The Morning Report

Monday, April 14, 2014

Recent Editions  


Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area (WA)
Ailing Dog Found And Rescued

On Wednesday, April 2nd, the park received a phone call from the daughter of a man who had been walking his dog in the Hawk Creek area, which is close to Fort Spokane. The caller said that the dog had gotten stuck in some mud and she thought it had expired from a stroke. She wanted to know if they could drive out to where the dog was located and retrieve its body. 

A Fort Spokane ranger attempted to contact the daughter by phone the next day but was not able to reach her and did not receive any return call. He searched the area around Hawk Creek, but could not find the dog. Over the weekend, rangers checked the area on numerous occasions. 

On April 7th, park visitors who were hiking in the area to go fishing found the dog alive.  The place where the dog was located was not easily visible from any trail. A maintenance worker and two rangers freed the dog, described as a large Labrador mix, placed it in a wheeled cart, and pulled the cart about  a half mile to the road (concern for cultural resources precluded the use of motorized vehicles). 

The rangers provided water to the dog and it was able to drink.  The daughter arrived and said she was taking the dog to a vet for treatment. 

[Submitted by Marty Huseman, Chief Ranger]


Morristown National Historical Park (NJ)
Encampment Celebrates New Jersey’s Role In Revolution

More than 2,000 people celebrated New Jersey’s 350th anniversary and the state’s role in the American Revolution during Morristown National Historical Park’s annual encampment weekend on April 5th and 6th.

The encampment was in the Jockey Hollow area of the park where a veteran Continental Army encamped in the bitter cold winter of 1779-1780, the fifth winter of the American Revolution.

The sounds of fifes and drums from Trenton’s Old Barracks, the smell of wood fires, the crack of musket and cannon fire and the sights of camp life were supplied by park volunteers and more than eleven re-enactor units from New Jersey and Pennsylvania. 

“This event is for our community—our neighbors, children, scouts, and partners,” said Tom Ross, the park’s superintendent. “This region is proud of the history that happened in our backyards and the encampment brings that history to life.”

Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen surprised the more than 100 park volunteers by appearing and thanking them for their service to national parks at the park’s annual volunteer recognition event that followed the encampment.

[Submitted by Joanne Blacoe, Chief of Interpretation (acting)]

Office of Communications
Director Jarvis To Hold Webchat On Wednesday

Director Jarvis will host his next monthly webchat this coming Wednesday as part of his ongoing commitment to engage in dialogue with all members of the NPS family. It will be held at 2 p.m. Eastern Time.

The director will talk about plans for the coming NPS centennial.

Each of the monthly webchats begins with an introduction by Director Jarvis, discussing an issue suggested by employees or announcing major news or events. That is followed by a question and answer session, using queries submitted by employees via email prior to the webchat or using the Livestream chat function during the webchat.

This is an open forum with the director and your questions are welcomed and encouraged.

Those employees who are not on VPN or the NPS computer network can access the webchat from and click on the “Webchat” link on the homepage of InsideNPS. If you’re not close to a computer during the live event, you can dial in to a listen-only conference line at 1-888-391-7045, passcode WEBCHAT.

To submit questions, feedback, and future webchat topic ideas, please send an email to Questions can also be submitted during the webchat via the Livestream chat function.

[Submitted by Suki Baz, Employee Communications Specialist]

Steamtown National Historic Site (PA)
Mark Birtel Announces His Retirement

Mark Birtel, supervisory facility operations specialist at Steamtown NHS, will retire on April 30th after a 22-year career with the National Park Service.

Mark was born into a military family in Heidelberg, Germany, and is a self-proclaimed “Army brat.” He enjoyed a global upbringing, traveling with his family across the United States, Panama, and Okinawa.  After the family returned to Hawley, Pennsylvania, he graduated from Wallenpaupack Area High School and, following in the family footsteps, Mark served 21 years in the US military and eventually settled in Maplewood, Pennsylvania.

Mark began his military career in 1980 as an electrician’s mate in the US Coast Guard and culminated active duty in 1990 as a helicopter crew chief in the US Army.  Shortly thereafter, he joined the New  York Air National Guard and worked as an aircraft technician, most notably on the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy military transport plane.

