The Morning Report

Monday, June 01, 2015

Recent Editions  


Lake Meredith National Recreation Area (TX)
Local Man Drowns In Park Swimming Area

A 21-year-old Amarillo resident died at Spring Canyon just below the Sanford Dam on Wednesday, May 27th.

The Borger Police Department received a 911 call around 11:30 a.m. reporting that a swimmer had gone under and had not surfaced.

Rangers arrived on scene within minutes and had a john boat and two kayaks in the water within 30 minutes of the initial 911 call. Search efforts were accompanied by a grid ground search by NPS firefighters in the Spring Canyon swimming area.  The man’s body was found by the Amarillo Police Department’s dive team about an hour later.

[Submitted by Robert Maguire]

Badlands National Park (SD)
Rangers Assist In High Speed Interstate Pursuit

Rangers Danny Baker and Tyson Nehring assisted the South Dakota Highway Patrol and Pennington County Sheriff's Department in a high speed pursuit on the morning of May 6th. 

The pursuit began when a trooper observed a vehicle traveling east in the westbound lanes of Interstate 90 at 100 mph. Aside from the high rate of speed, the vehicle was being operated in a reckless manner; the driver of the vehicle was intentionally trying to utilize it to ram other motorists off the interstate.

The two rangers joined the pursuit at Exit 131. The rangers and deputies from the Pennington County Sheriff's Department deployed road spikes near mile marker 123, disabling the vehicle.  The driver was taken into custody without incident. 

A search of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of a citation issued by a trooper in Sioux Falls earlier in the morning for traveling 96 mph in an 80 mph zone. 

[Submitted by Casey J. Osback, Chief Ranger]


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

National Fire Activity – Preparedness Level 1

NIFC is at Preparedness Level 1.

Fire Weather Forecast

Daily fire weather reports are not yet available. To see a NOAA map of today’s critical fire weather areas, click on this link:

Fire Summary (Five Day Trend)

NICC daily fire summaries are not yet available.

NPS Fire Summaries

Big Cypress NP – The 35,321-acre Mud Lake Complex has not grown in acreage since Friday’s report. It is being managed by Bentley’s Type 2 IMT; 297 firefighters and overhead were committed as of yesterday morning. Crews are standing by for initial attack, monitoring existing containment lines, mopping up the fire perimeter, improving planned containment lines, providing point protection, and, where appropriate, rehabilitating fire perimeters to meet agency standards. For additional information, including maps and photos, go to this InciWeb site.


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


Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (GA)
Park, Partners Work To Save Native Shoal Bass

The staff of Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area help preserve 48 miles of river, but the park’s biologists and rangers can’t do it alone. Partnerships with state, local, business, and government entities are one way that the park is helping to assess and protect a little known species frequenting the park’s shoals.

Shoal bass, a little known fish, is a habitat specialist that needs all the help it can get from state and local partners to survive.

The Chattahoochee River within Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area has a history of habitat modifications that have altered the native fish community before the park was established in 1978. 

Two hydropower peaking facilities exist in the system – Buford Dam and Morgan Falls Dam. 

Buford Dam demarcates the upper boundary of the park and was constructed in 1958. Buford Dam, which controls the flow regime in the river, is a US Army Corps of Engineers project that provides for peak hydropower production of electricity, as well as flood control and drinking water supply for the city of Atlanta. 

Water levels fluctuate approximately two meters daily due to peaking operations from waters that are released from the hypolimnion of Lake Lanier (Buford Dam’s impoundment), decreasing downstream water temperatures to the point that most native warm-water fish species have been extirpated from the river.  

Approximately 30 miles downstream of Buford Dam is Morgan Falls Dam, which acts to regulate the large water level fluctuations from Buford Dam releases. Morgan Falls Dam was constructed in 1904 as a hydropower facility, but its capacity to produce electricity has diminished over time due to the siltation of its impoundment, Bull Sluice Lake. Furthermore, the siltation and subsequent reductions in water depth in the lake has allowed water temperatures in the river to increase slightly once it is discharged from the dam. 

As a result, the fish community downstream of Morgan Falls Dam has retained much of its natural fauna, albeit at reduced levels. In this 12-mile stretch of the river to the terminus of the park, native fish have endured.  Moreover, this section of the river has become more suitable for native warm-water fishes within the last 10 years due to increased water temperatures as a result of climate shifts and increased urbanization of the surrounding watershed.

