The Morning Report

Monday, March 24, 2014

Recent Editions  


Arches National Park (UT)
Visitor Sustains Serious Injuries In Hundred-Foot Fall

On March 12th, a 22-year-old man who had scrambled to the top of a rock fin near the park’s primitive loop was standing on a rock that crumbled under him, causing him to free fall about 100 feet to the dry wash below and inflicting critical, life-threatening injuries.

Two visiting paramedics rendered care and were able to communicate using the campground host’s radio, who was on a hike and responded to the scene.

A team of maintenance, road crew, fee, reservation and resource personnel, some of them in the vicinity, were lead on a rescue operation by visitor and resource protection staff. The injured man was packaged and carried out a quarter mile on a litter to a waiting helicopter and then flown to a hospital.

The rapid response contributed to the saving of the man's life.

[Submitted by Kevin Moore, Supervisory Park Ranger]


Olympic National Park (WA)
Quinault River Threatens Historic Chalet

As it has for many years, the main channel of the East Fork Quinault River has continued to move across the Enchanted Valley floodplain this winter, further eroding the river bank and undermining the 1930s-era Enchanted Valley Chalet. 

This winter’s storms and high flows have resulted in the Quinault’s main channel shifting by at least 15 feet in the past three months.  As of late last week, the river had undercut the chalet by approximately four feet.  

“Within what is technically and economically feasible, we continue to do our very best to protect the area’s natural and cultural resources and its wilderness character,” said Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum.  “Our options are limited, however, given the size and force of the river and the valley’s remote location within the Olympic Wilderness.”

An Olympic National Park crew recently returned from Enchanted Valley, where they assessed and documented the chalet’s condition and removed equipment, supplies and hazardous materials. The building’s windows were also removed to both prevent glass from impacting the river and downstream natural resources and to preserve elements of the historic building. 

Park staff continue to work closely with partners to develop the best course of action, both in the long and short term. Key partners include the Washington State Historic Preservation Officer, Pacific West Regional Office, and concerned organizations and citizens.

“We understand that the chalet occupies an important place in the history of this area, and we know that people hold deep regard and affection for the building,” said Creachbaum. “We invite anyone who’d like to share their photos or memories of the chalet to post them on the Olympic National Park Facebook page.”

In early January, photographs and visitor reports revealed that the Quinault River had migrated to within 18 inches of the building. Subsequent aerial photos illustrated the river’s continued movement towards the chalet. 

Migration of the East Fork Quinault’s channel is common, particularly in the loose, unconsolidated soils of Enchanted Valley. Storms, fallen trees, rockslides and the constant process of erosion can all cause the river to shift and carve a new channel.

Located 13 miles up trail from the Graves Creek trailhead in the Quinault Valley, the chalet was built by Quinault Valley residents in the early 1930s, prior to establishment of Olympic National Park.  It served as a lodge for hikers and horse riders in Enchanted Valley. 

Enchanted Valley is within the Olympic Wilderness, designated in 1988 and is a popular wilderness destination.  More recently, the chalet has been used as a backcountry ranger station and emergency hikers’ shelter.  The chalet was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.   

[Submitted by Barb Maynes, Public Information Officer]

 More Information...
Grand Teton National Park (WY)
Diverse College Students Attend Fourth NPS Academy

Four years ago, Grand Teton National Park staff and key collaborators – the Student Conservation Association, Teton Science Schools, Grand Teton National Park Foundation, and Grand Teton Association – developed and launched the first-ever NPS Academy as a pilot program to introduce college students with diverse backgrounds to career opportunities with the NPS and other federal agencies.

This pilot program was so successful that other NPS areas replicated it and today four out of seven regions now host an NPS Academy program of their own.

With its supporting organizations, Grand Teton continued its successful and growing program this year during a spring break session held on the second week of March. Twenty-four diversity students and three peer mentors from universities across the U.S. attended the 2014 NPS Academy for a weeklong NPS orientation filled with workshops, field trips, and recreational activities.

