Thursday, February 27, 2014
Crater Lake National Park (OR) Two Skiers Rescued From Backcountry
On the afternoon of Sunday, February 23rd, rangers received a call from a pair of skiers who asked for assistance in getting out of the park’s backcountry. They reported that they were in the area of Pumice Castle along the East Rim of the lake.
Weather conditions (rain, fog, and snow) along with severe fatigue were factors that led them to request assistance. They reported no medical issues or injuries at that time and said that they had sufficient supplies/equipment for another night in the backcountry. Due to the time of day, they were advised to find a suitable campsite for the night and told that a rescue team would be dispatched the following morning.
On Monday morning, a team consisting of park staff and volunteer Crater Lake Ski Patrol members was assembled. The team was led by current ski patrol volunteer and retired chief ranger Pete Reinhardt. The rescue team reached the skiers at midday. They dried, warmed, fed and hydrated the couple, after which they were able to ski with them out of the backcountry before sunset.
Factors contributing to the incident included poor or inadequate equipment and lack of camping/skiing experience by one member of the group.
Supervisory Park Ranger Jan Lemons was the Incident Commander.
[Submitted by Curt R. Dimmick, Chief Ranger]
Natchez Trace Parkway (AL,MS,TN) Suicide Victim Found Below Double Arch Bridge
Late on the evening of February 16th, a local sheriff’s office advised the park that they’d received a report of someone jumping from the Double Arch Bridge.
The body of a 66-year-old Tennessee man was found below the bridge along the side of Highway 96 outside of Franklin, Tennessee. His vehicle was found on atop the bridge near milepost 438 on the parkway.
[Submitted by Calvin Farmer]
NEWS AND NOTES
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (AZ,UT) More Quagga Mussels Found In Lake Powell
The National Park Service and Utah Division of Wildlife Resources recently found thousands of adult quagga mussels in Lake Powell.
Quagga mussels are an invasive species. They’ve spread rapidly across the United States over the past two decades, causing major impacts on lakes, rivers and other bodies of water.
Since this time last year, water levels at Lake Powell have dropped, exposing shorelines that were previously underwater.
The quagga mussels have been found in various locations, such as on canyon walls, Glen Canyon Dam, boats, and other underwater structures. The majority of mussels found are isolated adults, with additional groupings of small clusters. One adult mussel was found on the south canyon wall of Bullfrog Bay.
Boat inspections and decontamination of high risk boats are still required for incoming vessels at Glen Canyon. Continued mussel education and prevention activities, including boat inspections, will minimize the chances that mussels will colonize other areas of the lake, and may also prevent the introduction of other aquatic invasive species.
It is crucial to keep the mussels from moving from Lake Powell to other lakes and rivers. When leaving Lake Powell, all watercraft are required by Utah and Arizona state law to be decontaminated (“Clean, Drain, and Dry”) before being moved to another water body. Regulations vary depending on the state, so boaters are being asked to review the regulations of states they will enter with their watercraft after being at Lake Powell, including Arizona and Utah.
To help stop the spread of mussels, operators are required to clean and drain their boats, then dry them for the specified amount of time before moving them to other bodies of water – or, alternatively, to have their boats professionally decontaminated.
“Park staff, partners, and the public have worked hard to keep Lake Powell mussel free for the last ten years,” said Superintendent Todd Brindle. “It’s very disappointing that mussels are in the lake, but most visitors will not notice them. The important thing now is to keep them from being transported to other lakes and rivers.”
A planning effort is currently underway to develop a quagga/zebra mussel management plan to help the National Park Service decide what tools are appropriate to support the ongoing management of invasive mussels in Glen Canyon now that they are present in Lake Powell. The plan will consider changes to the existing prevention and monitoring efforts, and will include analysis of potential control, containment, and other park management actions. Additional information on the plan as well as the opportunity to comment or make suggestions are provided at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/qzmp.
[Submitted by Denise M. Shultz, Chief of Interpretation, Education, & Partnerships]
Healthy Parks Healthy People New Research Agenda Established With Harvard University
This month, the National Park Service, Harvard’s School of Public Health’s Center for Health and the Global Environment, and the John A. Volpe Transportation Systems Center announced plans to advance a new research agenda with a focus on the relationship of nature, health, and the built environment.
The NPS Healthy Parks Healthy People program and the NPS Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division are collaborating to advance the National Park Service’s Call to Action (Take a Hike, Call Me in the Morning) by connecting people to parks by strengthening society’s recognition and use of parks as a health asset.
This new and broader collaborative effort builds on an existing partnership between the Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division and the Harvard School of Public Health that focused on establishing a credible evidence base for the positive attributes of hearing the sounds of nature as opposed to traditional research, which primarily looks at the impacts of environmental noise.
Initial steps have already been taken, including an exploratory seminar held at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University last fall. The seminar brought together 20 experts in the fields of landscape architecture, urban planning, public health, and environmental psychology to catalyze thinking and plans to advance this partnership as a centerpiece of Harvard School of Public Health’s Exploring the Health Benefits of Nature and Health and Places Initiative.
