The Morning Report

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Recent Editions  

INCIDENTS



Rocky Mountain National Park (CO)
Park’s SAR Team Makes Two Same-Day Rescues

Members of the park’s search and rescue team responded to two separate falling incidents just hours apart on Sunday, June 28th.   

At 9:30 a.m., rangers were notified by cell phone that a 48-year-old man had taken a 50-foot fall while backcountry skiing on Sundance Mountain and had suffered numerous injuries. SAR personnel reached him at 11:45 a.m. They performed a technical evacuation, lowering him through snow, rocks and dense brush and eventually reaching Old Fall River Road at 7:30 p.m. He was taken by ambulance to Estes Park Medical Center.  Twenty people were involved in this rescue. Park search and rescue team members were assisted by two members of Douglas County Search and Rescue. 

At noon, rangers were notified via another cell phone call that a 24-year-old man had taken a 150-foot tumbling fall down The Homestretch on the Keyhole Route on Longs Peak.  Rangers were able to speak with him; he told them that he’d suffered injuries but would attempt to continue down on his own.  Rangers left the Longs Peak Trailhead with the intent to assist him, but their efforts were hampered by severe weather and lightning.  Rangers reached him at 8:30 p.m. at the Keyhole.  They assisted him through The Boulder Field and spent the night in the Boulder Field with him.  At 8:00 a.m. on Monday morning, he was flown by Lifeguard One to Medical Center of the Rockies.  Park SAR team members were assisted by four members of Larimer County Search and Rescue.

[Submitted by Kyle Patterson, Public Affairs Officer]


FIRE MANAGEMENT



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

National Fire Activity

NIFC is at PL 3. Initial attack was light yesterday. Nine new large fires were reported, bringing the current national total of uncontained large fires to 32.

Current resource commitments are as follows:

  • 14 incident management teams
  • 275 crews
  • 9,989 firefighters and overhead
  • 454 engines
  • 107 helicopters

Fire Weather Forecast

High pressure over the Great Basin will expand into northern California and the Pacific Northwest today with another wave of near record hot and dry conditions over the western U.S. Showers and thunderstorms will rotate under the high pressure ridge in California, the Great Basin and the central Rockies with some precipitation, but widespread wetting rain is not expected. Scattered showers and thunderstorms will also form along a cold front from the Mississippi Valley eastward to the Ohio Valley. Heavy rain is possible in the Eastern part of Alaska with showers and thunderstorms moving from east to west. Generally warmer and drier conditions are expected for the western half of the state.

A NOAA map of today’s critical fire weather areas can be found at: http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/fire_wx/fwdy1.html

A NIFC webpage showing the current national significant wildland fire outlook is available at: http://www.predictiveservices.nifc.gov/outlooks/outlooks.htm

NPS Fire Summaries

Dinosaur NM – Fire crews at Dinosaur National Monument continue suppression efforts on a lightning-caused fire in the Ecklund Draw area along the Green River's Lodore Canyon. The Ecklund Fire, located in the Ecklund Draw and Pot Creek area of Lodore Canyon in the Colorado portion of the monument, was reported just before dark on Saturday, June 27th and has now grown to approximately 526 acres. It is burning mostly grass, brush and Ponderosa pine understory within an old fire scar that burned in 2001. Fire activity has been minimal over the past 24 hours with single tree torching and creeping through grass and brush. Ecklund Draw is located in a remote portion of the monument near the northwest boundary with the Bureau of Land Management near Black Ridge. The fire has crossed outside the monument boundary into the Diamond Breaks Wilderness Study Area managed by the BLM. A fire line was secured in Ecklund Draw on Monday afternoon. The rocky canyon terrain is expected to help contain any southern or eastern spread. In addition to monument staff, three Type II IA crews, two Type III helicopters, one Type II helicopter and a Type III incident management team are on the scene. The Ecklund Fire is being managed as a Type III Incident with a total of 97 personnel. The fire is estimated to be approximately 10% contained. The Ecklund Fire presents no immediate threat to monument visitors or structures. No evacuations are in effect at this time. Smoke may be visible in the monument from overlooks along the Harpers Corner Road and from along the Green River corridor through Lodore Canyon. The upper lot of the Canyon Overlook along the Harpers Corner Road will remain closed while it is used for helicopter operations. The fire has not impacted any other visitor service or facility. For more information about Dinosaur National Monument, call (435) 781-7700.

