The Morning Report

Monday, June 29, 2015

Recent Editions  

INCIDENTS



Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area (WA)
Campground Evacuated And Closed Due To Fire

On June 22nd, a maintenance employee reported a grass fire along the road leading to the Kettle River Campground. 

Weather and wind conditions at the time caused the initially small fire to grow quickly, but the rapid response of local, state, and federal wildland firefighting crews stopped the fire from spreading. As a precaution, the campground was evacuated and the entrance closed near the intersection of Highway 395.  Once the fire was declared out on June 25th, the campground reopened. 

A determination was made that this was a human-caused fire.  Investigation of the fire is continuing, with NPS rangers working closely with a federal fire investigator.

Current conditions in Eastern Washington prompted the park to institute a park-wide fire closure on June 17th for all fires except those in park provided fire grates.

[Submitted by Jaime Smith, Acting Chief Ranger]


Lake Mead National Recreation Area - NV, AZ
Two Rescued From Mine Blocked By Rattlesnake

A man and a boy who entered Ore Car Mine off North Shore Road last Friday were unable to exit due to a rattlesnake blocking their path and called for help.

Rangers responded along with personnel from BLM, Henderson FD and Las Vegas Metro PD SAR. The pair were successfully extricated.

[Submitted by Public Affairs Office]


FIRE MANAGEMENT



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

National Fire Activity

NIFC is at PL 3. Forty-six new large fires were reported yesterday. Fourteen incident management teams are committed nationwide.

Fire Weather Forecast

Red flag warnings have been posted in Washington and Oregon.

Strong high pressure over the western U.S. will be nudged eastward slightly by a weak upper level disturbance moving into the Pacific Northwest. This will bring some gusty winds to the region with dry humidity and it may trigger additional showers and thunderstorms for the northern Rockies. Meanwhile record breaking temperatures will continue across much of the western U.S. Scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected along the Continental Divide and southwest U.S. where the seasonal monsoon will begin to take hold over the region. The Ohio Valley will also see showers and thunderstorms with an upper level trough digging south through the Great Lakes. Alaska will see slightly cooler temperatures and some cloud cover as a trough slides toward the Gulf coast.

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

NPS Fire Summaries

Wrangell-St. Elias NP&P – The Chisana River 2 Fire has burned 37,705 acres. It is currently being monitored. Cooler weather has moderated fire behavior in the upper Tanana River area. For more information, go to http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4282/ .

Olympic NP – The 1,025-acre Paradise Fire continued to advance up the slopes of Pelton Peak on Saturday, while other portions of the fire saw little growth. Crews continue to work to keep the fire north of the Queets River. High temperatures on the fire ranged from 89-94 degrees F, which is considered quite high for this time of year. No significant rainfall is in the forecast. Olympic National Park has instituted a ban on open fires in the park’s wilderness backcountry, including all locations along the coast. Campfires are permitted only in established fire grates at established front country campgrounds. The burn restriction will remain in place until further notice.Camp stoves may still be used in the park's wilderness backcountry, but should be operated well away from flammable vegetation and forest litter. Because of the extreme conditions on the peninsula, Olympic National Forest has also implemented fire restrictions. Information on this fire can be obtained on InciWeb athttp://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4305/, and by calling Paradise Fire Information at 360-565-2986. For real time information, visit the Paradise Fire Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Paradise-Fire/831205013596015.

Denali NP&P – Several thunderstorms that moved through the area last week ignited 11 wildfires in Denali National and Preserve. Four fires were discovered on June 25th:

  • The Bear Creek Fire, at 3,596 acres, is regularly being monitored due to its proximity to the Kantishna area. NPS aircraft flew the fire on June 25th and the crew reported that most of the activity was on the northeast portion of the fire. The unnamed fire a quarter mile west of the Bear Creek fire has merged with the Bear Creek fire. Seventy-five percent of the perimeter was active with isolated torching and spotting to the north. The fire is between Moose Creek and Caribou Creek and remains 4.9 miles due north of the Kantishna Airstrip.
  • The Iron Fire was last mapped on June 22nd at 3,012.9 acres. On June 25th detection aircraft reported the fire had received precipitation. There are no sensitive resources currently, or in the near future, at risk. The fire has been placed in monitor status.
  • The McLoed Fire, at 171.8 acres on June 22nd, was smoldering, creeping with isolated torching. There are no sensitive resources currently, or in the near future, at risk. The fire has been placed in monitor status.
  • The Foraker River Fire received moderate precipitation on June 22nd and the majority of the active perimeter is smoldering. The only active flame was some isolated torching on the north and south flank. There are no sensitive resources currently, or in the near future, at risk. The fire has been placed in monitor status and is currently 999.9 acres.
  • The Herron Fire is 632.9 acres and in monitor status as of June 22nd. Fire behavior is mostly creeping and smoldering, but isolated and group torching was also occurring. The fire is burning in black spruce, grass and brush. There are no sensitive resources currently, or in the near future, at risk.
  • The Castle Rock Fire was initially detected through remote satellite imagery (MODIS). NPS aircraft attempted to fly the fire on June 24th but due to thunderstorms in the area the crew was unable to fly over the fire. Observations from Castle Rocks determined the fire was running with isolated torching and estimated to be 200 to 300 acres in size. There are no sensitive resources currently, or in the near future, at risk. The fire has been placed in monitor status.
  • The Bear Paw Fire, 15 miles northeast of Kantishna in the Kantishna Hills, was initially detected through remote satellite imagery (MODIS). NPS aircraft flew the fire on June 25th and the crew indicated the fire was 30 acres, burning in alpine tundra. Fire behavior was smoldering and creeping and the fire was 30 percent active. There are no sensitive resources currently, or in the near future, at risk. The fire has been placed in monitor status.
  • The Moose Creek Fire (also currently known as the Bearpaw River Fire), 22 miles north of Kantishna, was initially detected through remote satellite imagery (MODIS). NPS aircraft flew the fire on June 25th and crew indicated that the fire was 339 acres, burning black spruce and hardwoods. The fire has been placed in monitor status.
  • The Chilchukabena Fire, 21 miles northwest of Kantishna, was initially detected through remote satellite imagery (MODIS). NPS aircraft flew the fire on June 25th and the crew indicated that the fire was 485 acres, burning in black spruce and tundra. Fire behavior was backing to the southwest, growing to the northeast with group tree torching; the fire was 80 percent active. There are no sensitive resources currently, or in the near future, at risk. The fire has been placed in monitor status.
  • The Carlson Lake Fire, 36 miles northwest of Kantishna and six miles southeast of Lake Minchumina, was initially detected through remote satellite imagery (MODIS). BLM Alaska Fire Service aircraft flew the fire on June 25th and the crew estimated the fire at 3,000 acres. It is burning in black spruce, experiencing rapid fire growth and is 100 percent active.

Fire danger for the park and surrounding area is currently extreme due to the higher than normal temperatures, winds, and very dry vegetation and other natural fuels. NPS officials are urging park visitors to be extremely cautious with anything that could start a wildfire. Open fire restrictions remain in place in the park. Fireworks are prohibited. There are currently 321 active wildfires in the state; so far this year, 599 fires have burned more than 920,000 acres in Alaska. For statewide wildfire information, visitakfireinfo.com.Additional park information is available atnps.gov/dena or by calling 907-683-9532 from9 a.m. to 4 p.m.daily.Stay connected with "DenaliNPS" on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and iTunes – links to these social media sites are available atnps.gov/dena/connect.

Additional Information

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


NEWS AND NOTES



Interpretation, Education and Volunteer Division
National Dialogue On Confederate Flag Today

Following the tragic mass shooting that occurred in Charleston, South Carolina, many questions have been raised over the display and sale of stand-alone Confederate flags at National Park Service sites.

Join  Associate Director for Interpretation, Education and Volunteers Julia Washburn and Associate Director for Cultural Resources Stephanie Toothman today for a conversation about the Confederate flag and the National Park Services' role in an American dialogue.   This is an opportunity to ask questions, share ideas, express concerns, and collaborate on this issue.

The phone conference will be held at 1:00 pm Eastern Time. The phone number is 888-989-8132; the passcode is 5326777. The entire NPS interpretive community, including staff, volunteers, and partners, is invited to join the conversation. 

On June 24, 2015, Director Jarvis issued a memorandum to regional directors, associate directors, and assistant directors, and also wrote to National Park Service cooperating associations, partners, and concessions requesting that they voluntarily withdraw items that depict a Confederate battle flag as a stand-alone feature, especially items that are wearable and displayable.

