The Morning Report

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Recent Editions  

INCIDENTS



Grand Teton National Park (WY)
Strong Windstorm Fells Trees Throughout Park

A strong windstorm blew through Grand Teton National Park and surrounding areas shortly before 6 p.m. on Monday, June 1st, temporarily stranding visitors on the Teton Park, Moose-Wilson, and Signal Mountain Summit roads and blocked traffic in many other areas. 

Park rangers, road crews, and fire engines quickly responded to clear park roads of over 150 downed trees and search teams were able rescue all park visitors by 11 p.m. Despite the number of falling trees, no injuries were reported.

High winds were observed throughout the park, with wind speeds of 52 mph recorded at the Jackson Hole Airport. The Teton Interagency Dispatch Center son received reports of many downed trees and power lines blocking park roads and disrupting access and service to campgrounds and other park areas.

Park rangers quickly built a list of affected areas, which included the Teton Park Road at Cottonwood Creek, Catholic Bay, and Mount Moran Turnout; Moose-Wilson Road; Signal Mountain Summit Road; North Park Road near the Moran Entrance Station; Colter Bay Visitor Center and Campground; Pilgrim Creek Road; Cattleman’s Bridge Road; Deadman’s Bar Road; as well as other ancillary areas in the park.

While response efforts were complicated by power, phone, and internet outages, park crews were able to clear over 150 trees and rescue all park visitors by 11 p.m. Park rangers staffed downed power line areas on the Teton Park and Pilgrim Creek roads through the night. Lower Valley Energy crews were able to remove downed lines from the Teton Park Road around 6 a.m. on Tuesday and the road was reopened. Only minor property damage to vehicles and structures was reported.

While most park areas and services are open at this time, many areas are operating on backup power generators. Park maintenance crews and Lower Valley Energy are continuing to restore full functionality to utility systems, water systems, wastewater treatment facilities, and other park infrastructure. Full repair of this infrastructure is expected to take a few days.

[Submitted by Andrew White, Public Affairs Officer]


Yellowstone National Park (ID,MT,WY)
Visitor Injured In Encounter With Bison

A 62-year-old Australian man sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries after an encounter with a bison near Old Faithful Lodge yesterday morning.

According to witness reports, several people were crowding a bison that was lying on the grass near an asphalt path when the man approached it while taking pictures with an electronic notepad. He got to within three to five feet from the bison when it charged him, tossing him into the air several times.  

When responding rangers arrived on scene, the bison was approximately 100 yards from the injured man. He was flown to a hospital for treatment.

Bison can sprint three times faster than humans can run and are unpredictable and dangerous. Visitors are advised to always give the animals enough space to avoid crowding the animal.  

[Submitted by Public Affairs Office]


FIRE MANAGEMENT



NIFC/NPS Fire and Aviation Management
National Fire/Incident Situation Highlights

National Fire Activity – Preparedness Level 1

NIFC is at Preparedness Level 1.

Fire Weather Forecast

A trough will deepen over the West Coast, bringing scattered showers and thunderstorms from the Northwest to the Upper Midwest. A slow-moving upper low over the Southeast will produce rain and thunderstorms over the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast coasts. Southwest flow will keep hot dry conditions over the Southwest and warm and humid weather over the southern Plains and Gulf Coast region. In Alaska, scattered showers will develop over the southern part of the state with seasonable temperatures across the region. Warmer and breezy conditions will setup over the western part of the state.

A NOAA map of today’s critical fire weather areas can be found at: http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/fire_wx/fwdy1.html

A NIFC webpage showing the current national significant wildland fire outlook is available at: http://www.predictiveservices.nifc.gov/outlooks/outlooks.htm

Fire Summary (Five Day Trend)

Day

Mon

Tue

Wed

Thu

Fri

Date

6/1

6/2

6/3

6/4

6/5

Initial Attack Fires

174

96

166

--

--

New Large Fires

2

2

2

--

--

Large Fires Contained

2

0

1

--

--

Uncontained Large Fires

2

4

2

--

--



National Resource Commitments (Five Day Trend)

Day

Mon

Tue

Wed

Thu

Fri

Date

6/1

6/2

6/3

6/4

6/5

Area Command Teams

0

0

0

--

--

NIMO Teams

0

0

0

--

--

Type 1 Teams

0

0

0

--

--

Type 2 Teams

1

1

1

--

--



NPS Fire Summaries

Big Cypress NP – The Mud Lake Complex fires, which have not grown in size since last week, are now 80% contained. The complex is being managed by a Type 2 IMT (Bentley); a total of 226 firefighters and overhead are presently committed. For additional information, including maps and photos, go to this InciWeb site.

