The Morning Report

Friday, January 23, 2015

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Land Resources Division
Civil War 150th Marked By Land Acquisition Successes

When President Barack Obama proclaimed April 12, 2011, as the first day of the Civil War Sesquicentennial, he called upon all Americans to observe the occasion with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities honoring the legacy of freedom and unity the Civil War bestowed on the nation.  As the sesquicentennial concludes, there are many accomplishments to celebrate.

The National Park Service continues to preserve the legacy of the Civil War through a variety of programs, including acquiring lands important to NPS areas which contribute to the story of the Civil War. 

During this sesquicentennial celebration, over 80 tracts of land or interests in land totaling over 2,300 acres have been protected in 17 different Civil War affiliated park areas. 

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is the primary source of appropriations for the National Park Service’s land acquisition program.  Since LWCF’s enactment in 1965, over $296 million in appropriations have benefitted 56 NPS areas whose missions contribute to the Civil War story and the war’s legacy to the nation.

There is much room remaining for future accomplishments.  Even if only considering NPS areas with Civil War battlefield sites, there are over 730 tracts of land comprising more than 13,000 acres which still need land protection.

The National Park Service’s land acquisition program is administered through the Land Resources Division and acquires land within NPS areas.  The Land Resources Division funds staff at eight regional office sites and two field office locations, which are dedicated to the land protection needs for all of the National Park System.

Northeast Region
Members Sought For Velo Rangers Bicycle Team

The Velo Rangers Bicycle Team, a charity team of National Park Service employees, friends, and family, is seeking new members. Over the past two years, the team has raised over $10,000 for charity.  

"The Velo Rangers is an informal group of NPS employees, friends, and family of all riding abilities that get together for fun rides, training, and, every couple months, a charity ride," said team founder Jeff Pascale.  

This year, the team raised over $4,000 for different charities through bicycle rides like the Five Boro Ride through New York City, ending at Fort Wadsworth. The money went to the French and Pickering Creek Conservation Trust, Alex's Lemonade Foundation, and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.  This year, the team also completed the National MS Society's City to Shore Ride, a 160-mile round-trip from Cherry Hill to Ocean City NJ. 

The group is based in Philadelphia, but has members from Boston to DC.  "We are always looking to recruit - the more, the merrier," said Pascale. "In fact, the group has been so popular in the Philadelphia area, that we would like to coordinate chapters throughout the NPS."

Fellow cyclist Ethan McKinley said that "Jeff Pascale founded the group out of a passion for road biking, as a way for NPS employees to get to know each other off the clock, and to raise money for good causes."

NPS employees on the team include founder Jeff Pascale (WASO), Ethan McKinley (NERO), Chris Colvin (NERO), Josh Heise (INDE), Gregg Tinkham (BOST), Brian Forseth (GATE), Michelle Schonzeit (CATO), Ryan Levins (GETT), Seth Tinkham (WASO), and Todd Hart (retired). 

The team is growing so consider joining them for next year.  Check out the team website

[Submitted by Colin Betts,, 215-327-9859]

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Natural Resource Stewardship and Science
Mike Whatley Has Retired

Mike Whatley, chief of the Natural Resource Stewardship and Science Office of Education and Outreach, retired earlier this month after nearly 45 years of service with the National Park Service.

Mike began his career at Lake Mead Recreation Area as a student trainee law enforcement ranger while earning his bachelors degree at Sacramento State University.

During his career, Mike served in field ranger positions at Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks, Grand Canyon National Park, Morristown National Historical Park and Cape Cod National Seashore before moving to Fort Collins to take the position of chief of the Office of Education and Outreach. He has also had international National Park Service assignments in Canada, Jordan, and Israel.

Mike believes that the Park Service is unique in that one can serve an entire career in one organization and still feel as motivated as “the first day you started.”

Mike brought a wealth of experience to his position as chief and his legacy includes his leadership, friendship with countless staff members from NPS and beyond, and the excitement and passion for working for the Park Service he instilled into his team.

Although Mike has retired, he cannot leave the NPS for long and has signed on as an Emeritus. His new email will be once he has transitioned into emeritus status.

Crater Lake National Park (OR)
Park Receives Governor’s Film Advocate Award

In a ceremony on January 6th in Portland, Oregon, Crater Lake Superintendent Craig Ackerman accepted the Oregon Governor’s Office of Film and Television Film Advocate Award on behalf of all staff for their contributions to advancing the film and television industry in the state. 

The award specifically highlighted the cooperation and collaboration with the Oregon Film Office and Fox Searchlight Pictures in producing the major motion picture “Wild,” a film by award winning director Jean-Marc Vallee,  based on the memoir of author Cheryl Strayed’s  life-changing journey along the Pacific Crest Trail. 

