Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Editor’s Desk No Reports Today
No incident reports have been received.
NEWS AND NOTES
Yellowstone National Park (ID,MT,WY) Reports Address Yellowstone’s Ecological Health
Yellowstone National Park’s 2013 Natural and Cultural Resources Vital Signs report and annual wolf and bird project reports are now out.
In the Vital Signs report, park scientists and their cooperators report on data from more than two dozen indicators to study the influences, both inside and outside of the park, that affect Yellowstone’s overall ecological status and the condition of cultural resources. Ecological indicators include ecosystem processes such as wildland fire, as well as the status of native species and stressors such as wildlife disease and non-native species.
This year, several indicators on the status of Yellowstone’s cultural resources were included. As the world’s first national park, rich in America’s history, the National Park Service steward and continue to use a collection of over 800 historical structures that help tell the story of transportation, lodging, and park management.
The park also contains more than 1,600 known archeological sites that demonstrate at least 10,000 years of evidence showing deep human connections with the ecosystems. Hundreds of thousands of historic documents, ethnographic artifacts, fossils, pieces of clothing, souvenirs, and works of art also reside in the park’s museum collections, providing priceless data and precious stories on the park’s rich history.
All three reports, published by the park’s Yellowstone Center for Resources, help inform resource management decisions and support ongoing and future research needs.
Highlights from this year’s Vital Signs report include:
- Climate – Precipitation data suggest that the park is still in a long-term drought. Recent data support a continued warming trend, with average low temperatures increasing by 4.6 degrees since 1989.
- Bears – Grizzly bear numbers appear to be stable in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem this year, supporting recent discussion that bears have reached carrying capacity in the ecosystem.
- Wolves and elk – Elk surveyed along the northern range of Yellowstone continued to decline as a result of multiple factors, but show signs of stabilizing at a new low. The number of wolves that spend most of their time in Yellowstone declined slightly.
- Bison – The conservation of Yellowstone bison continues to be successful, with a population of over 4,000 bison.
- Historic structures and archeological sites – Historic structure assessments of the 880 buildings, roads, bridges, and grave markers have been completed for 80 percent of the sites. About 77 percent of historic structures and 65 percent of known archeological sites are in “good” condition.
- Native fish – There are signs that the number of Yellowstone cutthroat trout in Yellowstone Lake is increasing. Efforts to reduce the population of non-native lake trout have resulted in the removal of over a million lake trout from Yellowstone Lake. Arctic grayling and west slope cutthroat trout restoration efforts began in 2013 as part of the native fish preservation effort.
Copies of all three reports are available on the park’s web pages:
[Submitted by Public Affairs Office]
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park - Seattle Unit Passing Of Interpretive Ranger Ruth Kerr
Ruth Kerr, an interpretive ranger at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park’s Seattle Unit, passed away on November 26th. A memorial to commemorate Ruth’s life will be held Saturday, December 28th, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Klondike Gold Rush NHP. If you would like to attend the memorial, please RSVP by December 20th by sending an email to Jacqueline_Ashwell@nps.gov.
Ruth began working as a park ranger in the Seattle Unit in 2005. She was an enthusiastic ranger who brought the stories of the Gold Rush to life through living history programs, children’s puppet shows, sourdough baking demonstrations, the Northwest Notes speaker series, and a host of interpretive initiatives. She also served as a mentor, taking younger staff members under her wing. Ruth’s warm, friendly smile greeted visitors to the site, especially our younger visitors. Countless people, young and old alike, have had their day brightened after meeting Ruth.
A positive, tireless worker, Ruth contributed to the success of the park in many ways. As its VIP coordinator, Ruth dedicated tremendous effort to the management of the unit’s trails and rails program, providing services on the Empire Builder and Coast Starlight Amtrak train routes. She also served in a long-term detail at our sister park in Skagway, Alaska.
