The Morning Report

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

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INCIDENTS



Yellowstone National Park (ID,MT,WY)
Young Girl Dies In Fall Into Canyon

An eight-year-old California girl was killed in a fall into the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone on the morning of Sunday, August 17th.

The young girl was hiking with family members along the trail to the brink of the Lower Falls when the accident occurred. About two thirds of the way down the trail toward the observation platform, she reportedly stepped off the trail, lost her footing, and fell approximately 550 feet into the canyon.

Park personnel retrieved her body around noon on Sunday.

[Submitted by Al Nash, Public Affairs Officer]


Yellowstone National Park (ID,MT,WY)
Body Of Missing Concession Employee Found

The body of a young man missing in since the evening of Monday, August 11th, has been recovered.

Twenty-two year old Darien Latty had gone tubing Monday with friends on the Lamar River near Tower Junction. Shortly after reaching the point where the Lamar River flows into the Yellowstone River, his two companions managed to get to the river's edge and get out of the much faster moving water.  Latty was last seen being swept downstream, separated from his inner tube and without a life jacket.

Search efforts began Monday evening.   At its peak, over 50 people were involved in the search, which included a helicopter, three dog teams, and several groups of searchers on foot.

Late last Friday, searchers spotted what they thought was a submerged body pinned to a large rock in a very steep and dangerous section of the Yellowstone River, about a quarter mile downstream from where Latty was last seen.

A swiftwater rescue team from Gallatin County, Montana, was called in on Saturday to navigate the river.  Using kayaks and a raft anchored to both banks of the river, they were able to dislodge and recover Latty’s body on Saturday afternoon.  A helicopter was utilized to remove his body from the remote area. 

The corner made a positive identification Saturday evening.

Latty, who was from northeastern Georgia community of Demorest, was in Yellowstone working as a summer seasonal employee at Roosevelt Lodge. An autopsy will be conducted to confirm the cause of death.

Floating the river is prohibited by park regulations.

[Submitted by Al Nash, Public Affairs Officer]


Lake Mead NRA - NV, AZ
Search In Progress For Missing Swimmer

Rangers are searching for a missing 31-year-old Southern California man who was last seen in the water near Cottonwood Cove on Lake Mohave.

Just after noon on Saturday, August 16th, the park received a report that the man had jumped off a boat into the water, had begun struggling, and soon disappeared underwater. Witnesses said the victim was not wearing a life jacket.

Rangers, Nevada Department of Wildlife game wardens and employees from the nearby marina immediately began searching for the missing man, who is believed to be around 100 yards from the shoreline in an area that is 80 to 100 feet deep. The water in the area is usually clear, but visibility is currently very limited due to recent storms, making the search more challenging.

Crews are continuing to search the area. The incident is under investigation.

[Submitted by Christie Vanover, Public Affairs Officer]


Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve (AK)
Rangers Assist In Treatment Of Poisoning Victim

On the night of Tuesday, August 12th, rangers responded to a mutual aid request made by the Alaska State Troopers. 

Gustavus Volunteer Fire Department’s EMS squad had responded to a 911 call regarding a 57-year-old emotionally disturbed woman who had ingested poisonous mushrooms and was refusing medical attention.  The Gustavus volunteers contacted the Alaska State Troopers office to request law enforcement assistance in order to place the patient under protective custody. 

Rangers responded and waited until the air ambulance flight crew arrived. They then conducted an Operational Leadership GAR assessment and executed a plan led by the flight nurse to restrain and sedate the woman in order to transport her to Juneau for further evaluation. The woman was flown to Juneau without further incident. 

The park had received a ‘be on the lookout’ call from the Alaska Regional Communication Center, advising that a welfare check on her was needed. According to the center, she’d arrived in Gustavus on the Alaska state ferry.

The woman’s lifelong partner said that she did this about once a year, and had once ended up under protective custody in Madagascar. Rangers were unaware that she had been staying at a private residence.

[Submitted by Gus Martinez, Bay District Ranger]


NEWS AND NOTES



Shenandoah National Park (VA)
Successful Restoration Of Peregrine Falcons Continues

Between early May and mid-July, Shenandoah National Park natural resources staff, working in partnership with the Center for Conservation Biology at the College of William and Mary, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and the Virginia Department of Transportation, successfully restored nine peregrine falcons in the park.

The “foster” peregrine chicks used for this program came from coastal bridge nests in Virginia where juvenile peregrines survival has been low due to premature fledging over open water. Additionally, a current pair of nesting peregrines, including an adult male fostered in the park in 2008, has successfully fledged three young in Shenandoah this year.

