The Morning Report

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Recent Editions  


Death Valley National Park (CA)
Mother And Child Rescued From Trail In Extreme Heat Conditions

On the afternoon of Monday, August 3rd, rangers received a report that a mother and son were experiencing severe heat exhaustion on the Golden Canyon Trail, a popular hiking route in Death Valley.

The father, now at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center, left his family on the trail and sought help when his wife and son were too exhausted to continue. Rangers responded to the visitor center and learned that the eight-year-old child and 49-year-old mother had just a half liter of water between them when the father left them an hour previously. The father also said that his wife and son had been vomiting and had been on the trail since 9 a.m. The air temperature at the time was 120 F.

Rangers immediately responded and began hiking the trail, carrying copious amounts of water and medical supplies. After roughly thirty minutes of searching, the rangers located the mother and son, who were lying face down in the shade of a cliff face. Both were responsive but were completely out of water.

Rangers administered care to both mother and son, who were stable and denied throwing up. Once they had been cooled, the rangers assisted them in walking out of the canyon. When they arrived at the ambulance, staged at the entrance to the canyon, the mother declined any further medical care for her and her son.  

[Submitted by J.D. Updegraff, District Ranger]

Canyon De Chelly National Monument (AZ)
Heavy Rains Bring Flooding To Park

Over just a few short hours last Sunday, the park and surrounding area received a large amount of rain, hail and wind. Canyon residents were stranded inside the canyon overnight with rescue operations still underway.

There was one confirmed fatality, with several families still unaccounted for. Several agencies, including a Department of Public Safety aircraft, searched diligently throughout the night for stranded parties throughout the canyon.

At the time of the report on Monday, canyon roads were still inaccessible, hampering any rescue operations up canyon.

[Submitted by Fernando M. Jones, Chief Ranger]


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

National Fire Activity

NIFC is at PL 4. A total of 118 fires are burning nationwide; of these, 29 are large uncontained fires. Current resource commitments are as follows, with changes from yesterday’s numbers in parentheses:

  • 20 incident management teams, including an area command team (up one)
  • 426 crews (up 37)
  • 17,201 firefighters and overhead (up 1,653)
  • 1,109 engines (up 124)
  • 119 helicopters (down two)

Fire Weather Forecast

An upper trough over western Canada will push a cold front through the Northwest and into the northern Rockies. Widely scattered thunderstorms will form ahead of the front from northern California to the northern Rockies. Breezy conditions will develop behind the front across Washington. A few thunderstorms will also form over the central Rockies. The remainder of the West will be warm and dry. East of the Rockies, scattered thunderstorms will develop along a stationary front stretching from the northern Plains to the Mid-Atlantic. Cool conditions will remain over the Great Lakes and New England. Hot and humid conditions will persist from the southern Plains to the Southeast coast. Alaska will have widely scattered showers over the north, warm and mainly dry weather in the Interior and south.

For more information:

NPS Fire Summaries

Glacier NP – The Reynolds Fire has burned 3,913 acres (the same number as yesterday). It is 64% contained (also the same as yesterday). For full details, go to the following InciWeb site:

Additional Information

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


Gateway National Recreation Area
Annual All-Women Lifeguard Tournament Held

The whistle blew and the competitors raced to their surfboats. For each boat, one rower sat inside while two teammates pushed into the oncoming waves. A second rower boarded and the two rowed vigorously, with the bow suspended in mid-air. The 1,000-yard boat race and the 31st Annual All-Women Lifeguard Tournament had begun.

The tournament took place on July 29th at Sandy Hook, a unit of Gateway National Recreation Area, in Highlands, New Jersey.  The event was the largest in the tournament’s 31 years, hosting 27 teams from four states and a total of 277 lifeguards.  Teams competed in one of two divisions – Division I, with nine or fewer participants per team, and Division II, with teams of 10 or more participants.

This tournament celebrates the power of women and the intelligence, speed, camaraderie, and strength they bring to the lifeguard stand.  Although it is a competition, all female guards are accepted.  In competing against each other, women are given the opportunity to measure their performance against physically similar competitors, and to demonstrate their abilities.

The tournament featured ten events, including a kayak challenge, a surf rescue, and a swim-run relay.  Two events allowed for unlimited entries per team, with the remaining events limited to one or two entries per team.  Most events required more than one participant, allowing teams to involve multiple members and to build team camaraderie and strength.  Click here for results.

