The Morning Report

Thursday, July 24, 2014

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INCIDENTS



Gates Of The Arctic National Park & Preserve (AK)
Backpacker Rescued From Kobuk River Headwaters

During the early hours of July 21st, rangers were notified that Andrew Corey of Anchorage, Alaska, had activated his inReach device (a satellite emergency notification device) and that he was seeking rescue.

The inReach device indicated that Corey was located on the headwaters of the Kobuk River. Text communications from Corey indicated that he had flipped his pack raft, that he was hypothermic, and that he was requesting assistance.

Rangers coordinated rescue efforts with Brooks Range Aviation and Kingdom Air Corps personnel in a hasty search effort and ultimately worked with the Alaska National Guard’s Rescue Coordination Center in Corey’s recovery.

Corey planned to travel from the Dalton Highway to Kotzebue, Alaska, on a solo backpacking and pack raft trip and had been in the backcountry for about 29 days. Travel conditions caused Corey to cut short his initial planned trip and he was headed to Walker Lake for an early pickup when he flipped his pack raft in the Kobuk River.

Weather conditions and Corey’s location prevented the first attempts at rescue and delayed his recovery until about 2 p.m. He was found to be in good condition on a gravel bar. He was flown to Bettles, where he declined medical attention.

[Submitted by Gary Youngblood, Chief Ranger]


Grand Teton National Park (WY)
Hiker Killed In Fall Near Inspiration Point

The body of an overdue hiker was discovered on Tuesday afternoon near the mouth of Cascade Canyon.

Will Cornyn, 36, of San Francisco, California, did not have a pulse when one of several search teams found him lying below a steep cliff band near Inspiration Point. He was pronounced dead at the scene by park EMTs in consultation with the park’s medical director.

Cornyn headed out late on Sunday afternoon from the southeast shore of Jenny Lake with the goal of hiking to Lake Solitude in the North Fork of Cascade Canyon. He did not return to his campsite at Jenny Lake Sunday evening and was reported overdue by his girlfriend at noon on Monday. Cornyn had not planned on an overnight stay in the backcountry and did not carry equipment necessary for spending a night in the mountains.

 A hasty search was conducted on Monday afternoon by rangers who were on routine patrol and additional rangers were called into service. Two rangers also flew in the Teton Interagency contract helicopter to conduct an aerial search until darkness prevented further efforts. The aerial search was temporarily delayed by intense thunderstorms that passed across the Teton Range and battered the peaks with heavy rain, strong winds and lightning strikes.

Seventy-four people gathered early Tuesday morning to begin a full-scale search for the missing hiker.  Park employees and Teton Interagency fire personnel—plus a Teton Interagency helitak crew, a Teton Interagency contract helicopter, four search dog teams from Wyoming K-9 and JH Search Dogs, and several park volunteers—thoroughly searched  numerous backcountry locations in Cascade Canyon and Paintbrush Canyon and surrounding areas in a coordinated effort to locate the overdue hiker.

After nearly six hours, one of 19 assigned search parties discovered Cornyn. His body was extricated from Inspiration Point via a helicopter long-line and turned over to the Teton County coroner.  

[Submitted by Jackie Skaggs, Public Affairs Officer]


NEWS AND NOTES



Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor
New Highway Signs Identify Gullah Geechee Corridor

The Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission, in an effort to advance heritage tourism and cultural awareness, has provided two highway signs for each of the 27 counties within the Gullah Geechee Corridor. 

The corridor was established in 2006 by federal legislation through the efforts of Congressman James E. Clyburn and signed into law by President George W. Bush. The corridor extends about 12,414 square miles throughout coastal communities from Pender County, North Carolina, through South Carolina and Georgia to St. Johns County, Florida.

“This is an exciting moment, to have installed the last sign on US 17 which lets visitors know that they are entering a unique and special area of our countr!” said  Michael Allen, community partnership specialist for the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor. “These are areas where visitors can experience the culture, crafts, foods, language, festivals, and rice heritage of Gullah Geechee people, whose technological skills about rice production built and defined the landscape, cities and wealth or our country.”

“And when formal partnerships develop with community organizations, individuals, and government agencies, then that will be the day a more fuller experience will be realized.  The experience will be one in which Gullah Geechee people and community members will ‘tell we story’ in our own ways and through our own points-of-view. The excitement will continue to grow and grow.”