North Cascades NP – Lightning started a fire approximately eight miles up the Thunder Creek drainage from the Colonial Creek campground in North Cascades National Park on the evening of Saturday, May 30th. It grew to about 15 acres bySundayafternoon. California’s Whiskeytown Fire Module, which was already at work in Washington, was assigned to the fire. Portions of the Thunder Creek and Fisher Creek Trails have been closed due to the fire’s proximity. The Thunder Creek trail is closed between Neve and Skagit Queen camps, and the Fisher Creek trail is closed west of Cosho Camp to the junction with the Thunder Creek trail. [Denise Shultz]

*****

For additional information on all fires, check the following web sites:


NEWS AND NOTES



John Day Fossil Beds National Monument (OR)
Ten New Prehistoric Rodent Species Discovered

Paleontologists have discovered ten new prehistoric rodent species at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument and nearby public land administered by the Bureau of Land Management.

As reported in the current issue of the Annals of Carnegie Museum, Dr. Joshua Samuels (John Day Fossil Beds National Monument) and Dr. William Korth (Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Rochester Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology) examined newly discovered and previously undocumented fossil specimens from the John Day Formation.

Their study describes 21 species of rodents in all. The new species include:

  • An early beaver, Microtheriomys brevirhinus, which may be the distant ancestor of living beavers;
  • A dwarf tree squirrel, Miosciurus covensis, smaller than any living in North America today;
  • A primitive pocket mouse, Bursagnathus aterosseus, a possible ancestor of these abundant desert rodents; and
  • A birch mouse, Plesiosminthus fremdi, named for retired John Day Fossil Beds paleontologist Ted Fremd.

“This study fills some substantial gaps in our knowledge of past faunas, specifically smaller mammals.  Some of the new species are really interesting in their own right, and will ultimately help improve our understanding of the evolution of beavers and pocket mice,” said Samuels. “These finds show that despite this area being studied for well over 100 years, new discoveries continue to be made.  Each new discovery helps to give us a fuller picture of Oregon's past.”

This study allows better reconstruction of Oregon’s past ecosystems and improves understanding of how faunas in the region have changed through time. Some of the new rodents are closely related to species from the fossil record of Asia, and help document the dispersal of species across the Bering Land Bridge in the Oligocene. Several of the new species, like the beaver (Microtheriomys) and pocket mouse (Bursagnathus), will help inform studies of how living rodents have evolved.

Oregon’s John Day Basin contains one of the most complete and well-known fossil records on Earth, with nearly 50 million years of time preserved.  These fossil beds record the history of ancient ecosystems, changing climate, and plant and animal evolution during the ‘Age of Mammals.’

For 150 years, paleontologists have been visiting the area to collect fossils and study geology. As a result of this research, the John Day Formation boasts an incredibly diverse fauna with over 100 recognized species of mammals, including sabertoothed nimravids, early dogs, three-toed horses, and giant ‘hell pigs.’

These new rodents were collected through decades of collaborative work throughout the John Day Basin by paleontologists from John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, the BLM in Oregon, the University of California - Berkeley, and the University of Washington. While the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument includes many of the important and best studied sites, the majority of fossil localities in the region were found on BLM-managed public lands.

"The National Park Service and BLM have worked together to manage fossil resources in Oregon under an agreement for nearly 30 years," said Superintendent Shelley Hall. "The collaboration between federal agencies has allowed each agency to fulfill their mission of preserving resources for future generations while facilitating important scientific research."

For more information:


World Ranger Congress
World Ranger Congress Registration Goes Live

The Eighth World Ranger Congress of the International Ranger Federation (IRF) will be held in the United States in May 2016 in honor of the NPS Centennial.

The Congress is being hosted and organized by the Association of National Park Rangers (ANPR) in partnership with the NPS and the George Wright Society.  The venue is the YMCA of the Rockies just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park.

The Congress web site is now live and early registration is now open to international delegates.  North American attendance will be limited in order to assure the international flavor of the event, but ANPR members can apply through this link.  The more foreign delegates that register, the more space there will be for North Americans, who must be members of an IRF-member ranger association.