Before this tournament commenced in 1985 at Jacob Riis Park in Queens (another section of Gateway National Recreation Area), women lifeguards had few opportunities to compete in tournaments.

Liz Vanderclute of Ocean City Beach Patrol, Maryland, who has competed in the tournament for eight years, said that women have limited opportunities to compete. Most events require only one or two women, and the male guards take the remaining competitor spots. VanderClute considers this tournament fun and friendly, allowing all women to participate.

Mary Kate George, a rookie to all lifeguard tournaments, regarded this particular tournament as a comfortable event to begin competing.  “There’s no pressure because we’re friends with the guards and its all women.”  Her sister Sarah agreed, saying it was “cool” to compete against women only, and pointed out that they know a lot of their competitors.  The sisters are from Long Branch Beach Patrol, last year’s Division II winners.

Caroline Posner from Spring Lake Beach Patrol has been a spectator at this event for a number of years, and finally competed this year. At 15 years old, she is a pool lifeguard, with hopes of becoming a surf guard next year when she is old enough. The tournament allowed Posner to participate despite her young age and gave her the opportunity to shine.

Haley Roussell, of Avon-By-The-Sea Beach Patrol, thinks the tournament’s opportunities are empowering.  Not only do she and her coworkers return to work as closer friends; they also return as stronger guards.  She and her coworkers feel more comfortable using the guard equipment after competing. 

“Trying to use the equipment can be tough with a lot of guys around,” she explained. “We get to try it out here.”  Avon has had more female guards volunteering to compete each year, and the team has improved each year as well.

Sarah Brennan of Spring Lake simply observed, “It is insane to see what women can do.”

[Submitted by Gabrielle Ferro, VIP]

Mount Rushmore National Memorial (SD)
Fire Safety Highlighted For Motorcycle Rally In The Black Hills

The roar of motorcycles here to participate in the 75th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally now fills the Black Hills of South Dakota.  While generally the annual rally attracts about 400,000 cyclists, due to the anniversary this year it is anticipated 700,000 to 1.2 million motorcycles will arrive. 

Mount Rushmore National Memorial, as well as all other emergency services, has been planning for over a year on how to keep everyone safe.  Mount Rushmore staff has partnered with the United States Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, South Dakota Wildland Fire Division, Custer State Park, and Black Hills National Forest coming together under the theme of “Don’t Burn the Rally.” 

A series of posters, banners, flyers and post cards have been distributed to get the message out to the motorcycle visitors to not throw any burning substance from a vehicle and to be careful with campfires.  The rally poster features Darin Oestmann, Law Enforcement Ranger with Mount Rushmore, on a motorcycle followed by followed by Smokey and a line of firefighters from multiple agencies.

The “Don’t Burn the Rally,” message on posters and banners will be reinforced through social media.  The South Dakota Wildland Fire Division’s fire prevention campaign #WhereisSmokeyBear? will feature photos of Smokey at a variety of sites including Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

The motorcycle Ranger Oestmann is riding was provided through another partnership with Black Hills Harley Davidson.  A motorcycle provides an expedient form of patrol and travel through the park during the rally.

[Submitted by Maureen McGee-Ballinger,, 605-574-3115]

Horseshoe Bend National Military Park (AL)
New Canoe Trail Named For Park Supporter

On Friday, July 24th, representatives from several agencies came together to launch the Harold Banks Canoe Trail.

Horseshoe Bend National Military Park is one of the stops along the trail and served as its launch site. The trail, which was two years in the making, spans 25 miles of the Tallapoosa River. which flows from western Georgia to eastern Alabama.

Harold Banks, for whom the trail is named, is a founding member of the Friends of Horseshoe Bend National Military Park and is known for traveling the Tallapoosa River in his red canoe. In 2009 Harold became the first person to solo paddle the entire 258 miles of the Tallapoosa.

“What I love most about the Tallapoosa River is its solitude, but I want other people to enjoy and experience it,” Banks said after the surprise announcement of the trails name. “I’m hoping this trail will help people appreciate and protect the river.”

“The Harold Banks Canoe Trail is not only a great addition to the area, but a great opportunity for the National Park Service to connect with and create the next generation of park visitors, supporters, and advocates from all over,” said Superintendent Debra Flowers. “The National Park Service is inviting people to Find Their Park, this is a great chance for that to occur.” 

