The Morning Report

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Recent Editions  


Rocky Mountain National Park (CO)
Searchers Find Two Missing Hikers

A search for two missing women came to a successful conclusion last Thursday morning when searchers found them off trail above Hague Creek and below Mummy Pass in the northwest portion of the park.

On Tuesday, July 21st, a group of five family members and friends hiked to Mirror Lake. While they were hiking back, Christine Everett, 51, and Danielle Hohly, 26, became separated from the group.  They were last seen at 2:30 p.m.  just below Mirror Lake, which is approximately six miles from the Corral Creek Trailhead.   

When the women failed to appear at the trailhead, one of the members of the party went back up the trail and searched for them until dark. At roughly 8:15 p.m. they called for assistance.  This is in a remote area with no cell service and limited radio communication.  The call went to Larimer County Search and Rescue, whose members responded to the area later that night. They searched the general area and determined that the point last seen was inside Rocky Mountain National Park, so contacted rangers on Wednesday morning. A joint search was begun.


When the women were found, they were cold and hungry but in good condition. The two women were flown by helicopter to the east side of the park, where they were reunited with family members.

[Submitted by Kyle Patterson, Public Affairs Officer]

Yellowstone National Park (ID,MT,WY)
Search Underway For Missing Swimmer

A search is underway for Feiyang “Isaac” Xiang, a 21-year old man from China. Xiang is a seasonal concessioner employee in the park and was backpacking with four friends last Thursday when he disappeared while swimming in the Yellowstone River near its confluence with Hellroaring Creek in the northern section of the park. 

Xiang was in the water with two of his companions around 11:45 am when he was pulled away from the shore by the current of the swiftly flowing river.  Xiang was struggling to stay afloat as unsuccessful efforts were made to pull him back to shore. He was swept downriver into a long stretch of rapids before he disappeared from view. A member of the party placed a 911 call to park dispatch at 12:39 pm.  

Rangers immediately began responding on horseback and on foot. Responders reached the river and met with the reporting party at 2:44 pm. Initial search efforts Thursday afternoon did not turn up any sign of Xiang, who is described as 5 feet 6 inches tall, 140 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. 

Search efforts were increased on Friday; a helicopter, two dog teams, and 20 Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park employees actively searched for him in the Yellowstone River corridor.  

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Feiyang “Isaac” Xiang is asked to call Yellowstone National Park at 307-344-2643.

[Submitted by Public Affairs Office]

New River Gorge National River (WV)
Hyperthermic Mountain Biker Rescued

On the afternoon of Sunday, July 19th, three mountain bikers headed upriver from Cunard on the South Side Junction Trail. The weather was hot and sunny, and humidity was running around sixty percent.

Several miles in, one of the bikers began experiencing leg cramps. He stopped and got off his bike to walk around and ease his cramp when he suddenly passed out. His biking companions used their water to try and cool him down. They attempted to have him drink water, but he refused, so they decided to call 911 for assistance.

Oak Hill Fire Department, Fayetteville Fire Department, Jan Care EMS and rangers responded to the call for help.  Rescuers accessed the patient via the South Side Junction Trail from the Brooklyn campground.  UTVs were used for the first several miles; responders then hiked the rest of the way.  Paramedics treated the man for heat-related conditions and the he was evacuated by foot and UTV to the awaiting ambulance. He was expected to make a full recovery.

[Submitted by Jeff West, Chief Ranger]

Buffalo National River - AR
Five-Year-Old Boy Drowns At Tyler Bend

On the afternoon of July 20th, the park was contacted by Searcy County 911 concerning a possible drowning at the Tyler Bend area. Rescue and medical personnel were dispatched to the area, where CPR was in progress on the five-year-old victim.

The family was just getting settled when the little boy began wading into the shallow water and inadvertently got into deeper water.  His inflatable float ring did not keep him above water.

The boy’s father pulled him from the water. Several nearby canoeists began CPR until park and medical personnel arrived on scene. CPR was continued for some time but was unsuccessful and the boy was pronounced dead at the scene.