In addition, the memo noted that Confederate flags should not be flown in units of the National Park System and related sites, except where the flag would provide historical context. Click on this link for more information on that action.

Today's conference call will provide a chance to gain additional information about these changes and to get help in fielding visitor inquiries. It is also a venue for discussing the tools you may need to facilitate conversations with the public about these complex issues. 

[Submitted by Monique VanLandingham]


Shiloh National Military Park (TN)
USS Shiloh Commander Visits Park

On June 4th, the newly selected captain of the USS Shiloh visited Shiloh National Military Park.

Commander Adam Aycock was joined by his family in a visit to the park prior to his deployment to Japan to assume command of the ship. The USS Shiloh, a Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser, is named for the Battle of Shiloh, and is forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.

The ship and her crew of 33 officers, 27 chief petty officers, and approximately 340 enlisted personnel, is on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area in support of operations in the Indo-Asia Pacific region.

Superintendent Dale Wilkerson welcomed Commander Aycock to the park, and presented him with a commemorative framed print by artist Dale Gallon, depicting elements of the 8th Iowa Infantry Regiment engaging Louisiana soldiers in the Hornet’s Nest at the Battle of Shiloh. The ship’s mascot is the Hornet, taken from this very engagement.

“In 2016 the National Park Service will be celebrating its 100th anniversary, and we are working to connect a new generation of park visitors, advocates and stewards with all of the national parks. One of our goals has been to establish a connection with the crew of the ship, and we were very excited to have the Captain visit the park,” said Wilkerson. “The young sailors aboard the USS Shiloh represent the finest our nation has to offer, and we are proud to work together with the U.S. Navy to connect with the officers and crew.”

Commander Aycock said, “I am a proud Tennessee native, hailing from Warren County, and I am pleased that my family and I had the opportunity to visit the battlefield before we leave the country for two years. Along with the anniversary of the Park Service, the USS Shiloh will have 26 years of commissioned service next year. So, there is a great deal to commemorate, and I think you will find as we strengthen the bond between the crew and the ship’s namesake that you’ll find no better group of Americans. We will display this artwork proudly on the ship.”

As both the park and the ship work together, joint projects under consideration include establishment of a lending library, connecting through social media, and working toward holding periodic video conferences with the ship, where the park may provide interpretive presentations to crew members.

Shiloh National Military Park was established to preserve the scene of the first major battle in the Western theater of the Civil War. The two-day battle, April 6 and 7, 1862, involved about 65,000 Union and 44,000 Confederate troops, and resulted in 23,746 killed, wounded, or missing. The Park contains about 5,000 acres of the Shiloh battlefield, an interpretive center at Corinth, Mississippi, Shiloh National Cemetery, and the Shiloh Indian Mounds National Historic Landmark.

[Submitted by Chris Mekow]


Northeast Region
Frank Hays Selected As ARD For Resource Stewardship And Science

Northeast Regional Director Michael Caldwell is pleased to announce Frank Hays as associate regional director for resource stewardship and science.  

“We believe that Frank is the right person to lead the Northeast Region’s Natural and Cultural Resource Programs” said Mike Caldwell.  “His deep experience applying the principles of resource management in parks and regional settings makes him the stand out applicant.” Hays will begin his assignment in August.  

Since March 2011, Hays has served as the superintendent of Western Arctic National Parklands, making progress on complex resource management issues, including increasing threats from oil or other environmental spills, resolving user conflicts between native subsistence users and sports hunters, advancing local tribal consultation, resolving the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act affairs, and coordinating cooperative wildlife management efforts with other state and local agencies.

“I am very excited to join the region's support team.  The opportunity to work with such a diverse and energetic group of people on wide ranging programs is very invigorating” said Hays.  The urban agenda is a fantastic opportunity to connect the public with national parks and the many other programs the Service oversees.  I thrive on new experiences. I have worked in the desert southwest, tropics, arctic, small cultural and huge wilderness parks all with the eye to making a contribution to caring for the remarkable stories and places the Service cares for.”

