Thursday, December 12, 2013
Intermountain Region Parks Recovery From September Storms Continues
A storm system that moved slowly through the Rocky Mountain and Southwestern regions of the country in mid-September caused major flooding and damage in two national parks – Guadalupe Mountains and Rocky Mountain. Although three months have since passed, recovery operations continue in both areas.
Rocky Mountain NP
Damages to the historic Old Fall River Road have proven extensive, so the road will remain closed to vehicles through 2014. Due to its winding, narrow nature, the scenic 9.4-mile route is one-way only and normally opens from the fourth of July to early October. It follows the steep slope of Mount Chapin’s south face.
It is unknown at this time whether hikers and bicyclists will be allowed on the road next year. Park staff are working with the Federal Highway Administration on assessments of the Alluvial Fan area and Old Fall River Road. Cost estimates and design concepts are still being determined.
Repair work has been completed in the Wild Basin parking lot and the Twin Sisters Road and it is nearing completion on the McGraw Ranch Bridge and the Aspenglen Bridge. Known damage to trails and pedestrian access are mainly in the Fall River, Lumpy Ridge, Bear Lake, Northfork, Twin Sisters and Wild Basin areas. Some trails remain closed to stock use.
Due to the flood, backcountry travelers are being advised that they may find missing foot bridges, missing trail segments, uneven trail surfaces, unstable slopes, falling trees due to soil moisture, rutted trails, damaged water bars and steps, difficult water crossings, and missing directional signs.
Guadalupe Mountains NP
Much of the park sustained rain and flood damage during September’s storms and flashfloods, and most trails sustained damage, with many areas being washed out or covered with debris.
Park staff continues to stabilize and repair the damage from the storm and flashfloods. Approximately 97% of park trails have been stabilized to date and are now open. The park brought in 10 members of the elite Mexican firefighting crew, Los Diablos, which has enjoyed a strong relationship with the National Park Service for more than 20 years, to supplement park trail crews.
The park has reopened the Frijole Trail, Guadalupe Peak Horse Trail and Devil’s Hall Trail, resulting in restored access to high country trails and most backcountry campgrounds. Water has also been restored to Frijole Ranch, including the public corrals.
Although many areas have reopened, closed trails and areas include:
- El Capitan Trail (between the Salt Basin Overlook and Shumard Canyon)
- Bear Canyon Trail
- Williams Road (part of which remains under water) and the Salt Basin Dunes
- Shumard Canyon Backcountry Campground
Trail stabilization and repairs continue. Equipment is being utilized outside of the park’s wilderness area, on weekdays only, while hand crews work on trails throughout the park on weekdays and weekends. Park staff and other park volunteers are serving as flaggers to ensure that visitors are able to safely pass working trail crews and equipment.
[Submitted by Karl Pierce, Guadalupe Mountains; Kyle Patterson, Rocky Mountain]
NEWS AND NOTES
Biological Resource Management Division Partnership Established With FWS On Contaminant Management
Many park managers have needed to address environmental contaminants found in water, air, and soil, with impacts to biota used as a common benchmark. Although the Environmental Protection Agency and other regulatory agencies have worked to make major improvements in the ambient environments of parks, legacy and new contaminant issues continue to plague park ecosystems.
The issue of emerging contaminants also challenges managers with new types of contaminants, many of which are found in commonly used personal care products, and the ability to analyze and evaluate effects of smaller concentrations of contaminants. The NPS historically has had limited staff and funding to address these issues, and the Natural Resources Directorate’s Biological Resources Division has not had in-house expertise, even as evidence emerges on the interactive role of contaminants and wildlife disease.
In August, the National Park Service and US Fish and Wildlife Service began a new initiative that facilitates NPS access to USFWS experts in ecotoxicology and to USFWS contaminant program contract laboratory services. As funding allows, NPS units can request support for sampling, analysis, report development and reviews, and representation in meetings. The NPS has already established sub-agreements to fund lab analyses and to conduct ecological risk assessments.
For more information on this program and how to obtain support, contact Greg Eckert in Natural Resources Stewardship and Science at 970-225-3594.
[Submitted by Gregory Eckert, email@example.com, 970-225-3594]
Natural Resource Stewardship and Science Dr. Raymond Sauvajot Named Deputy Associate Director
Associate Director for Natural Resource Stewardship and Science Dr. Herbert C. Frost has named Dr. Raymond Sauvajot as deputy associate director of budget and policy for the Natural Resource Stewardship and Science Directorate.
As deputy associate director, Sauvajot’s duties will include guidance and supervision for natural resource management programs designed to provide new scientific knowledge, interdisciplinary approaches, and methodologies to solve the air, water, biological, physical, and geological resource management problems affecting the preservation and protection of natural resources in units of the National Park System.
“We are pleased to have Ray join our team in Washington,” said Frost. “His knowledge of natural resource issues, leadership skills, and experience at both park and regional levels will be invaluable to the servicewide natural resource program.”
“I’m excited to help advance the conservation mission of the National Park System in my new role in Washington, DC," said Sauvajot. "By supporting and applying scientific knowledge and engaging with individual parks, partners, stakeholders and the public, I look forward to helping understand, restore, manage, and protect our incredible natural heritage and the resource values of our national parks.”
Sauvajot will assume his new duties in Washington, DC, in early 2014. He is currently the chief of natural resource programs for Pacific West Region, a position he has held since 2009, as well as an associate adjunct professor with the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California, Berkeley.
Sauvajot has held several National Park Service posts at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, served on detail assignments with the Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs and the Natural Resource Stewardship and Science Directorate, and served as an adjunct assistant professor at UCLA and California State University Northridge.