Personnel from Buffalo National River, Searcy County Sheriff’s Office, and North Arkansas Regional Medical Center EMS responded.

[Submitted by Karen L Bradford, Chief Ranger]


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

National Fire Activity

NIFC is at PL 2. Initial attack was light on Monday. Fourteen uncontained large fires are burning nationwide, down one from Monday. Current resource commitments are as follows, with changes from last Friday’s numbers in parentheses:

  • Nine incident management teams (down one)
  • 262 crews (down 37)
  • 10,463 firefighters and overhead (down 245)
  • 620 engines (up 14)
  • 85 helicopters (down 10)

Fire Weather Forecast

While a ridge of high pressure aloft dominates the southern U.S. today, a deep low pressure trough will move eastward through the northern Rockies and Dakotas. A strong cold front extending through the high Plains and central Rockies will continue to bring gusty winds to the region. Showers and thunderstorms with these features will focus on eastern Montana, the southern Rockies, and the upper Mississippi River Valley. Further west, significant warming and drying will begin over California and Oregon today with some areas seeing gusty offshore winds and poor humidity recoveries through morning. It will continue to be unsettled in Florida with showers and thunderstorms triggered by a frontal boundary. In Alaska, the northwest part of the state will remain dry, but wetting rain is expected elsewhere as an upper level low pressure system moves into the Gulf.

A NOAA map of today’s critical fire weather areas can be found at:

A NIFC webpage showing the current national significant wildland fire outlook is available at:

NPS Fire Summaries

Glacier NP – The Reynolds Fire has burned 3,170 acres. It is 45% contained. Precipitation fell on the fire yesterday. A Type I IMT (Poncin) is managing the fire. For full details, go to the following InciWeb site:

Denali NP&P – Fire managers are currently monitoring 13 lightning-ignited wildfires burning in remote areas of Denali National Park and Preserve. There are no threats to park structures or sensitive resources at this time: 

  • TheIron Fire #460(4,148. 5 acres) startedJune 2t.The fire is located 13 miles southwest of Wonder Lake. It is burning in black spruce. On July 17 an NPS helicopter monitored the fire by air and reported no visible activity.
  • TheMcLeod Fire #463(452.1 acres) startedJune 21. The fire is located 11 miles southwest of Wonder Lake. The fire is burning in black spruce. On July 17 an NPS helicopter monitored the fire by air and reported no visible activity.
  • TheForaker River Fire #474(1,043.1 acres) startedJune 21. It is located approximately 28 miles southwest of Kantishna. The fire is burning in black spruce. On July 16 a NPS helicopter monitored the fire by air and reported no fire activity.
  • TheBear Creek Fire #543(5,774.7 acres) startedJune 21. It is located approximately 5 miles north of Kantishna. It is burning in black spruce. Fire managers flew over the fire on July 19, but were unable to assess fire activity due to limited visibility from smoke from other Minchumina fires. Fire managers previously reported no visible smoke when they monitored the fire by helicopter on July 17.
  • TheHerron Fire #571(903.8 acres) startedJune 23. The fire is located 43 miles southwest of Kantishna near the headwaters of Highpower Creek and Herron River. The fire is burning in black spruce, grass and brush. On July 16 a NPS helicopter monitored the fire by air and reported no visible activity.
  • TheCarlson Lake Fire #635(40,257.7 acres) startedJune 25. The fire is located 36 miles northwest of Kantishna and 2.6 miles east of Lake Minchumina. It is burning in black spruce. As of July 22 the fire was smoldering and creeping. Smokes were visible on the eastern perimeter. The fire has received moderate rain.
  • TheBear Paw Fire #639(29.7 acres) startedJune 25. The fire is located 15 miles northeast of Kantishna in the Kantishna Hills. The fire is burning in tundra and brush. As of July 6 the perimeter was 0% active.
  • TheCastle Rock Fire #650(323.0 acres) startedJune 24. The fire is located 36 miles west by southwest of Kantishna, 1.2 miles south of Castle Rocks. It is burning in black spruce. A NPS helicopter flew the fire on July 20. No fire activity was observed.
  • TheChilchukabena Fire #652(361.3 acres) startedJune 25. The fire is located 21 miles northwest of Kantishna. The fire is burning in black spruce and tundra. As of July 9 the fire was 1% active with smoldering observed. There was one smoke on the perimeter.
  • TheMoose Creek Fire #654(2,865.4 acres) startedJune 25. The fire is located 22 miles north of Kantishna. It is burning in black spruce and hardwoods. The latest acreage update was on July 22.
  • TheMunsatli 2 Fire # 703(91,442.6 acres). The fire is located 11 miles southwest of Lake Minchumina. A portion on this fire is burning in the park on the western most park boundary. It is burning in brush, hardwoods and black spruce. As of July 25, minimal creeping and backing fire behavior was reported. Most of the activity is on the northeast portion of the fire, with pockets of activity on each side of the fire, as well as interior pockets burning out.
  • TheForaker Fire #716(1,725.0 acres) startedJune 21. The fire is located 33 miles west of Kantishna. It is burning in black spruce. The fire continues to creep. A helicopter reconnaissance flight onJune 20showed no change in acreage.
  • TheDiamond Fire #791(15.0 acres) started July 23. The fire is located 27 miles north of Kantishna near Otter Creek. It is burning in black spruce and tundra. The fire was discovered by aircraft on the evening of July 23, the perimeter was 10% active, with light west winds.