The restoration process, called “hacking”, consists of taking at-risk falcon chicks from nest sites in eastern Virginia and bringing them to the park, where they are placed in protective wooden boxes (hack boxes) for approximately 14 days. The hackbox is typically placed on a high cliff ledge that mimics a natural peregrine falcon nest.

The boxes are constructed so that the young birds can view and acclimate to their environment as they mature, but are protected from predators such as raccoons. While they are in the boxes, park staff provides for their care and feeding, and monitors their condition, all the while minimizing contact with humans.

When the falcons are ready for flight, the boxes are opened and the falcons are allowed to leave. They will continue to be fed and monitored at the hacksite as they learn to hunt for themselves.

The young fledglings will often mimic their brood mates as they refine their flight and hunting skills. Generally, the falcons remain in the local area for several weeks. By late-July they begin to take extended "practice" flights of over 200 miles. By mid-August, they leave the area by wandering into other states and eventually migrating south or east as fall approaches. It is hoped that the birds will imprint on Shenandoah's prominent cliffs and return as breeding adults in two to three years.

The goal of this project is to boost peregrine falcon numbers in the Central Appalachians, where peregrine recovery has been slow. This restoration work directly supports the conservation and long-term recovery efforts of state-threatened peregrine falcons in the park and throughout the Central Appalachians.

As a result of Shenandoah’s ongoing restoration efforts, the park has supported a single nesting pair from 1994-1997, 2005-2007, and 2009-2014 (comprised of three different pairs). During this time, these pairs have seen a 62% breeding success rate.

The park's current nesting peregrine pair fledged three young in late June. The pair represents one of only two reproductive peregrine pairs in the mountains of Virginia. The adult male peregrine from this pair was restored in Shenandoah in 2008 on Hawksbill Mountain. The higher peaks and cliffs of Shenandoah represent some of the best places to observe these amazing/rare birds of prey in the mountains of Virginia.

[Submitted by Karen Beck-Herzog, karen_beck-herzog@nps.gov, 540-999-3500 ext. 3300]


Mesa Verde National Park (CO)
Mesa Verde Hosts NEH-Funded Teachers' Workshops

This summer Mesa Verde National Park became a classroom for 80 educators who participated in a teachers’ workshop funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of its “Landmarks of American History and Culture: Workshops for School Teachers” program. 

Coordinated by park neighbor Crow Canyon Archeological Center and park staff, the grant funded two one-week workshops, each for 40 teachers, at Crow Canyon and Mesa Verde.

The workshop was entitled “Mesa Verde National Park: Convergences and Crossroads in the American Southwest”. Participants traveled to Crow Canyon Archeological Center in Cortez, Colorado, for introductory sessions, then joined various interpretive programs and met with park staff members as they gathered experiences and knowledge for their assigned projects. 

Tribal members from several affiliated pueblos accompanied the group and offered insights.  After three days in the park they returned to the Crow Canyon campus for more field time, final presentations and ‘graduation.’

Evaluations from both groups are glowing and single out the Mesa Verde experience as life-changing.  Crow Canyon Archeology Center has successfully competed for other NEH grants in the past and hopes to continue to work with them to provide in-depth opportunities for teachers to connect with the resources of Mesa Verde and the region.

[Submitted by Carol E. Sperling, Chief of Interpretation and Visitor Services]


United States Park Police
Officers Receive Award For Actions In DC Navy Yard Shootings

On Friday, July 18th, United States Park Police Pilot Sergeant Kenneth Burchell and Rescue Technician Sergeant David Tolson received the Airborne Law Enforcement Association’s Captain ‘Gus’ Crawford Memorial Aircrew of the Year Award for 2014. 

Captain Crawford, a law enforcement aviation pioneer, was the commanding officer of the New York Police Department Aviation Bureau at the time of its founding. The award acknowledges a pilot and/or crewmember(s) whose flying efforts and proficiency characterize ALEA’s motto, “To Serve and Protect from the Air.” 

For the nomination period of April 1, 2013 – March 31, 2014, the United States Park Police were nominated twice for flying efforts during the Navy Yard shooting on September 16, 2013.

On that date, a lone gunman entered Building 197 at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, DC, and began shooting people, creating an active shooter incident. As calls for help were received, multiple law enforcement agencies responded.