A symbolic member of the remnant native warm-water fish fauna, shoal bass are habitat specialists, endemic only to the Apalachicola basin in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida, including the Chattahoochee River within the park, and are vulnerable to extinction throughout their range due to habitat modifications. Shoal bass have only recently been formally described as a species and relatively little is known regarding their biology.  

[Submitted by Deanna Greco]

United States Park Police
Below 100 Training Session Held At NCTC

On May 21st, Lieutenant Jerry Marshall presented a Below 100 training session at the National Conservation Training Center in West Virginia. 

Below 100 is a program that aims to influence law enforcement culture by providing innovative training and awareness through presentations, social media, and webinars on identifying the leading causes and current trends in preventable line of duty deaths and injuries.

A total of 24 law enforcement officers attended from the following agencies:

  • National Park Service law enforcement rangers from Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Harpers Ferry, Manassas and Catoctin Mountain.
  • U.S. Park Police
  • Washington County Sheriff’s Office
  • West Virginia Shepherdstown University
  • West Virginia Shepherdstown Police Department
  • U.S. Marshal’s Service

Also in attendance was Deputy Associate Director of Visitor and Resource Protection Louis Rowe, who oversees all law enforcement for the National Park Service, including the United States Park Police. He  was impressed with the Below 100 course and will recommend that it be reviewed by the National Ranger Council for possible adoption as a national program.  

[Submitted by Lieutenant Jerry Marshall ]

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 May 29th.

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

May 23 – The Senate passed by voice vote H.R. 2353 (Shuster, R-PA-9), the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2015.  The bill extends funding authority for the Federal Lands Transportation Program through July 31, 2015, which will allow for the continuation of road projects within the National Park System until that time.  Passage clears the bill for the President.


Committee Activity

Nothing to report.

New Bills Introduced

Nothing to report.

Upcoming Committee Activity

On June 2nd, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a hearing on the status of drought conditions throughout the western United States and actions states and others are taking to address them. The hearing will take place at 10:00 a.m. in Room 366 Dirksen.  Mike Conner, Deputy Secretary, will be the Department’s witness.

On June 10th, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks (Cassidy) will hold a hearing on the following bills of interest to the National Park Service:

  • S. 145 (Flake, R-AZ), to require the Director of the National Park Service to refund to States all State funds that were used to reopen and temporarily operate a unit of the National Park System during the October 2013 shutdown.
  • S. 146 (Flake, R-AZ), to authorize the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture to enter into agreements with States and political subdivisions of States providing for the continued operation, in whole or in part, of public land, units of the National Park System, units of the National Wildlife Refuge System, and units fo the National Forest System in the State during any period in which the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture is unable to maintain normal level of operations at the units due to a lapse in appropriations, and for other purposes.
  • S. 319 (Murkowski, R-AK), to designate a mountain in the State of Alaska as Mount Denali.
  • S. 329 (Murphy, D-CT), to amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate certain segments of the Farmington River and Salmon Brook in the State of Connecticut as components of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, and for other purposes.
  • S. 403 (Klobuchar, D-MN), to revise the authorized route of the North Country National Scenic Trail in northeastern Minnesota and to extend the trail into Vermont to connect with the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, and for other purposes.
  • S. 521 (Cardin, D-MD), to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study of President Station in Baltimore, Maryland, and for other purposes.
  • S. 610 (Cardin, D-MD), to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study of P.S. 103 in West Baltimore, Maryland, and for other purposes.
  • S. 782 (McCain, R-AZ), to direct the Secretary of the Interior to establish a bison management plan for Grand Canyon National Park.
  • S. 873 (Murkowski, R-AK), to designate the wilderness within the Lake Clark National Park and Preserve in the State of Alaska as the Jay S. Hammond Wilderness Area.

The hearing will take place at 2:30 p.m. in Room 366 Dirksen. The Department’s witness has not yet been determined.


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

[Submitted by Andrea Dekoter]


Big Bend National Park (TX)
GS-0025-11/12 District Ranger

Big Bend National Park has issued an announcement for a supervisory park ranger to serve as its East District Ranger.  

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

Contact Chief Ranger Allen Etheridge at (432) 477-1185 for more information about life in Big Bend.

Note: More than one position may be filled with this announcement should other supervisory positions become available.

It closes on June 11th.
 More Information...
Morristown National Historical Park (NJ)
GS-1640-9 Supervisory Facility Operations Specialist

Morristown National Historical Park has issued an announcement for a supervisory facility operations specialist.