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System served as the lead on the project and partnered with the Alabama Scenic River Trail, Alabama Power, Middle Tallapoosa River Clean Water Partnership, Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc., Tallapoosa County Commission, Chambers County Commission, Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Department, Alexander City Chamber of Commerce, Coosa Valley RC&D Council, and Alexander City Rescue Squad to bring this canoe trail to Tallapoosa County and the Tallapoosa River.

Shane Harris, who led the project, of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System says, “The Harold Banks Canoe Trail will be a great addition to the area. A lot of time and work has gone into developing the map and this recognition.  Harris added, “Paddle sport is a growing outdoor activity nationwide; now folks can come float and experience our section of the Tallapoosa River.”

Visitors interested in learning more about the Harold Banks Canoe Trail can find more information at, or by contacting the Tallapoosa County Extension Office at 256-825-1050.

[Submitted by Heather Tassin and Vester Marable]

Midwest Region
Chris Powell Selected As ARD For Midwest Region

Christine Powell, a 20-year veteran of the National Park Service, has been selected as Midwest Region’s new associate regional director for legislation, communications, planning and partnerships. 

Powell has served as the NPS senior congressional affairs specialist in Washington, DC since 2010.  She recently served as the acting associate regional director in Midwest Region.  Powell begins her new assignment in September 2015.

“I am pleased to welcome Chris Powell as the next associate regional director,” said Regional Director Cam Sholly.  “As the NPS prepares for our Centennial in 2016, Chris will bring her experience in working with Congress, partnerships and community outreach to the Region, helping to promote the treasures we have here in the Midwest Region.”

 “I am excited to be heading back to the Midwest, where I was raised,” said Powell. “I look forward to bringing my experience both in a busy urban national park and in the Washington Office to Midwest Region.  There are some wonderful lesser-known national parks in Midwest Region and I want to highlight those great resources for the public.”

As the Service’s senior congressional affairs specialist, she handles sensitive congressional issues for the office, and has handled congressional and legislative issues for the Midwest, National Capital and Pacific West Regions.  Chris serves on the NPS Communications Council. 

She spent the first 16 years of her NPS career at Golden Gate National Recreation Area in the public affairs and partnership office.  She oversaw an office of specialists in public affairs, media, special events and partnerships.  She served as a member of the park’s senior management team, where she developed communications strategy and advised the superintendent on sensitive and controversial issues.  She served as a spokesperson for the park and was also responsible for the park’s relations with members of Congress.

Chris was born and raised in Michigan, where she developed her love for the outdoors while sailing, canoeing, and swimming in Lake Huron and hiking and backpacking with her Girl Scout troop.  She has BA degrees in journalism and public policy from University of Houston and Thomas Edison State College.  She is a graduate of the USDA Graduate School’s mid-level manager’s program.  She is married and her husband, her twin sister, and cat live in their condos in San Francisco.

[Submitted by Mike Johnson]

Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (MO)
Park Hosts Beyond The Concrete Day Camp

As part of the national pilot program partnership between the NPS and YMCA of the USA, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial partnered with the YMCA of Greater St. Louis, the Missouri Departments of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the City of St. Louis Parks Department in the development of a weeklong “Beyond the Concrete” day camp. 

From July 20th to July 25, youths from age 5 to age 13 from five St. Louis city YMCAs spent an exciting week of developing outdoor skills.  Campers developed an appreciation for everything outdoors through experiences at local parks and conservation areas. 

Campers fished, hiked, and learned other outdoor skills, including orienteering and mapping skills, nature survival skills, how to identify trees and plants, trails management, habitat protection, outdoor cooking, and exploring both urban and rural parks and trails. 

The week culminated with an overnight tent camp at Babler State Park with a campfire program, a junior Ranger swearing in, night sky viewing, and an owl watch.  This was the first overnight outdoor experience for many of the campers and staff.

[Submitted by Bob Dietrich]


Intermountain Region
ARD For Resource Stewardship And Science (Detail)

Intermountain Region is seeking applications from current NPS employees for a temporary detail opportunity of 90-120 days to serve as the acting Associate Regional Director of Resource Stewardship and Science.  This is strictly a detail opportunity, not a temporary promotion. 

