The Morning Report

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

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Grand Canyon National Park (AZ)
Hiker Dies On North Kaibab Trail

On the afternoon of Friday, September 19th, park dispatch received a 911 call from a visitor reporting that a hiker had fallen and was having trouble breathing.

Park rangers responded by helicopter and found the man about a half mile below Ribbon Falls on the North Kaibab Trail. A park EMT and two medics were inserted and assisted with CPR, which was already in progress. All efforts to resuscitate the man proved unsuccessful.

Michael Sperry, 46, of Valparaiso, Indiana, had been on a rim-to-rim extended day hike with his two brothers when he collapsed. Witnesses, who began CPR, reported an immediate loss of consciousness from which he never recovered. CPR efforts continued for over an hour before he was pronounced dead.

His body was flown to the South Rim and then transported to the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office in Flagstaff for an autopsy.

[Submitted by Maureen Oltrogge, Public Affairs Officer]

Golden Gate National Recreation Area (CA)
Park Police Officer Makes Significant Drug Bust

US Park Police Officer Eric Cole was on foot patrol on Great Highway, looking for a man who was involved in a rape a few days previously, when he saw a man measuring what appeared to be narcotics on a scale.  When Cole contacted him, he attempted to hide the narcotics in the sand.

A search incident to arrest revealed that he was in possession of hash oil, methamphetamines , mushrooms, cocaine, heroin, and over-the-counter medications. The narcotics were field tested and revealed a positive result for each of the aforementioned narcotics and/or controlled substance.

The weight and value of the seized drugs, confirmed by DEA, were as follows - $700 for an ounce of methedrine, $480 for six grams of cocaine, $100 for a gram of heroin, $100 for eight grams of mushrooms, and $21,720 for 1.2 pounds of hash oil. The total value came to $23,100. The man also had $1,322 in cash in his possession.

The man was arrested and charged with possession of felony narcotics for sale, possession of controlled substances, and possession of drug paraphernalia (needle and scale). 

[Submitted by Major Noreen T. Schirmer, Commander, San Francisco Field Office]

Everglades National Park (FL)
Pilot Makes Emergency Landing In Shark Valley

During the morning of August 9th, the pilot of a small airplane had to make an emergency landing on the Shark Valley Tram Road due to a possible engine failure.  

Three men from the ages of 25 to 30 on board. The men, each of whom had a private airline license, were practicing for their commercial license by doing several maneuvers. They were heading back to the Tamiami Airport when the plane lost power over the Everglades.

The pilot said that he had visited Shark Valley about a month earlier and remembered the paved road there. He was attempting to land on the popular West Road, but saw visitors walking and biking there so maneuvered the aircraft to the relatively unpopulated East Road. He was able to make the emergency landing by briefly touching the plane down on the road before it went off into the Everglades sawgrass.

Everglades rangers and Miami-Dade County and Miccosukee units all responded. There were no injuries.  

The plane was removed without complications following a NEPA review to determine the safest method to prevent damage to the natural and cultural resources in the area.

[Submitted by Mike Michener, Chief Ranger]


Ocmulgee National Monument (GA)
Ocmulgee Holds Annual Indian Celebration

The park’s 23rd annual Ocmulgee Indian Celebration, held last weekend, drew about 16,000 visitors to the park.

On September 19th, during the “school day” portion of the event, approximately 2,000 area school children attended.

More than 250 Native Americans, representing over 18 federally recognized tribes, participated in this year’s event. 

The park was assisted by interpretive and protection rangers from Guilford Courthouse, Kennesaw Mountain, Chattahoochee, Andersonville, and Southeast Archeological Center.  Additional support came from local deputies, Ocmulgee National Monument Association staff, and 160 volunteers, who collectively contributed 1,075 hours of service.

Six medical cases were reported during the event, which was managed under ICS with Irv Brock, the park’s law enforcement officer, serving as IC.

[Submitted by Angela R. Bates]

Park Planning and Special Studies Division
Interagency Visitor Use Management Council Launches New Website

The Interagency Visitor Use Management Council is pleased to announce the launch of the council’s new website

Six federal agencies—the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Park Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service—collaborate on the council, which was formed in 2011.  The council’s mission is to provide guidance on visitor use management policies and to develop legally defensible and effective interagency implementation tools for visitor use management.

Kerri Cahill, chair of the council, shared that “the new website is an exciting accomplishment in the work of the council and will be a critical communication tool as we continue to develop interagency guidance on a variety of visitor use management topics.”

Several items are already posted on the website, including the council’s first position paper on the visitor use management framework, a glossary of key terms, and a list of frequently asked questions.  