Olympic NP – It was a fairly calm day on the 1,025-acre Paradise Fire on Monday, as crews took advantage of favorable weather conditions. Remote cameras stationed in the Queets River valley transmitted photos back to the Incident Command Post showing smoke concentrated in a few areas of the fire perimeter. Of particular concern to firefighters is the area around Paradise Creek on the flanks of Pelton Peak. A return to higher temperatures are expected later this week, so weather conditions will again challenge firefighters. Information on this fire can be obtained on InciWeb athttp://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4305/, and by calling Paradise Fire Information at 360-565-2986. For real time information, visit the Paradise Fire Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Paradise-Fire/831205013596015.

Additional Information

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


NEWS AND NOTES



Ocean and Coastal Resources Branch
Kids Follow Right Whale To Their Ocean Park

Sometimes it takes a whale of a story to get people excited about spectacular places in the ocean and the animals that live there.  On June 8th, World Oceans Day, the National Park Service teamed up with the Smithsonian Institution to tell visitors the story of right whales and explain how to Find Your Park on the oceans and coasts. 

Lynne Murdock, WASO natural resources interpretive specialist, met visitors in the Sant Ocean Hall beneath the life-size model of Phoenix, a right whale, at the National Museum of Natural History on the National Mall.  Baleen whales eat by “filter feeding.”  Young people were able to touch a “hairy” piece of baleen, while Murdock described how the whale pushes water through baleen in its jaw to filter plankton from water. 

The North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) is listed as endangered.  NOAA has identified Cape Cod Bay, where Cape Cod National Seashore and Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary are located, as critical habitat for the recovery of the right whale.

Following her right whale talk, Murdock met visitors for a Find Your Park experience in Q?rius, the Coralyn W. Whitney Science Education Center, an interactive learning space at the museum where young people engage with the natural world.  Kids entered their zip code into an easy-to-use interactive map of the National Park System on the NPS Ocean and Coastal Resources program web site

Once the students successfully navigated the map and found their closest park, they explored ways to experience the spectacular lands and coastal waters in the National Park System.   The successful trail blazers were able to pick out a prize.

These World Oceans Day activities were a joint effort between the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and the NPS Natural Resource Stewardship and Science directorate. 

For more information, see http://ocean.si.edu/sant-ocean-hall and http://www.nature.nps.gov/water/oceancoastal/

[Submitted by Cliff McCreedy, Marine Resource Management Specialist]


Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve (FL)
Park Teams Up With The Jacksonville Armada

Jacksonville’s major league soccer team, the Armada, recently approached the Timucuan Preserve with a unique opportunity. 

This year is the Armada’s inaugural season in the North American Soccer League (NASL). The Armada desired to partner and create a team tradition.  By integrating a cannon firing and a foghorn into their pregame and scoring ritual, team management hopes to accomplish this dream. 

The park agreed to assist the team in developing a canon firing program.  As part of the agreement, the Armada would provide space for the NPS to have a booth during pre-game festivities outside the stadium and would play the NPS #Find Your Park video before and during each game on the stadium’s enormous screen.

On April 4th, the Timucuan Preserve’s cannon crew, consisting of volunteers and staff, and the park’s two historic weapons supervisors fired the park’s two cannons at the Armada’s inaugural match.  The match was held in the NFL Jaguars home, Everbank Field, before a crowd of 16,000 enthusiastic soccer fans, setting a new NASL record for largest attendance at a match.  The park has been involved in five home games thus far. 

To further assist the team in achieving their goal, Historic Weapons Supervisors Craig Morris and Susie Sernaker conducted a black powder safety school for the staff and volunteers of the Armada.  Park staff is working with team management to ensure proper safety standards are in place.   The Armada has purchased two signal cannons to use in their programs and will begin their own tradition when the season resumes. 

Reaching out to these soccer fans is an exciting way to introduce them to the National Parks in their backyard. 

[Submitted by Susie Sernaker]


Yellowstone National Park (ID,MT,WY)
Dan Kirschner Has Retired

Dan Kirschner, special agent with the Investigative Services Branch, retired on June 30th after 36 years of government service.

While finishing college, Dan started his government service seasonally in 1977 with the

U.S. Forest Service at Lincoln National Forest. The following year he volunteered as a park aide with the Student Conservation Association in Canyonlands National Park and worked in the Chugach National Forest in Alaska as forest technician.  He began his law enforcement career as park technician in 1979 at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

In 1981 Dan was hired into a permanent law enforcement park ranger position at Sleeping Bear Dunes, Leelanau District. He continued his park ranger career at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Monument, and Grand Canyon National Park.