The selectee will serve as the Intermountain Region’s Associate Director for Resource Stewardship and Science.  The selectee is responsible for the management, administration, program development, and coordination of the programs for natural resources, cultural resources, geographic information systems, planning and compliance, submerged resources, and Colorado River coordination.  The selectee serves as a member of the regional directorate leadership team, and also represents the Intermountain Region on servicewide teams involving the affected disciplines. The selectee is responsible for guiding subordinate managers and their efforts, setting priorities, allocating resources, setting standards, and otherwise maintaining an efficient operation.

During this detail, salary will continue to be paid by the selectee’s home organization.  Housing, travel, and per diem will be provided by the Intermountain Region.  Please contact Sue Masica ( with any questions about this detail opportunity.

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 one-page resume detailing work history, educational background, and any special qualifications they might possess.  Please include your current title, series, and grade on your resume.  Resumes should be submitted by electronic mail to Chérry_Szmul (, no later than COB  August 21, 2015. 

The anticipated entrance of duty date is October 5, 2015. 

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park (TX)
GL-0025-9 Protection Ranger (Lateral)

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is seeking qualified candidates interested in a lateral reassignment to a permanent, full-time law enforcement park ranger position. 

Candidates must currently possess or be able to obtain a Level I Law Enforcement Commission.  The person selected will perform a variety of traditional ranger duties including bike patrol.  Relocation expenses will be paid.     

San Antonio Missions NHP rangers have a wide variety of responsibilities and work in a complex urban environment.  In addition to law enforcement and physical security responsibilities, the person selected will assist with active safety, natural resource management, and environmental management programs.    

The park is located within San Antonio, Texas; the 7th largest city in the United States with a population of 1.4 million people.  In July 2015 the five Spanish colonial missions in the San Antonio area – including most of San Antonio Missions National Historical Park and the Alamo, were designated as the nation’s 23rd World Heritage Site.  The park consists of four 18th Century Spanish Colonial Missions and associated water systems, a Spanish Colonial farm and ranch.   The mission churches remain active Catholic parishes and are a major religious, historical and cultural focal point of the city.  Annual park visitation exceeds 1.4 million people.  Summers are hot and winters generally mild.  San Antonians enjoy affordable housing, excellent educational institutions and extensive cultural and recreational opportunities. 

If you are interested in this lateral reassignment, please submit the following:

  • An OF-612, Optional Application for Federal Employment, resume, or other written application format of your choice;   
  • A copy of your most recent performance appraisal.
  • Your most recent SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action.

Applications must be received by COB August 17, 2015.  Mail your application package to:  National Park Service, San Antonio Missions NHP, 2202 Roosevelt Avenue, San Antonio, TX 78210, Attn:  Gregory Smith.  Please contact Chief Ranger Gregory Smith at 210-534-8875, X-224 with questions concerning this vacancy.     

National Capital Region
GS-1640-12 Facility Operations Specialist (Temporary Promotion)

Dates: 08/03/2015 - 08/13/2015

Temporary Promotion Opportunity

Announcement Number:  NPS-NCR-NACE-15-19-LS

Position:      Supervisory Facility Operations Specialist, GS-1640-12 (Temporary Promotion NTE 180 days).

Location:     National Park Service, National Capital Region, National Parks East (NACE), Fort Dupont, Washington, DC.

Eligibility:    Qualified current permanent National Park Service employees only.

Open:           August 3, 2015     Close:  August 13, 2015

This is a temporary promotion opportunity that is expected to last up to 180 days, although may be terminated sooner depending on management needs. The employee will be expected to assume the duties of the position within two weeks of being selected. Candidates will be evaluated based on how their experience and training reflect the duties and responsibilities of the position.

The duties and responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

  • Serves as the facility management expert on buildings, utilities, hvac, carpentry, and plumbing. Responsible for the maintenance of buildings, including historic structures. Initiates compliance for repair projects, and ensures compliance is complete prior to proceeding with work.
  • Advises the park’s Chief of Maintenance on ongoing operations, personnel requirements, future operational plans, and needs for special projects.
  • Actively involved in decisions affecting overall park management policy and operations and contributes to the development and implementation of park management documents.
  • Utilizes Facility Management Software Systems for labor inputting and work order management.
  • Responsible for development and implementation of projects in PMIS and through PST.
  • Responsible for a comprehensive safety and training program to eliminate at risk behaviors and environments and enforce regulatory policies and mandates.
  • Responsible for maintaining the facilities budget, utilizing the NPS financial management programs. 
  • Responsible for implementing environmental management systems for complying with federal and state regulations.
  • Exercises the full range of supervisory duties. Recruits and recommends selection of employees. Recommends promotions, reassignments and other personnel actions. Resolve complaints and minor grievances and advises employees on matters related to less than satisfactory performance. Supports EEO program.