After successful completion of their March session, students will be placed into summer internships at a number of parks throughout the country, ranging from Acadia in Maine to Wrangell-St. Elias in Alaska, from Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee to both Yellowstone and Grand Teton in northwestern Wyoming.

Prominent NPS professionals addressed this year’s participants, served as mentors to the students, and helped inspire these young adults toward careers with conservation agencies. Key NPS leaders for the 2014 session at Grand Teton included:

  • Robert G. “Bob” Stanton, former NPS director (1997-2001) and currently senior advisor to the Secretary of the Interior,
  • Jay Satz, vice president, SCA Northwest,
  • Dr. Joy Kinard, central district manager for National Capital Parks,
  • Spirit Trickey, chief of interpretation at Klondike Goldrush National Historic Park, and
  • David Vela, incoming superintendent for Grand Teton National Park.

These National Park Service leaders served as program facilitators and inspirational speakers. 

“Through this and other programs, we’re taking important steps to build a more relevant and inclusive federal workforce,” said Vela. “It’s important to note that since its 2011 inception, the NPS Academy has now expanded to the Alaska, Southeast and Northeast Regions, with ongoing and invaluable assistance from our SCA and other partners.”

The highlight of this year’s NPS Academy was a closing address by Stanton, who described his early life growing up in rural Texas and the discrimination that he experienced well into his adult life. He also told about his own NPS career, which started in 1962 at the Buffalo (now Moran) Entrance Station in Grand Teton and culminated with his appointment by President Clinton as NPS director. His distinguished career and extensive accomplishments coupled with his “pearls of wisdom” and compelling inspiration brought a standing ovation by the students and Grand Teton, SCA and TSS staffs.

Stanton readily shared several of his favorite quotes, including one by President John F. Kennedy that deserves repeating: “I am certain that when the dust of centuries has passed over our cities, we, too, will be remembered not for our victories or defeats in battle or politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit.” 

Stanton and the other NPS leaders challenged the students to make their own strong connections to landscapes and people, while creating a personal legacy filled with integrity, honesty, and a sense of self-worth.

This single week significantly changed both the lives of the participants and the park employees who took part in the sessions. The students deeply connected with the Teton landscape and each other as they began to consider their stewardship responsibilities and the legacy they hope to establish. Getting to know these bright, talented and motivated students helped to reenergize Grand Teton’s staff and provide hope for the future of the NPS as an agency dedicated to preserving our American heritage and diversity.

The NPS Academy was developed in part to answer the Park Service’s A Call to Action initiative. The program addresses concerns about how few young people are engaging in the outdoors in recent years, as well as the limited numbers of people from diverse backgrounds that visit or work in the parks despite growing minority populations.

To advance the historic National Park Service mission, the heart of the plan includes four major themes: Connecting People to Parks; Advancing the Education Mission; Preserving America’s Special Places; and Enhancing Professional and Organizational Excellence.

[Submitted by Jackie Skaggs, Public Affairs Officer]

Centennial Office
NPS Centennial Campaign Brand Additions Announced

The National Park Service today announced the theme – Find Your Park – for the 2016 centennial’s broad public engagement campaign to reintroduce the national parks and programs to a new generation of Americans, inviting them to visit and get involved. 

Plans for the campaign are underway in collaboration with the National Park Foundation, the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service.  

In commemoration of the centennial, the NPS will team up with partners to produce programs, events and activities that will drive broad awareness, deepen engagement, and increase support for the work of the Service and its partners. In addition to making all 401 national parks go-to destinations, the campaign will highlight the significant work the National Park Service does with communities across the country and the value it brings to Americans every day.

Marking the first phase of the campaign, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation unveiled two new additions to the National Park Service brand family.  For more information on the announcement and brand family, please visit the new NPS Centennial webpage.

If you would like to provide feedback and comments to the Centennial Office regarding the centennial planning and campaign, please visit the Centennial’s PEPC page.