Dan was promoted to supervisory park ranger at the Grand Canyon in 1992 and then moved to Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area as the Bushkill Subdistrict supervisory park ranger in 1993.  In 2001, he moved into a criminal investigator’s position at Yellowstone National Park; then, with the creation of the Investigative Services Branch, he became a special agent for WASO based in Yellowstone.

Dan’s career embodies the true park ranger.  Whether working a search and rescue mission at the Grand Canyon to investigating sexual assault or homicide, Dan did it all.

No matter what the time of the night or the day of the week, Dan always made himself available to the ranger staff.  A true believer in the professionalism of the law enforcement ranger, his professionalism and dedication to the National Park Service will be missed.

Dan said the things he will miss most is working with the rangers. He plans to enjoy retirement with his wife Zehra and daughter Leyla in Bozeman, Montana. Dan can be reached at CSO.Kirschner@gmail.com.

[Submitted by Les Seago]


Saguaro National Park (AZ)
Students Study Mercury And Dragonfly Larvae In Park

Students from the Arizona College Prep Academy joined park interns this May and June to sample dragonfly larvae as part of the national program by the NPS Air Quality Division and other partners to monitor airborne mercury pollution in national parks. Two of the park’s high school interns, Jaqueline Morales and Kei Ann Fleurs Dela Cruz Mandanas, played a major role in helping collect samples and record data. 

The students netted dragonfly larvae in stream pools at the park, identified, labeled, and sent the samples in for analysis.  The project also included taking water quality measurements and collecting water and sediment samples.   The student program is part of the Park Stewards program with Arizona College Prep Academy, funded by the National Park Foundation.  Saguaro has worked with this diverse urban high school since 2010, with this year’s focus on water resources at Saguaro National Park. 

Project partners for the dragonfly project include the US Geological Survey and University of Maine. More information on the program can be found at the "More Information" link below.

For more information, contact Don Swann, Saguaro National Park (Don_Swann@nps.gov, 520-733-5177) 

[Submitted by Don Swann]

 More Information...
Grand Teton National Park (WY)
Idaho Fourth Grade Students Get Acquainted With Park

Sixty-five fourth graders from Donald Stalker Elementary School of Blackfoot, Idaho got a firsthand and fun-filled introduction to Grand Teton National Park on May 20-22 thanks to the generous support of Grand Teton Lodge Company, an authorized park concessioner. The school children and their parents spent two days and two nights learning about nature and wildlife, while being treated to a full lodging experience at Jackson Lake Lodge, one of the park’s principal concession facilities.

This innovative and novel program was conceived by Grand Teton Lodge Company Vice President and General Manager Alex Klein as a creative way to support the National Park Service (NPS) “Every Kid in a Park” initiative. The program also acknowledges and highlights the 2016 NPS centennial celebration that officially launched in April of this year.

The Donald Stalker Elementary School was selected for a variety of reasons, including the school’s size, its close proximity to Grand Teton National Park, and its Title 1 designation. According to the U.S. Department of Education, Title 1 is the nation’s oldest and largest federally funded program. It provides supplemental funding to local school districts to meet the needs of at-risk and low-income students, and seeks to bridge the gap between low-income students and other students across the nation’s educational system.

“We were excited to be the first to partner with Grand Teton National Park to kick-off the ‘Every Kid in a Park’ program,” said Alex Klein, vice president and general manager of Grand Teton Lodge Company. “Engaging our nation’s youth in our national parks is an initiative that our company is truly passionate about.  Our primary goal was to give the fourth graders an opportunity to explore, learn and play within their neighboring national park, and also provide them with lasting memories that will tie them closer to our parks for the rest of their lives.  More than anything, we were delighted to have the students connect with nature and each other in our picturesque playground.”

The students kicked off their national park experience with a catered pizza and pasta dinner provided by the Grand Teton Lodge Company, and an evening ranger-led program. The following day, students hiked with a park ranger to learn about the natural world, toured the American Indian museum at Colter Bay Visitor Center to understand the park’s cultural significance to local tribes, and took a scenic boat cruise on Jackson Lake to experience the park’s world renowned scenic beauty. Grand Teton Lodge Company’s Green Team capped off the day’s events with games and activities with an emphasis on sustainability practices.