United States Park Police helicopter Eagle I, crewed by Burchell and Tolson, was asked to assist by the Washington Metropolitan Police Department. The Navy Yard is located directly across the Anacostia River from their hangar, also known as “the Eagle’s Nest.” Tolson in turn asked for additional aircraft due to the possibility of a mass casualty incident.

Due to the proximity of the Washington Navy Yard to Washington/Reagan National Airport, Eagle I notified Washington Tower, which in turn diverted air traffic from the immediate area and designated Eagle I as “air bos,” for aircraft coordination in the Navy Yard area.

On this tragic day, the crew of Eagle I initially assisted with aerial reconnaissance and perimeter control, simultaneously performing air traffic control. The crew then switched roles for the deployment of SWAT personnel and reconfigured for the extraction of a critically injured woman, which resulted in a medevac transport.

The crew returned to bring in another SWAT officer and extract the final three survivors. In the final phase, they returned to reconnaissance and perimeter control. Air operations terminated with a total of 5.5 hours flight time. All of these operations were conducted with an active shooter below them.

For these acts, the Airborne Law Enforcement Association awarded Burchell and Tolson the 2014 Captain “Gus” Crawford Memorial Air Crew of the Year Award. Officer/Rescue Technician Michael Abate was also presented an ALEA Presidential Citation for his roles in the incident.

[Submitted by Sergeant Lelani Woods, Public Information Officer]


National Capital Region
Hiking Program Connects Parks To The Past

In mid-July, the American Hiking Society, in conjunction with NPS Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail and Civil War Defenses of Washington staff, hosted an eight-mile "Hike Through History" from Battery Kemble Park through Rock Creek Park and ending at Fort Stevens, where over 80 hikers participated in Civil War sesquicentennial activities.

The hike was organized to coincide with publication of a hiking guide detailing a route and features between Metro subway stations near historic Fort Reno and Fort Totten. A developing segment of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, the route is notable for the juxtaposition of natural areas and history in an urban environment and the potential to serve a diverse spectrum of users.

A PDF of the guide is available at http://www.nps.gov/pohe/planyourvisit/upload/CWDW_Hiking_Guide_Reno-Totten_24JUN2014_rdcd.pdf.  

[Submitted by Don Briggs and Joe Copenhaver, don_briggs@nps.gov]

 More Information...

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES



Colonial National Historical Park (VA)
GL-0025-9 Protection Rangers

Colonial National Historical Park is recruiting for up to two protection rangers. These positions are duty-stationed in Yorktown, Virginia. 

Candidates must possess (or be able to obtain) a Type I NPS law enforcement commission. They will also be expected to acquire NWCG firefighter Type 2 qualifications and maintain CPR certifications.

The rangers selected will work in a frontcountry setting and will be responsible for leading and performing resource protection that involves vehicle and foot patrols.

These positions are posted on USA Jobs at the link below and close on September 2nd.

Contact Cathy S. Gochenour, Virginia SHRO, National Park Service, 3655 US Highway 211 East, Luray, VA 22835 (540-999-3500 x 3474, Cathy_Gochenour@nps.gov).

For further information about this position (s), please contact Acting Chief Ranger Kenneth Doak. Phone: (757) 898-1478; email: kenneth_doak@nps.gov.
 More Information...
Amistad National Recreation Area (TX)
GL-0025-7/9 Protection Rangers

Amistad National Recreation Area is currently recruiting for permanent, full-time law enforcement rangers. 

The park is situated on the Texas-Mexico border. The lake, made up of waters from the famed Rio Grande, Pecos and Devils Rivers, is popular with local families, recreational boaters, bow hunters, and bass anglers. Amistad NRA also boasts world-class rock art, attracting archeologists, students, and other interested people.

Duties of the law enforcement ranger include the protection of these resources and the people who visit them. Rangers at Amistad maintain wildland fire red cards, MOCC operator, CPR and first aid certifications. Rangers also make up a significant portion of the park SCUBA team.  Possession of EMT certification is not a requirement, but is a plus.

While the typical day at Amistad sees rangers performing mostly traditional LE duties, they must be prepared at all times to detect and respond to felony drug smuggling activities. They must be willing to participate in multi-agency anti-smuggling activities and exhibit patience to apprehend these cross-border violators. The ability to speak Spanish is not required, but is a definite advantage.

Amistad NRA is located near the city of Del Rio, Texas which has all major amenities and ample housing for rent or purchase. To apply go to USAJobs.gov. Applicants can apply for both the GL-7 and GL-9 level, as qualified:

The announcements close on August 25th.