Prior to WEAR, Hays served as the pacific area director for the Pacific West Region and acting superintendent of the USS Arizona Memorial in Honolulu.  His work as pacific area director earned him a Meritorious Service Award. Hays also served as the superintendent of Manzanar National Historic Site, hiring the first staff and developing management plans and park facilities.   

His vast National Park Service experience also includes serving as restoration program leader at Grand Canyon, fundamentals national resource managers course coordinator (detail), resource management specialist at Saguaro, natural resource specialist at Chaco Culture, and numerous seasonal positions.

Hays holds a bachelors of science degree in renewable natural resources from the University of Arizona and a master’s in public administration from Northern Arizona University.  

[Submitted by Shalini Gopie, shalini_gopie@nps.gov]


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 June 26th.

In order to obtain the full text of any of the bills that appear below, click on the following link: http://thomas.loc.gov/ . 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.

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New Public Laws

Nothing to report. 

Floor Action

On June 25th, the House began consideration of H.R. 2822 (Calvert, R-CA-42), the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016.  Consideration of the bill will continue after July 6th.


Committee Activity

On June 24th, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (Chaffetz) held a second hearing on the OPM data breach.  The Department was not asked to testify.

On June 24th, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (Inhofe) approved with amendments S. 1647 (Inhofe, R-OK), a bill to amend Title 23, United States Code, to authorize funds for Federal-aid highways and highway safety construction programs, and for other purposes.

On June 25th, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (Johnson) held an oversight hearing, “Under Attack: Federal Cybersecurity and the OPM Data Breach.”  The Department was not asked to testify.

New Bills Introduced

The following bills of interest to the NPS were introduced:

  • H.R. 2857 (Larson, D-CT-1), to facilitate the addition of park administration at the Coltsville National Historical Park, and for other purposes.
  • S. 1645 (Murkowski, R-AK), making appropriations for the Department of the Interior, environment, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016, and for other purposes.  [S. 1645 contains the text approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 18.]
  • H.R. 2879 (Kinzinger, R-IL-16), to include Livingston County, the city of Jonesboro in Union County, and the city of Freeport in Stephenson County, Illinois, to the Lincoln National Heritage Area, and for other purposes.
  • H.R. 2880 (Lewis, D-GA-5), to redesignate the Martin Luther King, Junior, National Historic Site in the State of Georgia, and for other purposes.
  • S. 1662 (Kirk, R-IL), to include Livingston County, the city of Jonesboro in Union County, and the city of Freeport in Stephenson County, Illinois, to the Lincoln National Heritage Area, and for other purposes.
  • H.R. 2900 (Reichert, R-WA-8), to establish the Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area in the State of Washington, and for other purposes.
  • H.R. 2908 (Clay, D-MO-1), to adopt the bison as the national mammal of the United States.
  • H.R. 2925 (Grijalva, D-AZ-3), to establish the Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area, and for other purposes.
  • S. 1690 (Cantwell, D-WA), to establish the Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area in the State of Washington.
  • S. 1696 (Isakson, R-GA), to redesignate the Ocmulgee National Monument in the State of Georgia, to revise the boundary of that monument, and for other purposes.

Upcoming Committee Activity

Nothing to report.


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For additional information, please visit the Legislative and Congressional Affairs Office website at http://www.nps.gov/legal/

[Submitted by Andrea Dekoter]


CAREER OPPORTUNITIES



Big Bend National Park (TX)
GS-0025-9 Interpretive Ranger (Lateral)

Big Bend National Park is recruiting for an interpretive ranger who is interested in a lateral reassignment.

The position is duty-stationed at Panther Junction, which is the headquarters of Big Bend National Park. We are seeking a multi-skilled and highly motivated interpreter who works well independently and as a strong team member. The incumbent will be the park’s education coordinator responsible for providing curriculum based and environmental education programming for visiting schools and students. In addition, video conferencing capabilities allow outreach to regional schools. Big Bend shares 118 miles with Mexico and has a strong sister park relationship with the park’s of Mexico adjacent to Big Bend. While not required, Spanish fluency to work with Mexican school students is desired. Duties also include providing informal and formal interpretation, operating visitor centers, supervising a district park visitor center as well as other related interpretive duties.