In order to qualify for this position you must meet the following by the closing date of the vacancy announcement: for the GS-12 level: Major study – 1 year equivalent to at least next lower grade level GS-11.

Specialized Experience: Experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled. Examples of specialized experience include, but are not limited to the following: Knowledge of the purpose and mission of the National Park Service and specific park unit, including the NPS Organic Act, NPS Management Policies, Director’s Orders, Executive Orders and NPS Management Guidelines. Skill in managing, planning, organizing, and directing a complex maintenance operation utilizing current facility management practices such as value analysis, life cycle costs and choosing by advantages. Prepares and manages asset condition assessments for a park, recreational area, or similar facility; utilizing a software system to record and manage information including annual work planning, operations and maintenance cost data, deferred maintenance, detailed facility inventory, and condition data; monitoring a facility management program and documenting asset information; planning maintenance activities and preventative maintenance programs for a park, recreational area, or similar facility; conducting surveillance activities over construction and maintenance operations performed by a variety of private contractors. This experience must have been equivalent in level of difficulty and responsibility to that of at least the GS-11 grade level in the federal service.

Time in Grade Requirements: Applicants who have held a non-temporary General Schedule position within the last 52 weeks must meet the Time in Grade restriction by the closing date of the announcement.

SF-50: You must submit an SF-50 "Notification of Personnel Action" that verifies career/career conditional status. The SF-50 could include initial hire, promotion, or reassignment, showing position title, series, grade and tenure (please do not submit an Award SF-50 as it does not provide the needed information).

Also include your SF-50 showing highest (permanent) grade ever held, if different.  Failure to do so will result in an ineligible rating.

Conditions of Employment:

The start date will be in August/September.

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.

Park housing is not available.

NPS uniformed position. Employee will be required to wear a uniform and comply with National Park Service uniform standards.

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.

Applicant must be able to work alternative work schedules, shift rotations, including night shift, holidays, and weekends.

Applicant will be required to work outdoors, often under adverse conditions.

Applicant will be considered an emergency employee and will be subject to call back and/or emergency operations.

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. When describing your knowledge, skills, and abilities, please be sure to give examples and explain how often you used these skills, the complexity of the knowledge you possessed, the level of the people you interacted with, the sensitivity of the issues you handled, etc.

  1. Ability to plan, distribute, and monitor work assignments; evaluate work performance and provides feedback to others on their performance.
  2. Ability to provide facility management for a Park with widely diversified infrastructure and operational complexity.
  3. Ability to develop and implement management strategies.
  4. Knowledge of the principles, methods, or tools for developing, scheduling, coordinating, implementation, and managing projects and resources, including monitoring and inspecting costs, work, and contractor performance..
  5. Knowledge of the principles, methods, and tools used for risk assessment and mitigation, including assessment of failures and their consequences
  6. Ability to understand the organization's financial processes. Prepares, justifies, and administers the program budget utilizing the NPS financial management program. Monitors expenditures and uses cost-benefit thinking to set priorities
  7. Knowledge of procedures for assessing, evaluating, and monitoring programs or projects for compliance with Federal laws, regulations, and guidance.
  8. Ability to manage the Facility Management Software Systems for cost effective management of assets.
  9. Knowledge of compliance with Building Codes, Life Safety Codes, NFPA Codes, and ADA.
  10. Skill in oral and written communication in order to speak before diverse audiences and prepare written technical documents.

How to apply:

In order to apply, applicants should submit the following documents via email:

  • Resume or OF-612
  • Copy of latest SF-50 (Notification of Personnel Action)
  • Copy of valid state or District of Columbia Driver License
  • Letter of approval (find attached) from their supervisor and/or Manager

Application information should be sent via email to

Failure to do so will result in an ineligible rating.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Lizbeth Santiago, Human Resources Specialist on (703) 754-1652 X 1132.

National Park Service Employees

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 Lizbeth Santiago,, 703-754-1652 X1132]