here. Free tickets for this event went fast and the debate was held in front of a packed house. This was the first program in Congress Hall to be recorded live and streamed via the web. The event can be viewed online at until November 26. 

“We are grateful to the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia for approaching us with the idea for this debate and organizing the event,” Superintendent Cindy MacLeod said. “And where better than Congress Hall? This was the site of intense debate charting the future of the young nation, setting precedents for the next two centuries. The presidency was defined here by George Washington and John Adams, as well as by the actions of Congress while they met in this building.”

Guests listened to presentations from David Eisenhower, director of the Institute for Public Service at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication and Aaron David Miller, vice president for New Initiatives, a distinguished scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. and a former U.S.-Middle East negotiator who’s advised Republican and Democratic Secretaries of State. The debate was moderated by Craig Snyder, President and CEO of the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia. Following the presentations, guests and speakers engaged in a healthy debate. Many questions and issues were raised, though perhaps more questions were raised than answered. 

Hosting events such as this is one of the ways Independence NHP is finding new approaches to demonstrating the relevancy of park resources. Park staff look forward to hosting more such events in the future, as we continue to engage a broader audience.

[Submitted by Jane Cowley,, 215-597-0060]

 More Information...
Cultural Resources, Partnerships, and Science
Cultural Resources Diversity Internship Proposals Sought

The Cultural Resources Diversity Internship Program, part of the Washington Office’s Division of Cultural Resources, Partnerships, and Science, invites project proposals for 2015.

Over the years, NPS parks, program offices and partners in the public and private sectors have cosponsored dozens of diverse undergraduate and graduate students and provided them with outstanding career-exploration opportunities. 

During the 2015 session, the program will cosponsor interns during the 10-week summer program. The exact number of interns to be cosponsored is contingent upon program funding.  The deadline for project proposal applications is Tuesday, December 23rd. 

The cost of selected projects will be shared on a 50/50 basis between WASO and the intern sponsor. The program is administered in partnership with the Student Conservation Association. 

 Selection of intern hosts will be based on the following evaluation criteria:

?     Appropriateness of project for undergraduate and graduate students in history, anthropology, historic preservation, architecture, museum studies, or related fields, who may have no previous experience in historic preservation/cultural resources work.

?     Commitment to providing interns with an introduction to the range of historic preservation/cultural resources work at your site as well as careers beyond the immediate work environment.

?     Quality of supervision and mentoring.

?     Commitment to recruit minority and underrepresented youth.

?     Availability of housing, especially in remote areas.

Please contact Paloma Bolasny, program coordinator, at or 202-354-2174 for more information and to request an application.  Read more about the 2014 projects and interns at:

Outer Banks Group - NC
Outer Banks Group Hosts Centennial Partners Meeting

In preparation for the National Park Service centennial in 2016, the Outer Banks Group of parks ( Fort Raleigh NHS, Wright Brothers NM, and Cape Hatteras NS) organized an interdisciplinary centennial committee last March. 

Since then, the committee has been working diligently to document successes under Call to Action and outline future plans that will lead the group into the next hundred years.  The committee is also working to develop community events and programs to enhance stewardship, community and partner relationships and to engage the next generation of park stewards. 

The Outer Banks Group is fortunate to have many partner organizations who contribute to protecting these three unique and diverse parks.  On Tuesday, October 28th, group held its first centennial partners meeting to begin the conversation of how the group and its partners can work together to share the unique stories of the three parks, plan special events, implement new programs, develop new partnerships with community organizations and local communities, and connect with diverse audiences.

The committee shared a presentation to explain and lay out the basic framework of Call to Action. In addition, the committee touched on some recent accomplishments and future plans that are already in development to get the conversation started and generate new and fresh ideas from this diverse and experienced group of partners. 

Many of the park’s partners had never crossed paths before this meeting, and the ideas and conversations shared fostered an understanding and appreciation for the work that each of these groups does to assist and enhance the parks and the local communities. 

The ideas brought forth at this inaugural meeting will foster success through coordination and collaboration, strengthen our impact by leveraging resources, connect and inspire a diverse audience, enhance and redefine partner relationships for a common goal, and reestablish our connection to our local communities so that our parks remain relevant, not only now, but for future generations.  

[Submitted by Whitny Howeth, Executive Assistant]

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 November 21st.

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 November 17th, the House passed the following bills of interest to the National Park Service:

  • 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 bill passed by a vote of 378-1. The Department opposes the bill.
  • H.R. 4049 (Duffy, R-WI-7), to amend the Act to provide for the establishment of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in the State of Wisconsin, and for other purposes, to adjust the boundary of that National Lakeshore to include the lighthouse known as Ashland Harbor Breakwater Light, and for other purposes.  The bill passed by voice vote.  The Department supports the bill. 