Big Bend National Park is located in southwest Texas and is one of the most diverse parks in the nation. The closest gateway community is Terlingua/Study Butte population 1,200. Big Bend leads all national parks in seven distinct biodiversity categories including 450 bird species. The park also has an extensive cultural history to interpret including 10,000+ years of Native American use, pioneers, ranchers, miners, the CCC, Texas Rangers and extensive interactions with Mexico and the Mexican protected areas. Big Bend is also known for its IDA Gold Tier dark night skies status, and incredible paleo diversity and a wide spectrum of recreational opportunities. Travel, transportation, and relocation expenses will be authorized. The position is permanent, full-time. Park housing may be available.

Submit your current resume that includes the information identified in the Resume Builder area of USAJOBS.

  • A copy of your most current performance appraisal.
  • A current SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, documenting permanent competitive civil service status showing your grade.

To be considered, submit your application to Terry Boren, Human Resources Specialist (Terry_Boren@nps.gov), by the close of business on Friday, July 10th.

For further information about this position, please contact David Elkowitz, Chief of Interpretation and Visitor Services (432-477-1107, David_Elkowitz@nps.gov).

Contracting Office
GS-1102-7 Contract Specialists (Pathways)

Dates: 06/25/2015 - 07/08/2015

The WASO Contracting Division is seeking recent Pathways graduates for two new contract specialist positions. One position is in Washington, D.C. and one is in Lakewood, Colorado. 

To review qualifications, get more information and application instructions check the announcement on USAJOBS below.  It closes on July 8th.

[Submitted by Beth Walden, beth_walden@nps.gov, 303-987-6739]

 More Information...
Cultural Resources
GS-1109-14 Supervisory Grants Management Specialist (Detail)

Dates: 06/26/2015 - 07/10/2015

The Cultural Resources Directorate is seeking candidates for a detail as a supervisory grants management specialist.

This announcement is open to NPS employees who wish to be considered for a detail opportunity NTE 120 days or less. CRPS will pay salary or TDY travel expenses (and cost of grade increase for temporary promotion if applicable) depending on park/office preference.

The detail will begin as soon as possible.

The Cultural Resources, Stewardship, and Science Directorate is seeking a well-qualified cultural resources professional with experience in grants management, historic preservation, and planning to coordinate and carry out duties of the State, Tribal, and Local Plans and Grants Program (STLPG). The STLPG Program administers matching grant assistance awards for projects under the sponsorship of the 59 States and Territories, Indian Tribes, Certified Local Governments, and other nonprofit organizations. The primary purpose of the position is to manage cultural resources historic preservation grants programs and the historic preservation planning program, and to supervise the staff of the STLPG Division. Applicants should have direct experience with grants management policy development, strategic planning, and operations andhistoric preservation policy experience working with State, Tribal or local partner organizations. The HPF, authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act, conveys funding to States, local governments, and Indian tribes to assist them in identifying, evaluating, protecting, and treating historic and prehistoric properties deemed significant for preservation. 

Major ruties and responsibilities are as follows:

  • Provide program leadership for development and implementation of historic preservation grants management policies and procedures, review and evaluation of grant proposals, periodic evaluations of grantees’ operations, and statutory oversight and monitoring of activities and grant conditions. Ensure that grantees’ current needs are assessed and that technical assistance and training is provided to support grantees’ preservation activities and initiatives. 
  • Serve as the Cultural Resources Directorate’s primary functional authority on grants management. Advise senior leadership on critical or highly visible grants management problems and issues. Apply expert functional knowledge and understanding of the organizational environment to decisions or recommendations regarding complex or controversial cases. 
  • Manage, organize, assign, and review work of the division staff. Provide broad direction and establish priorities. Keep staff informed of management policies, goals and objectives. 
  • Manage division resources to maximize the effective and efficient use of funds and employee skills. 
  • Represent the division, directorate, and NPS in many different venues. Communicate program objectives and applies professional judgment to provide program guidance, advocate policies and programs, and monitor effectiveness of grants management policies and operations.  

Send an email that states the strengths you bring to the position and professional development you hope to gain from the detail; written consent from your supervisor; and a resume or description of your relevant expertise and skills (see above) to Jon_Smith@nps.gov or Hampton_Tucker@nps.gov by July 10th. Do not include Social Security Numbers or birth dates on resumes.  Please contact Jon Smith at 202-354-2095 or Hampton Tucker at 202-354-2067 with questions about the detail opportunity.
 More Information...