The Morning Report

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

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Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (PA)
Road Closed For Annual Amphibian Migration

April showers might bring May flowers, but at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, those rains also bring…amphibians. 

For the thirteenth year in a row, the park will close River Road in Middle Smithfield Township, Pennsylvania, near park headquarters to protect several species of spring breeding amphibians. The closures will take place on several nights during the month of April and are dependent on the weather.

Awakened from their winter homes beneath the muck, soil and leaf litter by the first spring rains, spotted salamanders, eastern newts, Jefferson salamanders, spring peepers, wood frogs, and other spring breeding amphibians emerge and begin their journey toward water-filled breeding pools.  In this case, though, River Road, a busy commuter route, lies between their forest homes and a large swamp with pools of water that are ideal for breeding.

In 2002, the park was contacted by a local naturalist who had noticed that on early spring mornings following warm, rainy evenings hundreds of amphibians had been killed by passing vehicles on River Road.  In 2003, the park began closing the road to motorists on several evenings when conditions were just right for amphibian movement. 

“Thirteen years later, we continue to implement the road closures to give these animals the best chance we can give them at survival,” said Superintendent John J. Donahue. “It also provides a unique opportunity for the public to come out and observe this natural spectacle, which takes place under the cover of darkness. 

“It took a few years before the public understood what we were doing and why,” added Donahue, “but now it is just a part of life for folks who are lucky enough to live near the park. It has helped them to understand why we are here and what our mission is.” 

This week’s forecast looks promising, with rain on the way and temperatures warming into the 50’s by the end of the week.  Follow the park on Facebook for photos and updates.  

[Submitted by Kathleen Sandt, Public Information Officer]

Office of Public Health
Director’s Order On Public Health To Be Revised

The Office of Public Health has begun the process of revising Director’s Order #83, Public Health, which contains public health guidance for the National Park Service. 

Last issued in October 2004, these policies are used by the NPS Office of Public Health to provide guidance to the entire National Park System.  As with many programs, much has changed over the last nine years and we want to first consult broadly within the NPS and evaluate what changes are needed to bring our policies up to date and make them more relevant.    

If you are interested in assisting in reframing and scoping DO #83, please complete the three question survey at this link.

For questions or further information, please contact Kurt Kesteloot, MWR Public Health Consultant, by email at or by phone at 402-661-1718.

[Submitted by Kurt Kesteloot]

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Independence National Historical Park (PA)
Independence NHP Welcomes International Educators

Independence National Historical Park welcomed a group of international educators as part of the Department of State’s international visitor leadership program, organized by Philadelphia’s International Visitors Council.

Participants came from Angola, Argentina, Belarus, Chile, Costa Rica, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Nicaragua, Niger, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain and Yemen. They included teachers, administrators and government education officials. 

Park Interpretive Specialist Renee Albertoli met with the delegation at the park’s headquarters in the Merchants’ Exchange Building and led a discussion on the subject, "The American Language I: Connection English Teachers with U.S. History and Culture."

Albertoli brought her presentation to life by inviting participation from colleagues with the Philadelphia Writing Project, park partners in the Project Write program.  Along with Project Write teachers, Albertoli shared her experiences working with local students to build awareness of and excitement in our nation’s history through writing and the visual arts.

Objectives for the program set by the Department of State include enhancing participants’ understanding of American culture and history, showcasing the geographical and multicultural diversity of the American English language and its dialects, and connecting participants with American educational policy-makers at the national, state, and local levels. Through her presentation and the energetic group discussion that followed, Albertoli touched on each of these goals.

“There are so many ways that we, as educators, can reach out to a young audience, to engage them and get them excited about our nation’s history,” Albertoli said. “It was good for me to have a chance to share my experiences with this group, but even better for me and my colleagues at Project Write to hear about their experiences and what we can learn from them.”

[Submitted by Jane Cowley,, 215-597-0060]

Fire and Aviation Management
Two Wildland Fire Employees Receive Leadership Award

Two staff members from the National Park Service Branch of Wildland Fire were recently awarded the prestigious Paul Gleason Lead by Example Award for 2013. The intent of this award is to recognize individuals or groups who exhibit Gleason’s professional spirit and who exemplify the wildland fire leadership values of duty, respect, and integrity.