Mark commenced his National Park Service career in 1992 as a maintenance mechanic at Steamtown NHS.  He noted recently that he has greatly enjoyed his career at the park and is deeply proud of the accomplishments that he and his teammates—both staff and volunteers—have made at the park during its growth and development boom.

Since his start at the park, Mark and his team have tripled the number of train excursion destinations, completed much-needed, extensive track improvements, and participated in the US Recovery Act of 2009 by removing asbestos from ten locomotives and the undercarriages of seventeen cars, ultimately improving the health and welfare of park visitors, team members, and the environment. 

“I have seen Steamtown transform from what was commonly referred to as ‘pork-barrel politics with a second class, historically insignificant train collection’ to a first class historic site with a world renowned train collection beyond compare," he says. "I see only good things coming in the future for Steamtown.”

Mark and his wife, Debbie, expect to remain in Northeastern Pennsylvania through retirement.  “It is a great area to live in and I plan to continue my work with federal wildland firefighting and a local hunting and fishing club. I hope to enjoy the outdoors more as a retiree, spending more time traveling, canoeing, hiking, and ocean fishing with friends. My wife manages the Hamlin Senior Center for the Wayne County Area Agency on Aging and I plan to volunteer more time with the center’s clients.”

“Although I look forward to more leisure time and participating in the local community, I will greatly miss the Steamtown family and hope to always remain a member of the team. I wish everyone the best of luck in the future.”

Join us in wishing Mark all the best in his future on Wednesday, April 30th. We will be hosting a luncheon at Steamtown’s Maintenance of Way lunchroom from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Information is available by contacting Tina Golden at (570) 340-5263.

[Submitted by Bill Nalevanko,, 570-241-8258]

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 April 11th.

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

On April 8th, the Senate confirmed Neil Kornze to be director of the Bureau of Land Management.  The vote was 71-28.

On April 10th, the Senate passed by unanimous consent S. 994 (Warner, D-VA), a bill to expand the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 to increase accountability and transparency in Federal spending, and for other purposes.  The bill would require the Treasury Department to create government-wide data standards for agency financial reports, payments, budget actions, contract reporting, and grant reporting, direct agencies to use those data standards, and mandate that information be published online. 

Committee Activity

On April 9th, the House Committee on Natural Resources (Hastings) approved the following bills of interest to the National Park Service: 

  • H.R. 503 (Roe, R-TN-1), to authorize the National Desert Storm Memorial Association to establish the National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial as a commemorative work in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes.  The bill was amended to provide for the disposition of excess funds if the authorization for the memorial lapses before the memorial is constructed.  The Department supports the bill as reported.
  • H.R. 863 (Maloney, D-NY-12), to establish the Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Women's History Museum, and for other purposes.  The bill was amended to clarify the possible locations where museums are allowed under the Commemorative Works Act.  The Department does not oppose the bill as reported.
  • H.R. 2430 (Pascrell, D-NJ-9), to adjust the boundaries of Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park to include Hinchliffe Stadium, and for other purposes.  The committee adopted an amendment to limit any NPS ownership of the stadium to a preservation easement.  The Department supports the bill as reported.
  • H.R. 3802 (Lynch, D-MA-8), to extend the legislative authority of the Adams Memorial Foundation to establish a commemorative work in honor of former President John Adams and his legacy, and for other purposes.  The bill would extend the authority of the Adams Foundation to construct the memorial, initially enacted in 2001, until December 2, 2020.  The bill was amended to address the disposition of excess funds after the memorial is built or if the authority for the memorial lapses. The Department supports the bill as reported.
  • H.R. 4120 (Hoyer, D-MD-5), to amend the National Law Enforcement Museum Act to extend the termination date.  The bill would extend authority for construction of the museum until November 9, 2016.  The Department has no objection to the bill.