Committee Activity

On November 19th, the House Committee on Natural Resources (Hastings) approved by voice vote the following bills of interest to the National Park Service:

  • H.R. 1561 (Gardner, R-CO-4), to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to make improvements to support facilities for National Historic Sites operated by the National Park Service, and for other purposes.  The bill would allow the NPS to make improvements to nonfederal structures in cases that met certain criteria.  The Department took the position on the Senate companion bill (S. 1071) that it could only support the bill if it was amended to apply specifically to Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site.
  • H.R. 1785 (Reichert, R-WA-8), to establish the Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area in the State of Washington, and for other purposes.  The bill was amended in several ways.  The Department supports the objectives of the bill.
  • H.R. 5086 (Lujan, D-NM-3), to amend the National Trails System Act to direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study on the feasibility of designating the Chief Standing Bear National Historic Trail, and for other purposes.  The Department supports the bill with an amendment.
  • H.R. 5699 (Miller, D-CA-11), to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to acquire approximately 44 acres of land in Martinez, California, and for other purposes.  The bill was amended.  The Department has not taken a position on the bill. 

New Bills Introduced

Nothing to report.

Upcoming Committee Activity

Nothing to report.


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

[Submitted by Andrea Dekoter]


Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (IN)
GS-0025-14 Deputy Superintendent (Detail)

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is accepting applications for a 120-day detail/temporary promotion assignment as the park’s deputy superintendent.  It closes on December 9th.

Indiana Dunes shares it's boundary with some of America's largest steel mills, power plants, the Port of Indiana, and part of one of the largest metropolitan areas of the US.  Consider applying if you want a chance to experience interesting work in a partnership park in one of the busiest and most biologically diverse places in North America. 

Duties include:

  • Responsible for overall supervision and coordination of NPS park operations, including all program development, implementation, and all aspects of accountability
  • Plans, directs coordinates and provides executive leadership to park programs and operations
  • Responsible for coordinating the activities of subordinate managers, guiding the direction of their efforts, setting priorities, allocating resources, setting standards, evaluating performance, stimulating extra efforts and otherwise maintaining an effective, efficient organization with active programs serving the public interest and mandates of higher authorities
  • Provides leadership in development of policies, standards and procedures which govern the professional conduct of work related to the administration and implementation of programs, including, but not limited to the functional areas of park maintenance, preservation, resource management (natural and cultural), visitor services, safety/risk management, law enforcement and park compendium, partnerships, civic engagement, concessions, human resource management, administration, budget planning and execution, park development, land use and public relations
  • Establishes and maintains an effective working relationship with Departmental, Federal, and local officials, community leaders, and the general public
  • Develops a series of long term plans which includes management of operations, park development, and long term funding and staffing levels
  • Directs overall operations and is responsible for formulation and execution of an annual base operating budget of $9 million.
  • Advances the NPS goals of nurturing lifelong connections between the public and parks while working in a dynamic urban area 

This is a detail/temporary promotion opportunity that is expected to last from 90 to 120 days.  The person chosen will be expected to assume the duties of the position within two pay periods of being selected. 

  • Detail: A detail is a temporary assignment of an employee to a different position for a specified 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 position for a specified period of time, with the employee returning to his/her permanent position the expiration of the temporary action. Candidates who apply and are found eligible, satisfy time-in-grade and meet all qualification requirements for the position, may be considered for a temporary promotion to a GS-14.

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is located at the southern tip of Lake Michigan approximately 50 to 60 miles southeast of Chicago, Illinois. Small towns and resort communities on the beaches of Lake Michigan and farms interspersed with large tracts of woodlands and wetlands surround the Lakeshore. An abundance of cultural and recreational activities are available year-round. The area has weather typical of the Midwest, with temperatures normally ranging from 0 degrees in the winter to 90 degrees in the summer.  No government housing available, but many reasonably priced houses and rental properties exist in the surrounding communities.  All services are available. 

Salary, travel, and a reduced per diem (government housing) costs will be paid by Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. 

Interested individuals must submit their application package electronically including: 

  • A letter of interest, no longer than two pages, that states relevant strengths the candidate would bring to the position.
  • Resume or description of the relevant expertise and skills possessed by the applicant (see duties)
  • Most recent SF-50 (non-award)
  • Written consent from your supervisor

Application packages should be received by December 5th and should be sent to Paul Labovitz  at

For questions about the position please contact Paul at 219-395-1969.

