The Morning Report

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

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Badlands National Park (SD)
Search For Missing Man Suspended

On Friday, July 31st, rangers suspended the search for 39-year-old Joshua Jacobsen of Lincoln, Nebraska, due to lack of physical evidence. 

Jacobsen was reported missing by his family on July 16th. During the week of July 27th, rangers, along with members of the Pennington County search and rescue team, conducted focused operations within the 64,000-acre Sage Creek Wilderness using a cadaver dog team from Estes Park, Colorado.  The South Dakota National Guard also conducted grid searches with a Lakota to follow-up on bones observed during a prior flight.  The bones were later determined to be from a buffalo. 

Close to 50 searchers have participated in operations since July 17th and more than 20 flight hours were logged by the South Dakota National Guard.  Rangers are continuing to investigate the case with the FBI and Pennington County Sheriff's Department.

[Submitted by Casey J. Osback, Chief Ranger]

Redwood National and State Parks (CA)
Rangers Recover Stolen Park Property During Investigation

Sometime in early July, a vacant government residence was burglarized inside the park. Several items were stolen, including an empty gun safe, a dehumidifier, a generator, and a radio base station.

Rangers were able to identify a suspect during the investigation – a man who resided in the nearby community of Eureka, California. It was discovered he was on formal probation with Humboldt County and that his probation included search terms. On July 22nd, rangers conducted a probation search of the man’s  residence with personnel from the Humboldt County Probation Department, California State Parks, and the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office.

The park's radio base station was recovered during the search along with methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. The man was arrested on various state charges. A wanted felon was also identified and detained at the residence . He was taken into custody by the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department.  The investigation is ongoing. 

[Submitted by Stephen Troy, Park Ranger]


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

National Fire Activity

The national preparedness level, which was at PL 2 on Friday and PL 3 yesterday, has now moved to PL 4. Northern California, which has 21 uncontained large fires out of a national total of 27, is at PL 5.

PL 4 goes into effect when the following criteria are met:

  • Type 1 and 2 IMTs are committed in three or more geographic areas.
  • Competition exists for resources between geographic areas.
  • Nationally, 60% of Type 1 and 2IA crews are committed.
  • Three or more geographic areas have reached drawdown on tactical resources.
  • Significant fire potential is high or becoming high over the next seven days in at least three geographic areas and ignition triggering events are likely in at least two geographic areas.

Current resource commitments are as follows, with changes from yesterday’s numbers in parentheses:

  • 19 incident management teams, including an area command team (up two)
  • 389 crews (up 19)
  • 15,548 firefighters and overhead (down 511)
  • 985 engines (down 42)
  • 121 helicopters (up 11)

Fire Weather Forecast

An upper level trough will move toward southern British Columbia, pushing a cold front into the Northwest. Scattered showers and thunderstorms will develop across the northern Great Basin and the northern Rockies ahead of the front while gusty westerly winds slide into Oregon and Washington. Elsewhere, rain and thunderstorms will continue along a nearly stationary front across the Plains and the Mid-Mississippi Valley. Cool but breezy and dry weather will move into the Great Lakes region while very hot and humid weather remains over the Gulf states. Thunderstorms and heavy rain will continue over Florida. In Alaska, warm and dry weather will continue in the Interior with widely scattered showers moving across the south and the north.

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 (down three percent from yesterday). For full details, go to the following InciWeb site:

Additional Information

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


Yosemite National Park (CA)
Former First Lady Joins In Tioga Road Rededication

A historic rededication ceremony on the Tioga Road, conducted exactly 100 years after the original dedication ceremony, was held in Yosemite National Park on July 28th.

Former First Lady Laura Bush, Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher, and Yosemite Conservancy Vice President Jerry Edelbrock participated in the reenactment ceremony. Highlights of the event included a rechristening of the road, a ceremonial ribbon cutting, and celebrating the history and importance of philanthropy in Yosemite and national parks across the country.

The Tioga Road, a 46-mile road in the northern portion of Yosemite National Park, is the highest road crossing the Sierra at an elevation of 9,945 feet above sea level at Tioga Pass. The road is an extremely popular route for the park’s four million visitors per year and is generally open for May through September each year. Highlights along the Tioga Road include Tuolumne Meadows, Tenaya Lake, and trails leading into the park’s spectacular backcountry.

“I’ve loved our parks for many years and hiked in parks all over the country accompanied by my friends,” stated Former First Lady Laura Bush, who is the Honorary Co-Chair for the National Park Service Centennial. “I urge all Americans to think about parks in the upcoming year and find their park. I found Yosemite,” said Mrs. Bush.