[Submitted by Nana Efua Embil]

Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument (ID)
Exhibit On Japanese American Family’s Forced Relocation Opens

The Murakami Family owned and operated the Higo Variety Store in Seattle from 1909 until 2004. After Executive Order 9066 was signed by President Roosevelt in February 1942, they were forced to leave their home and business and were incarcerated at Minidoka War Relocation Center in remote Idaho. They returned to reopen their business at the end of the war.

The “Meet Me at the Higo: An Enduring Story of a Japanese American Family” exhibit debuted at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience in Seattle on December 2, 2011. The traveling version of this exhibit has opened at Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument in Hagerman, Idaho and will run through June 28th.

The exhibit includes artifacts from the store, the 1936 diary of daughter Chiyoko, letters between daughter Aya and her father Sanzo, who was separated from the family by the FBI, and text panels that trace the family and the store’s history.

Visitors are encouraged to leave a reflection of their own related to family and community.

[Submitted by Carol Ash, Chief, Interpretation and Education]

Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs
Weekly Legislative Activities Report

The Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs puts out weekly reports on hearings, new legislation and other activities on the Hill. This report covers activities in Congress for the week ending March 21st.

In order to obtain the full text of any of the bills that appear below, click on the following link: . That will take you to Thomas, the Library of Congress legislative tracking system. Enter the bill number in the “Search Bill Text” block, being sure to also click on the “Bill Number” option below the block.


New Public Laws

Nothing to report.

Floor Action

Nothing to report.

Committee Activity

Nothing to report.

New Bills Introduced     

The following new bill of interest to the NPS was introduced:

  • H.R. 4256 (Stewart, R-UT-2), a bill to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to require, in counting the number of a species in a State for purposes of determining whether the species is an endangered or threatened species, inclusion of the number of the species on State and private lands as determined by the State, and for other purposes.

Upcoming Committee Activity

On March 25th, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation (Bishop) will hold a hearing on the following bills of interest to the National Park Service.  The hearing is scheduled for 2:00 PM in 1334 Longworth. The Department’s witness for NPS-related bills will be Bob Vogel, Superintendent, National Mall and Memorial Parks:

  • H.R. 863 (Maloney, D-NY-12), to establish the Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Women's History Museum; and
  • H.R. 4120 (Hoyer, D-MD-5), to amend the National Law Enforcement Museum Act to extend the termination date.

On March 25th, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies (Calvert) will hold a hearing on the FY 2015 budget request for the Department of the Interior.  The hearing is scheduled for 1:30 PM in 2359 Rayburn.  The Department’s witness will be Secretary Sally Jewell.

On April 3rd, the House Natural Resources Committee (Hastings) will hold an oversight hearing on the Department of the Interior, Spending and the President’s FY 2015 budget proposal.  The hearing is scheduled for 10:00 AM in 1324 Longworth.  The Department’s witness will be Secretary Sally Jewell.

On April 4th, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation (Bishop) will hold a hearing on the following bills of interest to the National Park Service.  The hearing is scheduled for 9:00 AM in 1324 Longworth.  The Department’s witness has not yet been determined.

  • H.R. ___ (Bishop, R-UT-1), to amend the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act to improve consistency and accountability in the collection and expenditure of Federal recreation fees, and for other purposes.
  • H.R. 2743 (Nugent, R-FL-11), to make the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass available at a discount to certain veterans. 
  • H.R. 3976 (Ruiz, D-CA-36), to provide for a lifetime National Recreational Pass for any veteran with a service-connected disability, and for other purposes.


For additional information, please visit the Legislative and Congressional Affairs Office website at

[Submitted by Melissa Kuckro]


Law Enforcement, Security, and Emergency Services
GS-1811-14 Supervisory Criminal Investigator

The Division of Law Enforcement, Security and Emergency Services has issued an announcement for a supervisory criminal investigator.

The person selected may be duty-stationed in one of four locations:

  • Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
  • Boulder, Nevada
  • Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
  • Yosemite National Park, California

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 April 2nd.
 More Information...
Death Valley National Park (CA)
GS-0190/0193/0401-13 Supervisory Integrated RM Specialist

Death Valley National Park is seeking candidates for a position as a supervisory integrated resources management specialist.

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 April 4th.
 More Information...