This collaboration aims to translate innovative research into usable tools and information that can support policy makers, urban designers, and physicians in their efforts to support healthy communities. Additional partners are envisioned, building on strengths of additional member institutions in the cooperative ecosystem studies unit system.
Key actions that are planned and underway for 2014 include:
- Organizing and leading a consortium to coordinate research efforts
- Facilitating technical workshops
- Developing a “research roadmap” to guide joint research efforts
- Validating the study design, testing equipment, and field laboratories where we will measure cognitive, physical, and emotional responses to nature in wild and/or urban park settings
For more information contact Diana Allen, chief of NPS Healthy Parks Healthy People, at Diana_Allen@nps.gov, or Karen Trevino, chief of the NPS Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division, at Karen_Trevino@nps.gov.
[Submitted by Diana Allen]
Centennial Office Nominations Sought For Next Centennial Youth Leadership Team
The Centennial Office is once again seeking candidates to serve on the next iteration of the Centennial Youth Leadership Team.
Since May 2012, the Centennial Youth Leadership Team has assisted the Centennial Office in selecting strategic partnerships and initiatives for our upcoming centennial. Their work has included reviewing and vetting proposals for the centennial’s national signature events, recommending potential centennial products, and providing input and advice on our centennial preparations.
Most importantly, the team has had fun along the way and had an opportunity to be intimately involved with the development of a centennial strategy. The current team’s tenure will end in April.
"Working with the Centennial Youth Leadership Team provided me with an amazing opportunity to work side by side with talented colleagues from every region, NPS leadership, and partners, to help shape the future of our agency,” said Frank Barrows, Youth Leadership Team member and chief of interpretation and education at New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park.
The group will be established for an 18 month period, extending from April 2014 to October 2015. This collateral duty (no more than 10% of your time) will include providing recommendations and feedback to the national Centennial coordinator on the overall direction of the centennial program. Serving will be a collateral duty, and will not involve any change in duty station, reassignment or promotion. Any associated travel costs will be borne by the Washington Office. Click here for details about the roles and responsibilities of the group.
Nominations for the Youth Leadership Team will be made by the regional, assistant and associate directors, and are due to the Centennial Office by March 21st.
If you are interested in nominating yourself for the Centennial Working Group, click here for instructions for submitting your nomination. The selecting committee will be looking for candidates who meet the following criteria:
- Demonstrates leadership, collaboration, broad and strategic thinking.
- Experience or initiative in implementing initiatives, programs or special projects.
- Engages partners and stakeholders in successful outcomes.
As we approach our centennial in 2016, there will be many opportunities for employees throughout the Service to be directly involved. We enthusiastically encourage staff from across the Service to be part of this unique opportunity and look forward to working with this new team.
[Submitted by Nana Efua Embil, Nana_Efua_Embil@nps.gov, 202-208-7029]
NPS Law Enforcement Training Center GS-0025-12/13 Basic Academy Program Manager (Detail)
The NPS is seeking commissioned NPS employees interested in a detail assignment as the basic academy program manager for the NPS Law Enforcement Training Center at Glynco.
The detail will be for 120 days, beginning on April 6th. The person selected will serve as the academy’s manager and will be responsible for managing the day-to-day training activities of rangers participating in the Land Management Police Training Program (LMPT). This includes coordinating the ranger-specific, pre-basic, physical efficiency battery, arranging LMPT class assignments, mentoring and counseling, coordinating efforts with partner agencies (Department of Homeland Security, Department of Interior, etc.), addressing conduct and performance issues with students, and communicating with home parks on overtime, travel, or other issues.
The person selected will alsol serve as the principal advisor to the superintendent, NPS LETC, concerning LMPT curriculum issues or other issues that may arise during the training day.
This position requires excellent oral and written communication skills, critical thinking skills, and the ability to produce well-organized, accurate work under short deadlines.
NPS LETC will pay for travel and per diem expenses, salary will be covered by the employee’s home unit. Employees who would like to be considered for this detail should, after gaining approval with their supervisors, forward a short cover letter and resume to Jill Hawk at firstname.lastname@example.org, by close of business, March 7th.
For more information on the position, click on the link below.
[Submitted by Jill A. Hawk, Superintendent, NPS Law Enforcement Training Center] More Information...
Gulf Islands National Seashore (FL,MS) GS-0025-9 Interpretive Ranger
Gulf Islands National Seashore has issued a vacancy announcement for a GS-9 interpretive ranger.
Gulf Islands is the largest of the national seashores, stretching 160 miles from Cat Island, Mississippi, to the eastern tip of Santa Rosa Island, Florida. Its 12 separate units encompass historic forts, coastal forests and marshes, and wilderness islands. Gulf Islands is home to four species of sea turtles, over 300 species of birds, and you can spot pods of bottlenose dolphins from the beaches. The climate is sunny and warm most of the year.
The William M. Colmer Visitor Center is location in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, approximately two miles from Biloxi (pop. 44,000). The community of Ocean Springs is known as an arts community and was home to the late Walter Inglis Anderson, a nationally renowned painter. The town has medical facilities, cultural events and the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, a campus of the University of Southern Mississippi located adjacent to the park. The cost of living is moderate and a wide range of housing is available.
The announcement, available at the link below, closes on March 5th.