[Submitted by Kerri Cahill,, 303-969-2261]

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Office of Risk Management
Mather Training Center Hosts Final 2014 OL Facilitator Skills Class

Nine NPS employees, facilitators for Operational Leadership, recently completed this year’s fourth presenter skills development program at the Stephen T. Mather Training Center.

Also known as “facilitator skills” within OL circles, the course is designed and instructed by training center staff to increase the effectiveness and overall performance of collateral duty facilitators. Training managers Jo Robinson and Demica Vigil and instructional systems designer David Barton hosted the class, which presents adult learning concepts, exercises to engage the learner, and user-friendly critiques of the participants’ presentation skills.

“Although our initial OL train-the-trainer course provides basic instruction to employees joining our cadre of facilitators,” said the OL program manager, “early on we knew that facilitators, and the program, would benefit from a higher 400 level course of instruction. Learning and Development managers stepped up to the plate to establish a partnership with our program in order to create this specialized facilitator skills course.”

During the past three years, OL facilitators from all regions have come together for this opportunity to enhance their presentation skills. Participants use actual NPS OL content during several mini practice sessions, each session building upon the others with adult learning tools and techniques from the class and with coaching and mentoring from training center staff.

Completing this fourth and final class for 2014 were:

  • Ranger John Broward from Hawaii Volcanoes ,
  • Ranger Jay Bullington from Lyndon B. Johnson,
  • Visitor Use Assistant Jessica Cooper from Mammoth Cave,
  • Ecologist Marie Denn from Point Reyes,
  • Safety Officer Wesley Greene from Blue Ridge,
  • Ranger Robert Healy from the National Mall,
  • Chief of Interpretation Christine Beekman from Pecos,
  • Ranger Josh Wentz from Yosemite, and
  • Safety Manager Mylee Williams from Joshua Tree. 

By the end of centennial year 2016, all Service employees will have had the opportunity to participate in an NPS Operational Leadership training class. In order to meet this milestone, quality facilitators pave the way now.

Training and implementing our behavior-based risk management program involves challenges and, in the realm of operational leadership principles, risk. These nine individuals, our peers and coworkers in the field, have begun to meet the challenges. Their commitment and enthusiasm for NPS Operational Leadership are examples for others to follow.

For more information on NPS Operational Leadership, please click on the link below.

[Submitted by Mark Herberger]

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Glacier National Park
GS-1101-9 Concessions Management Specialist

Glacier National Park is seeking candidates for a term concessions management specialist position.

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

The duty station is in West Glacier, Montana. Government housing is not available.

Questions about this position may be directed to Jan Knox, concessions manager, at 406-888-7908..

The announcement closes on October 2nd.
 More Information...
Yosemite National Park (CA)
GS-13 Supervisory Cultural Resource Manager (Detail)

Yosemite National Park has issued an interdisciplinary vacancy announcement for a detail or temporary promotion from early November until March as the park’s supervisory cultural resource manager.

Applicants with appropriate experience and education in the following series are eligible to apply:

  • GS-0190 Anthropologist
  • GS-0193 Archaeologist
  • GS-0807 Landscape Architect
  • GS-0808 Architect

The person selected will serve as the chief of the Branch of Cultural Resource Management within the Resources Management and Science Division and report directly to the division chief.  As the program manager, he/she will:

  • Manage a complex array of integrated programs that include archaeology, ethnography and cultural anthropology, five National Historic Landmarks, and over 400 identified historic properties.
  • Be responsible for compliance with a variety of Department of the Interior guidelines, federal legislation, policies, and directives.  
  • Manage a variety of fund sources to provide and coordinate a variety of professional support to Yosemite. 
  • Supervise and/or direct archaeologists, anthropologists, the American Indian liaison, historic landscape architects, historic architects, and contractors.
  • Provide input and may also serve as the point of contact for several Sierra Network programs, representing three National park Service units, and may represent the network during regional office funding prioritization efforts.
  • Provide professional guidance at the program level for projects by applying appropriate preservation guidelines, preservation laws, and directives.
  • Manage outreach programs with national implications dealing with sensitive and complex tribal, community, legal, cultural, and scientific issues.

During this assignment, salary will continue to be paid by the selectee’s home park/office. Travel and per diem will be paid by the receiving park. Government housing is available for this assignment.

Candidates must currently possess the following:

  • One year at the at the GS-12 grade level
  • Experience with managing cultural resource programs

 To apply, please submit the following:

  • Resume with professional references
  • SF-50 showing your current grade/step and tenure
  • Brief memo of support from your current supervisor

Application packages must be electronically received in the Human Resources Office by COB on September 29th. Send your application package via email to  Please list in the subject line of the email:  YOSE Cultural Resources Manager Detail/Temp Promotion Opportunity.