The signs, which identify the corridor by name and logo, were approved through the Department of Transportation offices for each state. They were installed at the entryway and exit within each county along US 17 and Florida A1A.  Larger signs are now planned for interstates leading into the corridor

The corridor’s management plan was approved by the Secretary of  the Interior in May 2013. Implementation tiers for potential partnerships are education, documentation and preservation, and economic development.  

[Submitted by Mike Allen]

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Northeast Region
Delaware Water Gap NRA Hosts “Enjoy The View” Workshop

During a week in May, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area hosted the first-ever “Enjoy the View” workshop. The goal of this Call to Action item is to protect clean, clear air and spectacular scenery within the National Park System.

Attaining this goal requires training park staff in scenic resource inventories, collecting and interpreting information on park air quality conditions, and providing tools for engaging stakeholders in collaborative efforts to protect park air and scenic resources.

The workshop kicked off with an introduction by Superintendent John Donahue on the importance and value of protecting park scenic views, which was followed by a full day of instruction on the technique and design of a scenic resource inventory. Workshop participants were trained on the technical nature of a view, including scope, character, and visual elements of lines and forms of a landscape.

The workshop also highlighted how air quality can impact not only park visitors and ecological resources, but also how well and how far a scenic view can be enjoyed.  Participants then put these skills to task by inventorying over thirty important scenic views in the park.

Teams of NPS staff, including park personnel and regional representatives from the national air resources division, and park partners were dispatched over the five-day workshop to collect data on the individual scenic sites. In addition to the quantitative data collected, the park will also go through a qualitative assessment of each site to complete a scenic resource inventory. 

The workshop rounded out with a discussion on how collaborative efforts with park partners can be used to help maintain and protect park scenic views. This workshop was the first one completed under Call to Action #38 and will play an important role in laying the foundation for the NPS scenery conservation program.

[Submitted by Holly Salazer, Air Resources Coordinator, holly_salazer@nps.gov, (814) 865-3100]


Fort Smith National Historic Site (AR,OK)
Passing Of Retired Maintenance Mechanic Gary Montag

Gary Montag, retired maintenance mechanic at Fort Smith National Historic Site, passed away on July 1st at his home.

Gary retired from the NPS in January of this year after 30 years of federal service, with the last 15 at Fort Smith NHS serving on the park’s maintenance team. 

Prior to his work at Fort Smith NHS, Gary served for 15 years on the NPS’ Southwest Preservation Team, based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico.  While serving on this team, Gary worked on projects at many NPS sites, including all Arkansas national park sites, all Texas national park sites, Bandelier NM, Carlsbad Caverns NP, Chiricahua NM, Cuyahoga Valley NP, Fort Pulaski NM, Jean Lafitte NP and Preserve, Manassas NBP, Manzanar NHS and others.  Gary and the team were given numerous awards for their preservation work, including ones from the DOI level.

Gary is survived by his wife, Brenda; a daughter, Reeca; two sisters, and five grandchildren, along with his extended NPS family who knew him as a dedicated employee, great co-worker and friend.  He will be dearly missed.

[Submitted by Lisa Conard Frost, lisa_conard_frost@nps.gov, 479-226-3701]


Southeast Region
Southeast Region Staff Honored By Department of Justice

In late May, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida presented Gil Noice, cartographer and surveyor for Southeast Region's Land Resources Program Center, and Barbara Goodman, superintendent of Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, with the Outstanding Civil Client Investigator Award for their work in protecting the resources of Timucuan EHP.  Also honored was their attorney-advisor from the Atlanta Solicitor’s Office, Mike Stevens.

Timucuan EHP staff became aware of a proposal to develop a parcel of waterfront property in the Jacksonville, Florida area with luxury homes. The proposed site included marshlands that are held as federal property; however, correctly determining land ownership and boundary issues required extensive deed analysis going back to the Swamp Lands Act of 1850. After several years of litigation and negotiation, the defendants conceded that they had no valid claim to the property. The case was closed with the execution of a quit claim deed in favor of the U.S. government.

In his award nomination, Gil was described as “invaluable. He essentially taught me how to interpret historical deeds, surveys, and maps, explaining why uplands had been surveyed historically while marshlands were not. This seemingly simple concept was key to our case,” says Collette Cunningham, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida.