On July 28, 1915, Stephen Mather, prior to becoming the first director of the National Park Service, formally dedicated the opening of the Tioga Road. The route previously was a rutted private toll-road through the park. Mather and some friends purchased the 46-mile-long road for $15,000 and donated it to the Federal Government so it could be repaired and open to all at no cost. Standing at the crest of the Tioga Road, framed by the granite peaks of the Sierra Nevada, Mather, joined by park supporters, dedicated the road by breaking a bottle filled with Pacific Ocean water on a rock with “$15,000” painted on it, symbolizing the purchase price of the road.

“The rededication of Tioga Road reminds us of the importance of protecting remarkable places like Yosemite’s high country and of the need to encourage future generations to visit our parks so they are inspired to be stewards of natural lands,” said Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher.  

“Even before Congress created the National Park Service in 1916, philanthropists helped to create our stunning national parks. Their commitment remains just as deep today among individuals, families, foundations, and corporations,” said Frank Dean, President of Yosemite Conservancy. “Philanthropy has had a dramatic positive impact on our park system.”

Yosemite Conservancy donors have helped restore famous overlooks including Tunnel View, Glacier Point and Olmsted Point, which is located along Tioga Road. $20 million is being raised for the restoration of the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, which will be matched by the National Park Service. A $13.5 million effort restored 100 miles of trails, the largest trail repair program in park history. Contributions helped reintroduce Bighorn sheep and peregrine falcons and install bear-proof lockers. Another $13.5 million went to the Lower Yosemite Fall project, with more than $11 million from 14,000 contributors, setting a new world-class standard for improving iconic natural locations. More than $1 million annually goes to programs for youth of all ages to create a new generation of park stewards.

[Submitted by Scott Gediman, Public Affairs Officer]

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks (CA)
Assistant Scoutmaster And Scout Remembered At Anniverary Event

Ten years ago, on July 28, 2005, members of a Boy Scout troop from St. Helena, California, were on a nine-day trek to Mt. Whitney in Sequoia National Park. During a rainstorm near Sandy Meadow, a lightning strike hit one of their shelters, killing 29-year-old assistant scoutmaster Stephen McCullagh and 13-year-old scout Ryan Collins and injuring five others.

Many came to the rescue that day, but none more than the scouts and rangers whose quick action during this emergency possibly saved the lives of the injured. Ten years later, that tragic day drew rangers and Troop #1 together again. A reunion was recently held at the vineyard estate of Stu Smith, the scoutmaster during that fateful trip.

Rangers Jason Bauwens, who received the Department of the Interior Valor Award for his effort during this incident, and Alexandra Picavet, the public affairs specialist who worked closely with the families of Troop #1 throughout, both attended with their families. 

Though Erika Jostad, who was the incident commander, and Ranger Rob Pilewski, who also received the Valor Award, were not able to attend, they sent personal messages to the boys, now men, who they helped on that day.

Rob's handwritten note to Troop #1, "class of 2005," read in part as follows: “The six 'boys' who were at Sandy Meadow that day exhibited such strength and courage that it is hard to put into words....put into a situation that required them to perform at a level much higher than their young ages could possibly allow. I have been part of many incidents over the past 10 years and when in doubt I ask myself ‘what would the courageous members of BSA Troop #1, class of 2005, do?’ (Sandy Meadow) will always be a sacred spot.”

Stephen McCullagh would have been 39 years old this year and Ryan Collins 23.

[Submitted by Alexandra Picavet, Public Affairs Officer, Golden Gate NRA]

Klondike Gold Rush - Seattle Unit National Historical Park (WA)
Park Holds Second Annual Go Klondike Legacy Day

On July 17th, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park –Seattle Unit celebrated and shared its history with the community during the park's second annual Go Klondike Legacy Day.

The street fair, which was organized by Friends of the Klondike Corridor in partnership with the park, attracted 1,278 visitors, nearly a 60% increase from last year’s visitation. 

“We were really delighted with the increase in visitation over last year’s inaugural event. It's often difficult to make yourself seen in a city as vibrant as Seattle, so each year that Legacy Day attracts more people means more people become aware of Seattle’s downtown national park,” said Superindent Jacqueline Ashwell.

July 17th marks the day on which, in 1897, the first shipment of Yukon gold came into Seattle, igniting dreams of easy riches among people around the world.

Several partners and area businesses joined in to make Legacy Day a success, including Northwest Dog Sled Adventure, The Washington Prospectors Mining Association, and Klondike Penny’s Old Time Photography. Parks Canada, the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon, and Holland America came to encourage visitors to adventure to the Klondike gold fields.

In My Backyard, a youth outreach program housed by Klondike Seattle, shared information about area national parks, and younger visitors were able to color, make their own buttons, earn junior ranger badges, and participate in a Ten Essentials Scavenger hunt set up in a tent. Entertainment was provided by the bluegrass duo Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons, pianist Bobby D from 88 Keys, and drama performances from Living Voices.