Additional park information is available by calling 907-683-9532 from9 a.m. to 4 p.m.daily. Stay connected with "DenaliNPS" on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and iTunes – links to these social media sites are available at

Additional Information

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


Pacific West Region
Nez Perce National Historical Park Celebrates 50 Years

On May 30th, Nez Perce National Historical Park opened the Nuunimnix Art Show at the Josephy Center for Arts and Culture in Joseph Oregon. The show is the centerpiece of the park's 50th anniversay celebration.

Nuunimnix is the Nez Perce Phrase meaning “our very own” and the show displays fine arts and traditional crafts all made by Nez Perce artists for family and friends.

The park has sites in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.  In August, the show will move to the Center for Arts and Culture in Lewiston, Idaho.

“Lewis-Clark State College is a full partner in creating and exhibiting these amazing pieces,” said Superintendent Tami DeGrosky.

The college will publish a 140-page book about the objects and the artists.  In 2016 the show will move to the Museum of Arts and Culture in Spokane, Washington as part of the park’s 2016 centennial celebration. 

Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park (GA)
Healing Begins For Marines Following Chattanooga Shootings

This summer, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park celebrates its 125th anniversary. The park was originally established by veterans from both Union and Confederate armies as a place of reconciliation and healing. These men came together on the battlefields here to remember their lost comrades and friends, and to contemplate their future as Americans under one flag.

A week ago, a gunman attacked two military installations here in Chattanooga, taking the lives of four Marines and one sailor. On Monday, July 20th, the survivors of Battery M, 3rd Battalion, 14th Marine Regiment met at Chickamauga Battlefield. It was the first time many of them had seen each other since the tragic shooting in their office, and in the early morning sunlight they assembled their battery guidon, reuniting the unit under their flag.

The Marines toured the battlefield with Park Historian Jim Ogden, and their hike culminated at the monument to Shultz’s Battery M, located along Horseshoe Ridge in the battlefield. It was a moment where past met present – the grieving members of one Battery M gathered at the century old memorial erected by the survivors of another Battery M, one that had also lost four men in the fight here.

Parks are often places where we can go on hikes, enjoy the outdoors, or learn about the past. But for the Marines of Battery M, like the veterans who established this park 125 years ago, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park is a place where Americans can begin to heal. Unit commander Colonel Joe Russo said of the Marines’ visit to Chickamauga, “It was day one on the calendar of this unit's movement forward. You could see it in the Marines' faces; you could sense it as they put their arms around each other.”