Ms. Cunningham describes Barbara’s “dedication to the Preserve and to the Park System” as the driving force behind the litigation. “Had she [Barbara] and her staff not been so attuned to what was going on in their area, landowners would have built docks and the marshlands would have been disturbed before anyone even knew what happened.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida annually recognizes excellence in their client agencies, awarding commendations to those who contribute to the successful resolution of a prosecution or civil matter.

“It’s always a pleasure to celebrate our collaborations – between agencies and between parks. This award is particularly gratifying because it celebrates excellence in our regional office and recognizes the outstanding work our good friends in the Solicitor’s Office perform on a daily basis,” says Regional Director Stan Austin. “Barbara Goodman is a fierce protector of the fragile resources of Timucuan and the results will last for generations.”

[Submitted by Marianne Mills, marianne_mills@nps.gov, (404) 507-5613]

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Martin Van Buren National Historic Site (NY)
Park Celebrates 40th Anniversay As NPS Site

On Saturday, July 19th, Martin Van Buren National Historic Site celebrated its establishment in 1974 with a “pop up museum” at the Kinderhook Farmer’s Market. 

The theme was “Forty and Fabulous” and the community was invited to bring items and stories to share from the 1970’s. 

The Friends of Lindenwald served cake and Martin Van Buren himself attended, attired in full 70’s garb a la “Saturday Night Fever.”  Since the post-it note was also invented in 1974, they were used to collect responses about what meanings the park has for the community, which in general emphasized Van Buren as a source of home town pride, along with a lighthearted and appreciative attitude toward commemorating Kinderhook’s most famous son (e.g. “love the sideburns”). 

Observation records taken throughout the day indicate that the hundreds who attended were in an upbeat and mellow mood, with a high percentage of conversation over silent viewing.  The fun was contagious – a sign was hung by a farmer’s produce asking “what would Martin Van Buren eat” and the blues singer on the green dedicated “Mojo Man” to the “Red Fox of Kinderhook.”  

Park staff had an opportunity to talk in depth with friends and neighbors about their memories of the establishment of the park, while the “retro” nature of the 70’s objects made it clear just how long the site has been a part of life in rural Columbia County, New York. 

Site Manager Justin Monetti joked that he wasn’t born yet in 1974, so he especially enjoyed listening to stories about the site’s founding from Kinderhook elders, and also hearing about hopes for the future of Martin Van Buren National Historic Site from young families shopping for local food in the Kinderhook Village where the eighth President was born and raised.

[Submitted by Patricia West McKay]


CAREER OPPORTUNITIES



Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (HI)
GS-2151-6 Public Safety Dispatcher

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is seeking candidates for a lateral transfer into a permanent or permanent subject-to-furlough public safety dispatcher position with the Pacific Area Communications Center. 

The subject-to-furlough position is currently programmed for one pay period of furlough each year. but work is only guaranteed for 13 pay periods per year should the budget situation change.

The Pacific Area Communications Center provides 24 hour, seven day a week public safety dispatch support for 11 NPS areas throughout the Hawaiian and West Pacific islands.  The center dispatches for law enforcement, emergency medical services, fire, and search and rescue and maintains accountability of employees on backcountry travel itineraries.   The idea candidate will have experience using CAD (computer aided dispatch) systems, NCIC/Nlets criminal justice information systems, and IMARS. 

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is located on the Island of Hawaii, with the center located at an elevation of 4,000 feet on the summit of Kilauea Volcano.  Cost of living is generally 15-35% higher than the continental United States.  Temperatures vary from 54-73° F. in summer to 49-68° F. in winter.  Rainfall averages 95” a year. 

Special consideration:  Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is subject to high concentrations of volcanic fumes, especially sulfur dioxide gasses.  The fumes are known to be hazardous to unborn fetuses and persons with heart and respiratory problems.  Long-term effects on normal healthy persons are not known.

Interested applicants should send the following documents:

  • OF-612 Optional Application for Employment, resume, or equivalent
  • Copy of most recent SF-50 Notification of Personnel Action
  • Copy of most recent performance appraisal

Application packets may be submitted via email or by mail.  Application packets must be dated (email) or postmarked (mail) on or before August 8th.  Submit electronic application packets to david_holmes@nps.gov or mail packets to David Holmes, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, P.O. Box 52, Hawaii National Park, HI 96718.

For more information regarding the position, please contact David Holmes at 808-985-6003 or via email.