Before joining the Klondike staff, Ruth volunteered for Mount Rainier National Park and worked at the Social Security Administration. She also worked for the Forest Service at Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest as a forestry technician, where she patrolled frontcountry recreation areas and was a wildland firefighter. While working for the USFS, she was commended for being “competent, safety conscious, obtaining maximum work from trainees and keeping local residents and public updated about fires.”
From designating junior rangers to assisting USFS law enforcement officers as part of Christmas tree patrols, Ruth brought stories from her experiences to the Klondike, where she regaled us with adventures and life lessons.
Ruth touched many lives. She is fiercely loved by her work family and will be fondly remembered for her dedication and passion for the National Park Service and all public lands.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been set up by the family to a charity that Ruth chose prior to her death. Donations can either be mailed to Commemorative Giving, Seattle Children's Hospital Foundation, PO Box 5371, Seattle, WA 98145-5005, or you can make your donation to Seattle Children’s Hospital by phone at 800-635-1432. In either instance, please include your address, and share that you are making the donation to honor the memory of Ruth Kerr.
If you’d like Ruth’s family to be aware of your donation, you can ask them to inform her daughter, Ann Bowman, whose address is PO Box 7711, Bonney Lake, WA 98391.
[Submitted by Jacqueline Ashwell]
Pacific West Region Chris Kanda To Retire In January
Chris Kanda, housing program manager for Pacific West Regional Office, is retiring on January 3rd after 32 years of federal service.
A native of Pearl City, Hawaii, Chris moved to the mainland to attend Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, where he graduated with a BS in biomedical engineering. After graduation, he went back to Hawaii, only to return to the mainland to work as an electrical engineer with the Department of the Army at the Presidio of San Francisco, followed by stints with the Veterans Administration Medical Centers in Martinez and San Francisco, California and the Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, in Albany, California.
In 1988, Chris transferred to the National Park Service’s Western Regional Office (now the Pacific West Regional Office) – the place that would become his ‘home away from home’ for the next 25 years.
While in the regional office, Chris worked as a facility management specialist and regional FMSS coordinator. Then, in 1995, he transitioned to be the regional housing coordinator, with several details to the WASO office as facility manager and housing management specialist. In 1998, he began to manage the housing program on a permanent basis – a small program which grew to what it is today, involving more technology and interaction with not only park housing officers, but also with maintenance and administrative staffs.
Chris’ list of achievements is long. One of his biggest accomplishments was the successful completion of the trailer replacement program for the region, which removed over 120 substandard trailers and constructed new permanent homes for park employees throughout the region. He also recently completed housing needs assessments for all parks in the region.
“Working with all the different people and parks in the region has been tremendously rewarding,” he says, “and I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent in all of the Pacific West Region parks. I will miss a lot of the special people in the parks and WASO that just want to do the right thing.”
And he certainly did spend quality time in the field – Chris was fortunate enough to have traveled to all but six parks in the region, and all of the parks in Arizona when it was part of the Western Region.
In retirement, Chris will continue to visit national parks, travel the world, have new and exciting adventures, volunteer, engage in charitable work, and basically enjoy life from his retirement home in Palm Springs, California.
[Submitted by Dave Kruse, Chief Of Facility Management, Pacific West Region]
Midwest Region Chris Bernthal To Retire
Chris Bernthal is retiring on January 3rd after 39 years and 11 months with the National Park Service.
Chris started working for the National Park Service in 1973 as a temporary park technician at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Two months later, she gained her permanent status as a GS-3 clerk typist.
In 1976, Chris accepted an administrative clerk position at [then] Fort Clatsop National Memorial in Oregon. After returning to Indiana Dunes as a purchasing agent, Chris became the administrative officer at Cape Cod National Seashore, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and Everglades National Park.
In 1998, she accepted the deputy superintendent position at the Outer Banks Group in North Carolina. She will retire from her current position as the Midwest Region’s associate regional director for administration and information technology.
“I can hardly believe that going to an unemployment office after graduating from college led to a career with the National Park Service that lasted nearly 40 years,” Chris said.