The filming was originally scheduled to take place the first week of October 2013, but due to the federal government shutdown crews could not enter the park to complete their work. 

The park kept in constant contact with the production company, the governor’s office and Oregon‘s Congressional delegation to ensure that once the shutdown ended, modifications to the commercial film permit were made that would allow the work to be completed before inclement weather closed the sites at which the takes were made. 

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden provided a letter, read at the presentation, that stated in part: “…I want to add my voice to the chorus of Oregonians in honoring the outstanding staff at Crater Lake National Park with the well-deserved Oregon Governor’s Film Advocate Award.  Their fantastic service to the producers of the movie 'Wild' means the entire world can now share in witnessing the matchless beauty of one of Oregon’s 'Seven Wonders' – the treasure we proudly call Crater Lake.  They ensured the movie crew had the access — and the assistance they needed — to film in the national park…”

Author Cheryl Strayed herself presented the award to Superintendent Ackerman and Crater Lake Trust Executive Director Carolyn Hill in front of a large gathering of people from throughout the film and television industry in Oregon, as well as public officials and travel and tourism partners. 

Strayed said that Crater Lake was “perhaps the most spiritual and engaging place I encountered on my difficult journey. “  She expressed great appreciation to the park staff for their efforts and stated that the film would not have been complete if Crater Lake was not included.  

[Submitted by Marsha McCabe,, (541)594-3091]

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Midwest Region
GS-0340-13/14 Park Superintendent

Dates: 01/21/2015 - 02/03/2015

Midwest Region is seeking applicants for the position of park superintendent for Theodore Roosevelt NP.

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

Please contact Barbara Golden, Central SHRO, at or 402-661-1642 for more information on this position.

It closes on February 3rd.

[Submitted by Barbara Golden,, 402-661-1642]

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Midwest Region
GS-0340-13 Park Superintendent

Dates: 01/21/2015 - 02/03/2015

Midwest Region is seeking applicants for the position of park superintendent for Harry S. Truman NHS.

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

Please contact Barbara Golden, Central SHRO, at or 402-661-1642 for more information on this position.

It closes on February 3rd.

[Submitted by Barbara Golden,, 402-661-1642]

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Northeast Region
GS-0025-15 Park Superintendent

Dates: 01/20/2015 - 02/06/2015

Northeast Region is seeking applicants for a position as superintendent of Colonial National Historical Park.

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 February 6th.

[Submitted by Kathy L. Aiello, KATHRYN_AIELLO@NPS.GOV, (832)534-8830]

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Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks (CA)
GS-0025-9 Sequoia South Interpretive Ranger (Lateral)

Sequoia National Park is seeking candidates for a non-competitive lateral reassignment to a permanent, career-seasonal interpretive ranger position.

The person selected will be responsible for all the foothills interpretive programs and projects.  This includes hiring, supervising and mentoring staff.  The individual selected will plan, promote, coordinate and manage an assortment of interpretive programs and projects to a variety of diverse audiences.  Other duties include conducting facilitated dialogue programs, phonological monitoring, water safety volunteer programs, winter speaker series presentations as well as interpretive coaching and volunteer recruitment and supervision.  This position requires intermediate to advance Spanish language skills.

This is a permanent, career seasonal (subject-to-non-work) position.  The person selected will work a minimum of 13 pay periods (26 weeks) each year but no more than 48 weeks in a service year.

Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park are jointly administered by one superintendent and administrative staff with headquarters located at Ash Mountain, Sequoia National Park.  Within the administrative jurisdiction of these parks lie the heart of the rugged Sierra Nevada encompassing over 1,400 square miles of mountains, deep canyons, and forests and oak woodlands.

This position is located in Ash Mountain, the park headquarters, and is approximately six miles from the community of Three Rivers.  The elevation is 1,700 feet.  Snow is seldom encountered at this elevation as the spring, fall, and winter seasons are generally mild.  Summers are hot, occasionally humid and the air quality throughout the year is poor.

Permanent change of station costs will be paid for by Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks if selectee is from outside the local commuting area.

Interested individuals should email the following documents to Ellen Quinn in the parks’ Human Resources Office by close of business February 6th:

  • A compelling cover letter.
  • A resume detailing work history, supervisory experience, educational background and any special qualifications or training that might be pertinent to this specific position.
  • A copy of the most recent SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action showing current federal career status (Non-Award SF-50) showing you are eligible for a lateral reassignment.
  • A copy of most recent performance appraisal
  • A list of professional, personal and peer references, including contact information.

Application packages from qualified candidates must be electronically received in the Human Resources Office by February 6th.  Please send application packages via email to  Please list in the subject line of the email: Sequoia South Interpretive Ranger, GS-09 Lateral.