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

It closes on June 10th.
 More Information...
White Sands National Monument (NM)
GL-0025-9 Protection Ranger (Lateral)

White Sands National Monument is seeking candidates for a lateral assignment to a protection ranger position. 

This is a non-supervisory position within the law enforcement program. Work will be performed on varying schedules, including nights, weekends, and holidays.  Permanent change of station (PCS) moving expenses are authorized. This is a required government housing occupancy position. 

Applicants must have a current NPS Level I law enforcement commission, NREMT certification, wildland fire, search and rescue experience.

The person in this position will conduct frontcountry and backcountry patrols, search and rescue missions, and EMS responses.  There are also opportunities for advanced training in many fields.

White Sands National Monument welcomes an average of 480,000 visitors per year. It is the most visited National Park Service site in New Mexico. White Sands is a unique geologic park where world-renowned scientists work to reveal the amazing secrets of this biologically, culturally, and geologically diverse treasure. Just in the past five years, researchers discovered more than 15 new species; used the gypsum dunes as an analog to the gypsum dunes on Mars to gain a better understanding of the Red Planet; and employed cutting-edge imaging technology to penetrate the soil and learn more about the mammoth, dire wolf, and other Pleistocene mega-fauna trackways found in the dunefield.

Located in the Tularosa Basin, White Sands National Monument is about 15 miles west of Alamogordo, New Mexico, which lies at the foot of the Sacramento Mountains.  Summer temperatures regularly exceed 100 degrees, while winter months tend to be mild with nighttime temperatures frequently dipping below freezing.  Precipitation averages about 8 inches per year.  Alamogordo (population 35,000), 15 miles from the Lincoln National Forest, is about 90 miles north of the international border city of El Paso, Texas.  West is the university city of Las Cruces, NM, and north, the heart of the Land of Enchantment.  Local attractions range from recreational opportunities and cultural events to areas of historical significance and educational possibilities.  The area is host to museums, observatories, state and nationally managed parks and recreation sites, theaters for the performing arts, institutions of higher learning, and an abundance of year-round community events and activities.  The housing market is thriving in Alamogordo.  Most major amenities can be found in the tri-city area.

If you are interested, please submit the following information listed below electronically to Chief Ranger Joseph Roberts at  Please include “Lateral LE Ranger, GL-0025-09” in the subject line of your email.

All application must be received by 11:59 pm MDT on June 5th.  Your application package must include the following information:

  • A comprehensive resume outlining all education, training, and experience that show qualification for the GL-0025-09
  • Verification that you currently hold, or have previously held, a FLETC issued Land Management Police Training (LMPT), full Type I Law Enforcement Commission or equivalent within the past three years. (To be considered for this position, you must indicate your commission number and date, location and date of your last 40-hour refresher training, and the date of your last established proficiency in the use of firearms in your resume)
  • A current SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, documenting permanent competitive civil service status
  • A copy of your most recent completed performance appraisal (EPAP)

For more information regarding this position, please contact Chief Ranger Joe Roberts at 575-479-6124 x220 or via email at .

Bandelier National Monument (NM)
GS-9/11 Media Specialist/Visual Information Specialist (Detail)

Bandelier National Monument is seeking candidates for a 90 to 120 day detail for the position of media specialist, starting in mid-August.

The media or visual information specialist will design, produce, and fabricate 30 information and/or interpretive kiosks situated throughout the park. The majority of these kiosks are located at trailheads and key visitor locations. There will be the opportunity to create additional interpretive products consistent with the information produced for the kiosks. These include web-pages, interpretive handouts, and information for a Bandelier Phone Application.  Applicants must have an exceptional foundation in interpretation, interpretive writing, image management and design, and be experienced in navigating and working in the NPS park website system.

This opportunity is open to NPS employees who have related, qualifying experience. Salary will be paid by the selectee’s home park. Travel and per diem will be paid by Bandelier National Monument.  Government housing will be provided. Shopping and medical services are available in Los Alamos (12 miles away), White Rock (8 miles away) and Santa Fe (45 miles away).  This is a detail opportunity, not a temporary promotion.  

Employees who would like to be considered for this detail should, after checking with their supervisors, send a cover letter and short resume by June 1st to Joanie Budzileni, Chief of Interpretation and Visitor Services,

For more information, contact Joanie Budzileni at (505) 672-3861 x410 or