Some highlights of her career include having a key role in Administrative Careers, assisting in rebuilding Everglades National Park after Hurricane Andrew, helping to move the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, and being part of the administrative instructor team for 13 years. Chris looks forward to discovering new interests, as well as traveling and finding a home near the ocean again. After retirement, Chris can be contacted at email@example.com.
[Submitted by Shirley Petersen, Shirley_petersen@nps.gov, 402-661-1648]
Heritage Preservation Assistance Programs Augusta Canal NHA Evaluation Cites Successes
A recent evaluation of the Augusta Canal National Hertiage Area, located in Augusta, Georgia, reports that it is "at the epicenter of the city’s renewal; its national heritage area status a 'Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.'"
The evaluation assessed the impacts, outcomes, and organizational sustainability of the Augusta Canal Authority, which coordinates management of the heritage area designated in 1996. Working collaboratively, the canal authority has been instrumental in reviving the area as an award winning recreational destination. The early vision of the canal as an engine of civic pride and growth is being sustained by far-sighted leaders today.
The 11-mile canal, once called the Savannah River’s “brightest arm,” had seriously deteriorated by late in the last century and officials considered draining it for a superhighway.
But in 1989, the Augusta Canal Authority worked with city and state officials to develop a plan to restore the canal’s historic mills, put the head gates and locks in working order, capitalize on the setting with trails and boat tours, and provide educational opportunities. Leaders created a vision for Augusta’s future by looking to the past and sought the national heritage area designation.
Today, because of the work of the Augusta Canal Authority, a levee walling off the Savannah River has created a great park, the towpath is a hub of recreation, and the Enterprise Mill has been transformed into apartments and offices. The mill's former “spooling room,” where women once produced some of the South’s finest textiles, houses a museum, working loom, theater, and visitor center. Reactivated 1920s-era generators, powered by the canal, provide electricity, while surplus hydroelectric power is sold to Georgia Power.
The canal, a catalyst for the South’s industrial revolution, is again vital, the prime supply of drinking water, flood control, and hydroelectric power. When the previous owners of King Mill abruptly closed in 2001, putting over 300 people out of work, the authority bought the mill, leased it to Ohio’s Standard Textile, which rehired many of the unemployed mill workers, and harnessed the hydroelectric power of the canal. The hydro plants not only bring a legacy to life, but provide a funding toward preservation and interpretive activities.
The National Heritage Area designation supports the renewal and NPS funding has been a critical piece of the revitalization. Over a 12-year period, the Augusta Canal Authority matched the $5 million federal investment with $21 million in local investment including an $8 million local bond, a special local sales tax, lease revenue, boat tours, visitor center revenue, and grants for public projects.
Cumulatively, the federal assistance remains well below the authorized $15 million. Time and again, Augusta has turned to the canal “to reinvent itself and define its destiny”—the prime theme of the visitor center story—and that’s no more true than now.
To read more about the evaluation and Essex National Heritage Area visit: http://www.nps.gov/history/heritageareas/toolbox/evalresource.htm or http://www.nps.gov/history/heritageareas/Aug%20Snapshot.pdf
National heritage areas are at the core of similar stories across the country, generating $13 billion annually and supporting nearly 150,000 jobs.
[Submitted by Katie Durcan, Katie_Durcan@nps.gov, 202-384-2268] More Information...
Southeast Region GS-1170-14 Realty Officer
Southeast Region is seeking candidates for a position as realty officer. The person selected will oversee the region's Land Resources Program Center.
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 January 6th.
WG-4749-9 Maintenance Mechanic
Dates: 12/05/2013 - 12/19/2013
Dinosaur National Monument has issued an announcement for a maintenance mechanic.
Click on the link below to review the announcement with full details on duties, area information and procedures for applying. The closing date is Thursday, December 19th.
For more information, contact Tracey Stills at 303-969-2774.
[Submitted by Tracey Stills, firstname.lastname@example.org, 303-969-2774] More Information...