New Bills Introduced     

The following new bills of interest to the NPS were introduced:

  • H.R. 4417 (Norton, D-DC-At Large), to direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resources study to determine the suitability and feasibility of entering into public-private partnerships to operate federally owned golf courses in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes.
  • H.R. 4419 (Amodei, R-NV-2), to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to require periodic review of listings of endangered species and threatened species under that Act, to support protection and conservation measures for endangered or threatened species under that Act and to alleviate the need to list a species as an endangered or threatened species, to convey small parcels of National Forest System land and Department of the Interior land to generate revenues for such protection and conservation measures, and for other purposes.
  • H.R. 4421 (Dingell, D-MI-12), to extend the authorization for the Automobile National Heritage Area in Michigan.
  • H.R. 4423 (Griffith, R-VA-9), to provide for no net increase in the total acreage of certain Federal land under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, or the Forest Service, and for other purposes.
  • S. 2221 (Levin, D-MI), a bill to extend the authorization for the Automobile National Heritage Area in Michigan.

Upcoming Committee Activity

Nothing to report.


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

[Submitted by Susan Farinelli]


National Capital Region
WG-3503-3 Laborer (Temporary)

Dates: 04/01/2014 - 04/22/2014

Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC, has a full time, temporary, not to exceed 1040 hours laborer vacancy that is open to US citizens.

If you click on more information, below, you will be directed to USAJobs to apply.

[Submitted by Gwendolyn Barnett, GWENDOLYN_BARNETT@NPS.GOV, 202-619-7045]

 More Information...
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (AZ)
WG-4749-9 Maintenance Mechanic (Lateral)

Dates: 04/07/2014 - 04/18/2014

Organ Pipe National Monument is seeking applicants interested in a non-competitive lateral reassignment to a permanent full time maintenance mechanic position.

Salary ranges from $21.89 – 25.52 per hour.

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is located in the Sonoran desert in Southwestern Arizona. Park headquarters is located 34 miles from Ajo, Arizona and 5 miles from the international boundary with Mexico. This dramatic desert park is a spectacular assortment of mountains, canyons, cactus forests, hidden tinajas, incredible sunsets and sunrises. Organ Pipe is a winter paradise and a surprisingly lush and green environment. Daytime temperatures range from 110+ degrees in the summer to 50-60 degrees in the winter. The community of Ajo provides grade school through high school, a medical clinic, churches, a post office, a community pool, a library, limited shopping and housing rentals. The general population in Ajo is 2500. Full service facilities and shopping may be found in Tucson or Phoenix, approximately 150 miles from the monument.

Primary duties include:

  • Water system treatment, maintenance, repair and record keeping.
  • Maintain ADEQ certificates for water and waste water distribution and treatment.
  • Propane gas system maintenance, repair and record keeping.
  • Plumbing - housing, water system, propane system, and fire suppression systems.
  • Painting, including prep, rollers, brushes, spray gun
  • Electrical - maintenance, repair and diagnosis
  • Carpentry -To buildings, quarters, includes roofing and flooring
  • Laborer - includes hauling trash, dig holes, fencing, masonry, road maintenance, and other duties as assigned.
  • Daily work reporting for FMSS.

For details about the position,please contact Bob Bryant, supervisory facility operations specialist, phone 520-387-7661 x 7401.  Additional information about the park can be found on the park website

Conditions of employment include:

  • Must possess a valid state driver license
  • Must maintain a current Level 1 water treatment operation or Level 1 wastewater treatment which meets  Arizona State ADEQ certification or is acceptable to Arizona Department of Environmental Quality standards.
  • National Park Service (NPS) uniformed position. Employee will be required to wear a uniform and comply with NPS uniform standards. A uniform allowance will be provided to defray the cost of the uniform.

Government housing may be available.  Travel, transportation, and relocation expenses are authorized in accordance with P.L. 89-516 and appropriate Federal regulations.

Applicants must submit the following:

  • Current resume/application
  • Most recent performance appraisal
  • Most recent SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action - No award SF-50’s please.

Submit your application materials via email to no later than April 18th. Please include “ORPI Lateral Opportunity” in the subject line of the message or fax to 520-387-3571 

[Submitted by Sarah Vega,, 602-794-3807]