“We are so grateful to all the partners who came together to make this year’s Go Klondike Legacy Day bigger and better than last year,” said Ashwell. “We wouldn’t have had nearly the same impact without their support and participation.” 

Klondike Seattle and Friends of the Klondike Corridor plan on continuing this annual event in order to increase awareness of the park and to educate visitors about the history of the neighborhood and Seattle.

[Submitted by Jacqueline Ashwell and Jimi Hightower]

Gulf Islands National Seashore (FL,MS)
Gulf Islands National Seashore Hosts Centennial Video Crew

Gulf Islands National Seashore hosted the Centennial video crew from July 23rd  to July 28th.  The crew, led by Ron Bend from Colorado State University, specifically picked this week in hopes of getting footage of baby sea turtles hatching, and to focus on the work of the Turtle THiS (Teens Helping in the Seashore) citizen science project.

The Turtle THiS program engages local high school students in actual scientific research, collecting night sky data and measuring the amount of artificial light near sea turtle nests.  These students not only develop a wider understanding and appreciation for sea turtles and other park resources, they are also expanding the circle of stewardship within their community.

Using infrared equipment, the crew captured fantastic footage of baby loggerheads emerging from the sand and crawling to the Gulf of Mexico.  The park posted some of this footage on Facebook, and quickly had 184,780 views, 5,159 shares, and over 700 new page likes.

[Submitted by Sandra Tennyson, Resource Education Division]


Midwest Region
GS-0340-13 Superintendent

Dates: 08/03/2015 - 08/17/2015

Midwest Region is seeking candidates for superintendent for Perry's Victory & International Peace Memorial in Put-In-Bay, Ohio.

The job opportunity announcement (MWRC-15-MP-0204) is open until Monday, August 17th. This is open to all current competitive service, career/career-conditional employees of the National Park Service Only.

Click on the link below for a copy of the job opportunity announcement with full details on duties and procedures for applying.

[Submitted by Barbara Golden,, 402-661-1642]

 More Information...
Guadalupe Mountains National Park (TX)
GS-0401/1301-12 Natural Resource Program Manager

Guadalupe Mountains National Park has issued an announcement for a natural resource program manager.

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 August 14th.
 More Information...
Cape Hatteras National Seashore (NC)
WG-5803-10 Heavy Mobile Equipment Mechanic (Detail)

Cape Hatteras National Seashore is currently seeking applicants interested in a 90 to 120 day detail/temporary promotion to the position of heavy mobile equipment mechanic.    

There is one position to be filled in the Bodie Island Maintenance Group in Nags Head, NC.  All en-route travel and salary costs will be covered and park housing will be provided during the work assignment, although no meals and incidental expenses will be authorized while staying in the park.  The detail will begin in mid-August.

The person selected will work full time performing duties such as:

  • Overhauls, repairs, services and maintains heavy equipment such as bulldozers, graders, 10 cubic yard dump trucks, front end loaders and similar heavy construction and earth moving vehicles, including rock crusher equipment.
  • Provides preventative maintenance of heavy equipment and vehicles in accordance with manufacturers’ standards, park and GSA policies.
  • Work involves determining causes of mechanical operating problems, tracing and locating defects and making repairs.
  • In repairing, overhauling and rebuilding major assemblies, systems and vehicles, the WG-10 mechanic: traces and locates defects and causes of mechanical problems to determine type and extent of necessary repairs; selects and complies with appropriate repair specifications and procedures; fits and installs parts such as pistons, valves, bearings, gears, and cylinders to appropriate tolerance, making changes or modifications in accordance with specifications and guidelines; and connects, meshes, aligns and adjusts items and systems to assure proper operation of the complete system or vehicle.
  • Typical projects include repair and overhaul of gasoline and diesel engines, manual and automatic transmissions, differentials, hydraulic and other power units, drive trains, electrical and cooling systems, steering, wheel and brake assemblies, and other attachments and components of heavy construction equipment.
  • Work also involves welding repairs to buckers, blades and structural members and fabricating parts from raw stock.
  • Incidental to mechanic work the incumbent must operate mobile equipment such as front end loaders, graders, bulldozers, and dump trucks.
  • Position requires a valid state driver’s license and commercial driver’s license (CDL).

For details about the position, please contact Joe Willis at 252-475-9505 or by email at  Additional information about the park can be found on the park website

If interested, please submit a copy of your SF-50, a letter of interest, and a resume to the attention of Colleen Stone at  Please title your resume package in your email: CAHA/HEAVYEQUIPMENTMECH2015. The announcement closes on August 14th.