Sauvajot has worked extensively on natural resource conservation efforts at the landscape level by engaging scientists, managers, and other stakeholders. His experiences have always emphasized the importance of connecting science to on-the-ground managers, the complex interface between science, policy, and public values, and the role of science communication.
Sauvajot will relocate to the Washington area with his family, including his wife Sandy, their two children, and three cats.
[Submitted by Dr. Herbert C. Frost, 202-208-3884]
Outer Banks Group Ranger Warren Wrenn To Retire
Ranger Warren Wrenn will retire on December 27th after nearly 37 years with the National Park Service. Wrenn has held a variety of positions within the Outer Banks Group, which includes Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, and Wright Brothers National Memorial.
A native of Louisburg, North Carolina, Wrenn began his career in federal service while a student at East Carolina University in the late 1970’s, working summers as a cave guide at Mammoth Cave National Park. His first permanent assignment was at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site.
Wrenn moved to the Outer Banks in 1980 to work as a ranger in interpretation at Wright Brothers National Memorial. Later that year, he transferred to Buxton and spent the next 11 years giving programs at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. In 1991, Wrenn returned to Wright Brothers to supervise visitor services there and at Fort Raleigh.
Since then, Wrenn has held positions as the concessions management specialist and the safety officer for the Outer Banks Group. He has also participated in organizing many high profile events, including the 2003 First Flight centennial celebration, the relocation of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, and the 50th anniversary celebration of Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
Wrenn served as the lead contact for many park partners, including the Roanoke Island Historical Association, the First Flight Society, and the Elizabethan Gardens. Of all the duties Wrenn has performed, he remembers most fondly his time spent working directly with the public. He is well known for recounting tales he has perfected during his many years of entertaining park visitors.
Wrenn is frequently sought out for his extensive knowledge of the parks in the Outer Banks Group by coworkers, researchers, and others seeking information regarding many aspects of the operations.
“Warren has had a remarkable career and much of it spent here on the Outer Banks. His institutional knowledge about all topics related to the parks will be missed,” said Superintendent Barclay Trimble. “The Outer Banks Group has truly benefited from his experience and hard work the past thirty seven years. On behalf of his many Park Service colleagues throughout the area and in the National Park System, we wish Warren well in his retirement.”
Wrenn, his wife Suzanne, and their daughter Amy live in Kill Devil Hills. Another daughter, Christina, is a student at UNC Greensboro. He plans to remain active with the First Flight Rotary Club, Kitty Hawk United Methodist Church, and other local organizations.
[Submitted by Cyndy Holda, Public Affairs Specialist]
Bandelier National Monument (NM) Former NPS Ranger Dies In Accident
On December 6th, former Bandelier ranger and current county deputy Robert Baron succumbed to injuries suffered the previous day when a car slid off the highway during a heavy snowstorm and hit him while he was investigating another accident.
He had been a member of the Sandoval County Sheriff's Deputies for eight years, and was recently promoted to sergeant.
Robert is survived by his wife Krysia, also a former Bandelier ranger, and their son Colter.
A memorial service will be held this morning at 10 a.m. at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho. Following the service, a funeral procession will leave the Star Center and proceed to Vista Verde Memorial Park, 4310 Sara Rd. SE in Rio Rancho, for interment.
A memorial fund has been established at Compass Bank. Donations can be made to the Robert Baron Memorial Fund at any Compass Bank in Rio Rancho or Albuquerque.
For more information and a photo, click on the link below.
Homestead National Monument of America (NE) GS-0025-11/12 Chief Of Interpretation/Resource Management
Homestead has issued an announcement for a chief of interpretation and resource management.
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 December 31st.
Glacier National Park
GS-0856-11 Electronics Technician (Lateral)
Glacier is seeking candidates for a lateral to a position as a GS-11 electronics technician.
The person selected will:
- Provide coordination, installation, maintenance and operation services for parkwide radio and electronics systems.
- Design, install and maintain radio and electronic systems
- Assume responsibility for project planning and ensuring that projects follow park, NPS and DOI guidelines and plans.
- Prepare project compliance documentation for review by various park resource specialists.
- Design and write codeplugs for portable and mobile subscriber units and base stations.
- Program and tune radio repeater modules to park specifications.
- Support a large customer base that is geographically dispersed within the park.
- Support 911 dispatch operations; research options for enhancements to existing system, designs, plans, budgets and installs new and upgraded equipment.
- Adapt existing systems and technologies to evolving IP based platforms as integration of systems requires, supporting the ongoing convergence of voice, radio and data systems.
- Design, install and maintain emergency alarm systems (intrusion, and duress) and support digital video recording security systems and building access control systems.
Candidates must be able to obtain and maintain tower climbing certification recognized by the National Park Service necessary to install wireless radio and telecommunications systems on towers up to 120 feet in height, and aviation B3 certification necessary to fly to remote radio repeater locations to perform required duties. He/she will also be required to hike or ride horseback to remote sites over distances and at elevation carrying a moderate to heavy pack.
Questions regarding the technical aspects of this position should be directed to Tim Gilk at 406-888-7860, firstname.lastname@example.org .
Interested applicants should submit the following:
- A detailed resume specifically addressing knowledge and experience with Radio over Internet Protocol (RoIP) systems; knowledge and ability to design, install and maintain a drop-link radio repeater system; ability to design, install and support equipment and services used by a 911 dispatch operation; and experience and ability to design and write radio channeling programs (codeplugs).
- A current SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action (and SF-50 confirming reassignment eligibility if different/not current)
- A copy of your current or latest performance appraisal
Email documents to email@example.com or mail to Glacier National Park, Attn: Mary Lou Fitzpatrick, Human Resources Office, P.O. Box 128, West Glacier, MT 59936. Applications/resumes must be received by December 24th.