Grand Teton National Park Superintendent David Vela put the “icing on the cake” during their final evening when he led the fourth graders in a Junior Ranger pledge before presenting each student with their official Junior Ranger badge. Proud parents snapped photos of their children with Superintendent Vela, and many expressed their sincere appreciation for this educational and enriching opportunity. After the swearing-in ceremony concluded, the students were treated to a hot dog and hamburger dinner with all the trimmings.


For many of the students, it was both their first time to visit Grand Teton National Park and their first time to stay in a hotel.  One youngster told Superintendent Vela that she “felt like a queen” getting to spend a night in a fine motel room and dine at a cloth covered table with cloth napkins.

Both Grand Teton staff and Lodge Company employees hope the novel experience encourages these students to learn more about their American heritage as embodied in their national parks. It certainly provided memories that may last their lifetime.

Go to https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/02/19/let-s-get-every-kid-park for additional information about the National Park Service “Every Kid in a Park” program.

[Submitted by Public Affairs Office]


CAREER OPPORTUNITIES



Recreation Fee Program
GS-1101-9/11 Fee and Revenue Business Manager

Dates: 06/25/2015 - 07/17/2015

Death Valley National Park has issued a vacancy announcement for a fee and revenue business manager. It closes on July 17th.

For more specific information, look at this  this link to view and print the vacancy announcement.

[Submitted by Karen McKinlay-Jones, karen_mckinlay-jones@nps.gov, 760-786-3245]


Cultural Resources
GS-301-11 NAGPRA Program Notice Coordinator (Detail)

Dates: 06/29/2015 - 07/10/2015

The Cultural Resources, Partnerships, and Science Directorate is seeking candidates for a detail as the notice coordinator for the national NAGPRA program.

This announcement is open to all NPS employees in the Washington DC commuting area who wish to be considered for a detail or temporary promotion opportunity NTE 120 days or less. CRPS will pay salary and the cost of a temporary promotion (if applicable).

The detail/temporary promotion will begin as soon as possible

The National NAGPRA Program is seeking a highly-motivated, detail oriented NPS employee to assist with the publication of NAGPRA notices in the Federal Register. The selectee will process Notices of Inventory Completion and Notices of Intent to Repatriate submitted by Federal agencies and museums that have compliance obligations under NAGPRA. This position requires knowledge of NAGPRA including the compliance requirements for Federal agencies and museums and the components of a NAGPRA notice. Position also requires strong organizational skills, proficient editing and writing ability, and extreme attention to detail. Excellent customer service skills are required. The position is located in the National NAGPRA Program offices located at 1201 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC, between the Metro Center and McPherson Square subway stations.

The person in this position:

  • Receives NAGPRA notices submitted by Federal agencies and museums and implements the existing internal filing and tracking procedure.
  • Reviews the submission to determine that it is technically complete and identifies any questions or concerns related to content.
  • Works with submitting entity to bring the document into final form for publication.
  • Prepares document to conform to the requirements of the Department of the Interior and the Federal Register.
  • Processes the completed file through the approval process with the National NAGPRA program and the Department of the Interior.
  • Tracks the notices through the approval process and the publications process. 
  • Is responsible for identifying impediments to publication, moving notices to publication in a timely manner, resolving issues that hinder the resolution of issues within a notice, which may include suggesting solutions to the program manager. 
  • Competently uses word processing software to compare versions of documents.
  • Accurately reviews documents in tracked changes and moves fluidly between tracked changes and final versions.
  • Precisely enters data on each notice into a database used for tracking and reporting.
  • Proficiently creates electronic and paper files.
  • Communicates regularly with manager and coworkers on the status of notices and makes them aware of any issues that may arise in a timely manner. Regularly communicates with NAGPRA constituents by phone or email.

Application Process: Please email a letter of interest that states the strengths you bring to the position and professional development you hope to gain from the detail; written consent from your supervisor; and a resume or description of your relevant expertise and skills to Melanie_O’Brien@nps.gov by July 10, 2015.  Do not include Social Security Numbers or birth dates on resumes. Please contact Melanie by email or at 202-354-2204 with questions about the detail/temporary promotion opportunity.
 More Information...
Grand Canyon National Park (AZ)
Three Information Technology Positions

Grand Canyon's IT team has announced three openings, all of which close this week. All involve continued exploration of the rapidly advancing world of phones, computers, thin clients and cutting-edge science.  

Click on the links below for copies of the announcements with full details on duties, area information, and procedures for applying.

For additional information, call or email Paul Glazer.