Chad Fisher, wildland fire safety program manager, and Jim Shultz, wildland fire training program manager, each received the award. Only three individuals and one group from across the wildland fire service were chosen to receive this national award for 2013.

“To have not just one, but two employees, honored with this interagency award, really highlights the caliber of work and leadership by NPS wildland fire management staff," said acting National Park Service Wildland Fire Branch Chief Mark Koontz. "Chad and Jim are outstanding representatives in their respective fields.” 

In addition to his mission, vision, and dedication to ensuring that firefighter safety is always the number one objective on all assignments and every fire, regardless of size or complexity, Chad Fisher was recognized for his work with the Dutch Creek mitigations. Chad’s actions to reach across agency boundaries have contributed to a shift in culture regarding incident-within-an-incident planning. His dedicated effort to ensure  that staff  understand, weigh, and communicate the consequences of placing firefighters in harm’s way to decision-makers, along with  ensuring that there is a mechanism to evacuate injured firefighters, sets the example for all to follow.

He was also commended for his work with firefighter nutrition, the Incident Response Pocket Guide revision, leadership development activities, facilitated learning analyses, and serious accident investigation teams. Chad’s leadership exemplifies the values of duty, respect, and integrity.

Jim Shultz was recognized for his ability to develop subordinates across agency boundaries through programs like the Fire and Aviation Mentoring program and the National Interagency Joint Apprentice Committee. As memorial group supervisor for the Honor Guards and Pipes and Drums, Jim’s calm demeanor and leadership skills helped ensure all honor guards worked together to make the Granite Mountain Hotshot Memorial Service as seamless as possible.

As an advocate for leadership development, Jim seeks improvement and develops others for the betterment of the individual as well as the team and organization. This has been shown through field assignments and pioneering the wildland fire leadership and career development video series to help young firefighters answer questions regarding the rights steps to take toward a permanent career as a wildland firefighter. Jim exemplifies the values of duty, respect and integrity.

The award was created by the NWCG Leadership Subcommittee to remember Paul Gleason’s contributions to the wildland fire service. During a career spanning five decades, Paul was a dedicated student of fire, a teacher of fire, and a leader of firefighters. The intent of this award is to recognize individuals or groups who exhibit this same spirit and who exemplify the wildland fire leadership values of duty, respect and integrity.

Congratulations to Chad and Jim on their achievements.

[Submitted by Roberta D'Amico, roberta_d', 208.387.5239]

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Southeast Arizona Group
Passing Of Bob Rogers

Bob Rogers, retired BLM special agent-in-charge for Arizona and New Mexico and a longtime NPS partner and supporter, passed away in Phoenix, Arizona, on March 24th after a long and courageous battle with cancer. 

Bob was a founding member of the Arizona Conservation Law Enforcement Association and an integral part of collaborative land management interagency efforts for many years prior to retiring.  He was a great friend, counselor and supporter of land management throughout the Southwest. 

Bob assisted with crafting a number of interagency efforts during his tenure, including the establishment of an interagency dispatch center housed at BLM in Phoenix and a collateral bail system for the District of Arizona.  He will be greatly missed.

Bob requested that no formal service be held. His wishes were to be cremated and returned to his home in Indiana where his parents are interred. 

[Submitted by Dwayne Collier]

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Colorado National Monument (CO)
GS-0193-9 Archeologist (Lateral)

Colorado National Monument is seeking candidates for a lateral transfer to a GS-9 term archeologist position as project director/crew leader for an ongoing cultural resource inventory.  

The cultural resource survey is entering the second year and field season of a three-year project and will need someone to take over as project lead later this summer. If interested, please contact Kim Hartwig, the park’s chief of resources management, at 970-858-3617 or

If you’re interested but do not qualify for a lateral transfer, a recruitment announcement will be issued through USA Jobs in coming weeks.