At this point, if you plan to attend, assume it will be on annual leave.  The NPS is supporting the Congress, but a decision has not yet been made on whether or not this will be an officially approved conference.  Plenary sessions will be webcast and there will be an active social media feed presence which will help connect parks, rangers, communities, and youth from the US and the world to the excitement at the Congress.

Congress organizers are also seeking additional parks to sponsor short  “shadow assignments” for international delegates. These assignments give you a great opportunity to meet rangers from other countries, show off your park to them, and learn about conservation in another part of the world. 

[Submitted by Bob Krumenaker, Apostle Islands NL and WRC Conference Chair]


Geologic Resources Division
Jeremiah Kimbell Joins NPS As Petroleum Engineer

Jeremiah Kimbell, the Service's new and only petroleum engineer, began his NPS career with the Geologic Resources Division on June 1st. 

Jeremiah grew up on a small farm in Georgia and attended Georgia Tech, where he earned bachelors and masters degrees in civil and environmental engineering. 

Jeremiah began his engineering career with the Georgia Department of Transportation before deciding to return to school at Texas A&M University to pursue a master’s degree in petroleum engineering.  While completing his thesis work at Texas A&M, Jeremiah worked as a field engineer for Encana Oil and Gas in Texas. 

After graduation, he stayed on with Encana until the eventual sale of the asset by the company.  He then moved to Houston, where he has been working as a production engineer for Contango Oil & Gas Company, overseeing oil and gas operations in Texas, Colorado, Mississippi, Wyoming and the Gulf of Mexico. 

In his spare time Jeremiah likes to hike, fish, spend time with family and friends, and work on his truck. Jeremiah is excited to become part of the NPS family and is looking forward to meeting his new colleagues. Please welcome Jeremiah at jeremiah_kimbell@nps.gov or (303) 969-2527. 

[Submitted by Lisa Norby, lisa_norby@nps.gov, 303-969-2318]


CAREER OPPORTUNITIES



Death Valley National Park (CA)
GS-1601-9 Facility Management Specialist

Death Valley National Park is seeking candidates for a position as facility management specialist.  

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 June 19th.
 More Information...
Glacier National Park
GS-1101-13 Supervisory Concessions Management Specialist

Glacier National Park is seeking applicants for a position as supervisory concessions management specialist. The duty station is in West Glacier, Montana.

Contact Jeff Mow with questions at (406) 888-7901.

For a copy of the announcement, click on the link below. It closes on June 12th.
 More Information...
Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park (GA)
GS-0341-11 Administrative Officer

Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military 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 June 15th.
 More Information...
Blue Ridge Parkway
GL-0025-9 Protection Ranger (Lateral)

Blue Ridge Parkway is seeking candidates interested in a lateral to a protection ranger position. 

The position will be subject to furlough for a maximum of six pay periods annually.  The furlough period may be reduced based on funding and park needs.  The minimum furlough will be two pay periods. 

As a commissioned ranger, the person selected will be responsible for performing law enforcement duties, including detection, investigation, apprehension, detention, and prosecution under provision of applicable laws, rules, and regulations enacted to insure the protection and safe use of NPS resources. She/he will also educate, interpret, and inform visitors about resources, conservation, laws, and regulations and will perform wildland fire protection duties.

The position is located in the Pisgah District at the Balsam Gap Ranger Station (Balsam, NC). The ranger’s area of responsibility includes the Asheville and Waynesville areas. Traffic, plant poaching, hunting, a concessions lodge, campgrounds, vandalism and other activities are the range of responsibilities for rangers in this office. This is a high activity office with important working relationships with various law enforcement and emergency services agencies. The ability to develop and maintain positive working relationships with the public and various law enforcement and emergency services agencies is critical.

For more information, contact Pisgah District Ranger Greg Wozniak, 828-407-5643.  To be considered, submit the following to him by the close of business on June 15th:

  • A resume/application that includes all experience, training and education related to the position.
  • Copy of your most current performance appraisal.
  • A current SF50, Notification of Personnel Action, documenting permanent competitive civil service status.

Application materials may be emailed directly to Greg_Wozniak@nps.gov, Blue Ridge Parkway, 51 Ranger Dr. Asheville, NC 28805   828-407-5643

For more park information, log on to  http://www.nps.gov/blri.