The Morning Report

Monday, August 18, 2014

Recent Editions  


Mount Rainier National Park (WA)
Panhandle Gap Search Comes To Successful Conclusion

Search teams successfully located two missing day hikers in the Summerland area of the park on August 14th.

On Tuesday, August 12th, the two experienced hikers left the Summerland trailhead on the park’s east side with the intention of hiking through Summerland and Panhandle Gap, where they planned to traverse through Cowlitz Chimneys to Owyhigh. A severe storm caught them in the Chimneys, where they sheltered in place.

The next morning, following an overdue party report, a hasty search was conducted by park staff pulled from the Shadow Lake Fire. The hikers made contact with the park midday by cell phone through a family member, providing brief information before the call was lost. They moved on after reporting their location, missing park crews by four hours.

The pair backtracked to Panhandle Gap the next morning. Mountain rescue crews located them below the Gap. They were uninjured and completed the hike out to the trailhead.

Thirty people were assigned to the incident from Seattle, Tacoma, Olympic, and Everett mountain rescue teams, Central Pierce County, and park staff. Quincy Maret was incident commander.

[Submitted by Patti Wold, PIO]

Golden Gate National Recreation Area (CA)
Two Arrested On Fraud, Drug Trafficking And Other Charges

On August 10th, rangers received a call from a hotel concessioner within the park notifying them of suspicious activity regarding a U-Haul van and two people who were staying at the hotel.  

Rangers and Park Police officers arrived on scene and during a vehicle search discovered approximately $3,600 in suspected crystal methamphetamine. 

Rangers called out the park’s Problem Solving Unit (PSU) to assist with the investigation. PSU responded to assist and the ensuing investigation and interviews culminated in the discovery of several fraudulent credit cards, a credit card embossing machine, a realistic looking BB gun, and a no-bail warrant.

Two people were arrested on charges pertaining to drug trafficking, credit card fraud, identity theft, and false information. PSU continues to assist the case ranger with the follow-up investigation, which includes multiple search warrants and additional interviews. 

[Submitted by Chad Marin, Acting Deputy Chief, Law Enforcement & Emergency Services]


Kalaupapa National Historical Park (HI)
Annual Supply Shipment Welcomed On Barge Day

Saturday, August 2nd, was one of the most highly anticipated days of 2014 for Kalaupapa National Historical Park and the small and isolated settlement of Kalaupapa, Hawaii.  

On one summer day each year, a barge from Honolulu delivers all of the settlement’s supplies for the upcoming year. Carefully arranged on the barge deck are new vehicles, fuel trucks, and shipping containers loaded with pallets of food stuffs, large appliances, furniture, building supplies and more.  It is on this day that the sleepy settlement of only ninety people bustles with people and machines, unloading the supplies as quickly and safely as possible. 

Kalaupapa’s natural isolation has always made receiving supplies extremely difficult.  The twelve-square-mile peninsula on which the park is located juts out of the north shore of the island of Molokai, with rough ocean waters on three sides and 2,000-foot-high sheer cliffs on the fourth.

Historically, residents who purchased large or heavy items that could not be brought in by mule or small plane waited until the annual barge day to receive them.  A resident-patient of Kalaupapa once described Barge Day as being like Christmas – “The number one day.  The big day that everybody waits for…” 

This year, Barge Day began around 7 a.m. on Saturday, August 2nd.  The barge appeared on the horizon heading towards Kalaupapa with the aid of a tug boat.  Community members gathered to watch, while Hawaii Department of Health and NPS employees in hard hats and orange vests stood ready to assist with unloading. 

By 8 a.m., the barge had tied up to the pier and unloading had begun.  First to roll of the barge were three fuel tankers to replenish the settlement’s supply of gasoline and diesel fuel.  Also unloaded were twelve new vehicles, two new forklifts, a backhoe, and dump truck.  

Then a flurry of forklifts and heavy lifting equipment began unloading dozens of shipping crates and pallets containing supplies ranging from food to lime mortar and sand for gravestone restoration work.  Dozens of workers from the state federal governments and the Young Brothers’ barge team worked through the morning unloading numerous shipping containers and pallets.    

After the barge was unloaded of all its cargo supplies, it was loaded with shipping crates containing a year’s worth of the settlement’s aluminum and plastic recyclables scrap metal, defunct vehicles, old appliances, and hazardous materials.  Prior to the barge’s arrival, state and federal employees had staged these materials nearby for easy removal. 

By the early afternoon, the barge embarked on its journey back to Honolulu, while Kalaupapa residents and workers unpacked all of the supplies for the coming year.

[Submitted by Timothy Jordan]

Wilderness Stewardship
Guidance Issued On Commercial Services In Wilderness Areas

The National Wilderness Leadership Council has developed a set of guidance documents for parks to use in determining the extent necessary for commercial services in wilderness.

These documents will help facilitate parks through a deliberative process to analyze what is appropriate and necessary and help to determine allocations for commercial services in NPS wilderness areas. This guidance can be used in developing a Wilderness Stewardship Plan or within a larger NEPA planning process.

The guidance includes a main overview document and five appendices. The documents are part of Reference Manual 41: Wilderness Stewardship and can be found under Section 7: Wilderness Use Management.

The Extent Necessary Working Group, a subset of the National Wilderness Leadership Coucil, includes representation from several parks and programs throughout the country:

  • Sarah Craighead, superintendent at Mammoth Cave NP
  • Sarah Creachbaum, Ssperintendent at Olympic NP
  • Tim Devine, branch chief of training and development for the Wilderness Stewardship Division
  • Frank Hays, superintendent at Western Arctic Parklands
  • Kevin Hendricks, chief ranger at Sequoia and Kings Canyon NPs
  • Karen Trevino, division chief for the Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division

[Submitted by Erin Drake,, 303-969-2091]

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (WI)
Park Holds Open Water Rescue Exercise

On the morning of Wednesday, August 13th, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore’s search and rescue team responded to a mock kayaking accident in the frigid waters of Lake Superior near Hermit Island.  

The exercise was organized and led by Chris Bandy of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary.   The victims were a combination of guides from local kayak outfitters and National Park Service staff. 

Three NPS vessels responded to the call for help. Upon arrival, the SAR team found seven people in the water and four kayaks adrift.  One victim required backboarding, a tricky skill to perform in rough, open water.  Other victims were hypothermic to varying degrees. Some victims were transported by Bayfield County Emergency Medical Services ambulance for emergency care.

Even in the summertime, the waters of Lake Superior are cold enough to cause hypothermia and death in less than an hour.  The park’s SAR team trains regularly in order to reduce response time.  Apostle Islands National Lakeshore routinely works with several neighboring agencies and partners in response to emergency calls.

[Submitted by Chris Smith, Chief of Protection]


Katmai National Park & Preserve (AK)
GS-0341-09/11 Administrative Officer

Katmai National Park has issued an announcement for an 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 25th.
 More Information...
Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site (GA)
GS-0025-12 Supervisory Interpretive Ranger

Dates: 08/14/2014 - 08/27/2014

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site is seeking candidates for a position as the park's chief of interpretation and visitor services. The person selected will also serve as the park's public information 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 27th.

[Submitted by Tanya Perkins-Brown,, (4040 331-2240]

 More Information...
Big Thicket National Preserve (TX)
GS-0560-9 Budget Analyst

Big Thicket National Preserve is seeking applicants for a budget analyst position.  The announcement closing date has been extended to August 26th.

For more information about this position and how to apply, click on the link below.
 More Information...