[Submitted by Chris Barr,, 423-752-5213]

Learning and Development
Crystal Owl Awards Presented To Three Employees

The Learning & Development Program is pleased to announce the 2015 recipients of the Crystal Owl Award for Learning & Development Excellence. The three recipients are Blaise Davi, Charlie Pepper and Lisa Sasser.

The Crystal Owl Award recognizes outstanding contributions to the Servicewide Learning & Development Program of the National Park Service. Crystal Owl Awards are given to those individuals that have made significant contributions to the Learning & Development Program over a long period of time that has made a positive impact on the development of employees across the Service.

All three recipients were presented the Crystal Owl award on June 5, 2015, during the Preservation and Treatment of Park Cultural Resources training at Grand Teton National Park; where all three were instructors of the class.

The three recipients, while all deserving in their own right, were presented their awards together since they have been working collaboratively on training events for over a decade.

Blaise Davi has been with the NPS for over 30 years in a variety of cultural resource and facility maintenance positions. Currently, Blaise is a Project and Construction Manager for the Northeast Region. Blaise loves training and loves working in parks – this makes the perfect combination for developing learning opportunities for the NPS workforce.

In the 1990s, Blaise was on a team that lead the development of standards for measuring successful cultural resource stewardship for facility management. Blaise served as the principal coordinator for launching the Preservation and Treatment of Park Cultural Resources class. This class has been offered across the country for nearly a decade and continues to be a strong staple for both cultural resources and facility management staff.

Charlie Pepper manages the Preservation Maintenance and Education Programs for the Olmstead Center for Landscape Preservation.  In this position he actively develops and promotes education and training opportunities that recognize the importance of skilled preservation maintenance professionals.  One of Charlie’s greatest strengths is his thoughtfulness and ability to develop programs and projects that integrate cultural landscape research and planning with preservation maintenance and education.

Charlie has coordinated several national historic landscape maintenance conferences and training programs to help build preservation skills for field staff. He initiated a city youth educational program in urban park landscape management – providing high school students with skills to explore higher educational opportunities in park stewardship. 

Lisa Sasser had a full career with the National Park Service as a Historical Architect. Now retired, Lisa continues to give much of her time to developing and providing high quality effective training and learning opportunities to the NPS workforce. 

Throughout her career and into retirement, Lisa has been an instructor of preservation maintenance and preservation trades. The list of training and workshops that Lisa has provided is extensive and includes -  Preservation and Treatment of Park Cultural Resources, Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Preservation, History and Philosophy of Historic Preservation, Guiding Principles for Implementing Field-Based Historic Preservation, Foundations of Cultural Resources and the list goes on.

Blaise, Charlie and Lisa have been instrumental in the development and success of the Career Academy for Cultural Resources. They each have served as subject matter experts for creating new training and learning assets. All three of the Crystal Owl recipients’ contributions to the NPS Learning & Development Program are reflected in the legacy of the training that they have developed as well as in the hundreds of NPS employees that have benefitted from their tireless dedication to providing high quality and effective training.

[Submitted by Cari Kreshak, Cultural Resources Training Manager, Mather Training Center]


Outer Banks Group
GS-0303-5 Visitor Use Assistant

The Outer Banks Group has issued an announcement for a visitor use assistant for Wright Brothers National Memorial.

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

It closes on August 3rd.

Christiansted National Historic Site (VI)
GS-0341-12 Administrative Officer

Christiansted National Historic Site is seeking candidates for a position as the park’s administrative officer.

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 17th.
 More Information...
William Howard Taft National Historic Site (OH)
WG-4749-5/6/7 Maintenance Worker

William Howard Taft National Historic Site has issued an announcement for a maintenance worker.

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

For additional questions contact Kerry Wood at 513-684-3262.

It closes on August 3rd.