Northeast Region
GS-1601-7/9 Facility Management Systems Specialist

Dates: 11/13/2014 - 12/05/2014

Job Title: Facility Management Systems Specialist

Department:Department Of The Interior

Agency:National Park Service

Job Announcement Number: NESHRO-MP-TJG-1247389-15-06

                                         NE SHRO-TJG-1250121-15-09

SALARY RANGE: $42,830.00 to $68,103.00 / Per Year

OPEN PERIOD: Thursday, November 13, 2014 to Friday, December 5, 2014

SERIES & GRADE: GS-1601-07/09



DUTY LOCATIONS: 1 vacancy in the following location:Minute Man NHP



JOB SUMMARY:Experience your America and build a fulfilling career by joining the National Park Service. Become a part of our mission to unite our past, our cultures and our special places, to establish important connections to the present and build a rich and lasting legacy for future generations. For more information about the National Park Service, click Acadia National Park Official Website.

WHO MAY BE CONSIDERED: Qualified Government-wide career or career-conditional employees; Transfer and Reinstatement eligible candidates, 30% or More Compensable Disabled Veterans, Veterans Recruitment Act (VRA) eligible candidates, qualified Handicapped individuals, qualified returning volunteer from the Peace Corps or Vista, qualified former Public Land Corps employee, or a VEOA eligible candidate, who is either a Preference Eligible candidate or a Veteran whom has been separated from the Armed Forces under honorable conditions after three years or more of continuous active service. If you are applying using status or a special appointment authority, you must submit your Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50's), DD-214 and/or supporting documentation to demonstrate your eligibility.
The vacancy is concurrently advertised under delegated examining unit procedures under announcement number NE SHRO-TJG-1250121-15-09. Candidates who wish to be considered under both procedures MUST apply and submit complete application packages to both vacancies.
Position Information: This is a permanent position with a full-time year-round work schedule.  

See USAJOBS for more information and how to apply.

[Submitted by John Finnegan,]

Pacific West Region
GS-401-14 Regional Fire Management Officer (Detail)

Dates: 11/20/2014 - 12/01/2014

Pacific West Region Developmental Opportunity:  Acting Regional Fire Management Officer, GS-401-14, Pacific West Region

Target Audience: This opportunity is available to individuals at the GS-13 level and above who wish to be considered for a temporary detail at the GS-14 level, or a temporary promotion to the GS-14 level. This is a temporary developmental assignment up to 120 days, and you will return to your regular duties at the end of the assignment.

Opening Date: Nov 20, 2014

Closing Date:  Dec 1, 2014

Entrance on Duty:  Negotiable, although a target date of December 28, 2014 is preferred

Location:  San Francisco, California

Brief Description of Development Opportunity:  You will serve as the Acting Pacific West Region Regional Chief of Fire Management. This position:

  • Represents the agency and serves as the region's technical specialist and liaison, responsible for coordinating and conferring with a wide variety of other fire and aviation management agencies, other regions, states, fire departments, parks, and other agencies to assure program continuity and coordination;
  • Makes decisions and commitments that have wide influence and impact on fire management and fire aviation management programs throughout the region;
  • Stays informed and aware of fire program initiatives, developments and practices of wildland fire science and research, and incorporates into agency fire management programs through adaptive management;
  • Participates with the national office in the formulation and implementation of budgets on a multi-year basis, in excess of 20 million dollars; and 
  • Addresses issues raised by national, state and local media outlets, state government, congressional officials, public interest groups and other public officials by explaining and discussing fire management policies and management decisions to resolve politically and socially complex and controversial issues.

Key ongoing projects:

  • Workforce realignment – continuing to prioritize wildland fire funding and workloads across the region and Service. Specifically beginning the transition from the current organization to the future target organization (FTO) for the Pacific West Region.
  • Interagency wildland fire coordination – maintaining and improving relationships with state, local government and NGO partners within geographic coordinating areas

Funding: During this assignment, for those on detail (already at the GS-14 level or above), salary will continue to be paid by the selectee’s home park or office at the same rate, unless otherwise negotiated.  For those on temporary promotion (currently at the GS-13 level), salary will continue to be paid at the same rate by the selectee’s home park/office, with the promotional difference paid by the Pacific West Region, unless otherwise negotiated.  Travel and per diem will be paid by the Pacific West Region.

To Apply:  If you are interested in this developmental assignment, you must discuss this opportunity with your first-line supervisor and obtain concurrence from your Manager prior to applying. Once approval is gained, you should submit:

  1. A resume, no more than two pages, detailing your work history, educational background, and any special qualifications.
  2. Your Incident Qualification and Certification System (IQCS) Master Record
  3. An SF-50 reflecting your tenure and current grade level

Submit your application materials electronically to no later thanDec 1, 2014. Please include “Acting FMO Opportunity” in the subject line of the message.

Please contact (415-623-2106) with any additional questions about this developmental opportunity.

[Submitted by Martha Lee,, 415-623-2106]