The Morning Report

Monday, August 11, 2014

Recent Editions  

INCIDENTS



Grand Canyon National Park (AZ)
Body Found Below South Rim

On Wednesday, August 6th, searchers found a body several hundred feet below the rim of the canyon at a location where a visitor was last seen on August 2nd.

A search was begun that day for Marc Buckhout, 36, who was last seen hiking along the South Rim west of Grandview Point.

The body was recovered Thursday morning and turned over to the county medical examiner for positive identification.

[Submitted by Kirby-Lynn Shedlowski, Public Affairs Officer]


Hot Springs National Park (AR)
Tree Falls On Ranger Patrol Vehicle

Rangers Stephen Dale and Ryan Howell were spared serious injury last Friday night when an 80-year-old oak tree came crashing down on their cruiser as they patrolled the Gulpha Gorge area of the park.

Due to the amount of damage to the recently-acquired Interceptor SUV, the only way out of the vehicle was for the passenger to climb out of the driver’s side door. Other than having glass on them, neither was injured. The patrol vehicle received extensive damage. 

[Submitted by John Hughes, Chief Ranger]


NEWS AND NOTES



National Capital Region
Youth Summits Engage Hundreds

In a continuing effort to bring together all youth working in national parks and programs throughout the region, National Capital Region’s Youth Engagement Office, along with park representatives, successfully coordinated and hosted two recent youth summits celebrating the breadth and diversity of summer experiences for youth.

In late June, the first of two successful youth summits took place at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.  The event brought together 140 youth from across the region to kick-off the summer youth employment season with ice-breakers, team building activities and a variety of fun, recreational activities such as hiking, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding and much more.

On July 28th, the second event, the Youth Spotlight Challenge, occurred at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.  More than 180 young people, working or volunteering with the region’s parks and programs, reunited at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts for a day-long celebration and friendly competition.

Youth wowed both judges and members of the audience as they performed musicals, skits, songs, and displayed video presentations highlighting their summer experiences.  The day culminated in youth voting for their favorite performance in various categories, named below.  

Guest judges included former New England Patriot offensive tackle/guard Darryl Haley, Associate Director of Youth & Partnerships  Wendy O’Sullivan, Wolf Trap National Park Superintendent Karen Pittleman and Wolf Trap Foundation Senior Director of Operations Chris Eckert. 

Prince William Forest Park, was voted “Best in Show” of the overall competition and walked away with the “Youth Spotlight Challenge Cup,” a trophy that will stay at the park until next year’s competition.

  • Best in Show – Prince William Forest Park
  • Best in Comedy – President’s Park/White House
  • Best Music – Rock Creek Park
  • Most Innovative – National Capital Park East – Urban Archeology Corp
  • Best Choreography – Prince William Forest Park
  • Best Props – Manassas National Battlefield Park and Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
  • Best Costume – Manassas National Battlefield Park

[Submitted by Vanessa Torres, Vanessa_Torres@nps.gov, 202-619-7245]


Office of the Comptroller
FY 2013 NPS Scorecard Now Available

The FY 2013 NPS Scorecard is now available. Please visit the Scorecard website to get started.

This version of the Scorecard introduces a new, easy-to-access, web-based version of the Scorecard reports. Users can access data for parks and regions, as well as Servicewide trends. Training webinars will be available, by region, over the coming months. Please contact your Scorecard Advisory Group Representative for more information.

The goal of the Scorecard is to provide a wide range of quantitative information on park finances and performance so as to assist the NPS in meeting its mission. The Comptroller’s Office uses the NPS Scorecard as a tool to analyze and assess park needs in the course of budget review and presentation, as well as to understand park conditions and trends.

The Scorecard is an analytical tool of which park managers must be aware as they formulate budgets for FY16 and beyond, as well as evaluate and make decisions about activities in FY14 and FY15. The tool allows park managers to see their own data in relationship to peer parks, regional and national averages, and Servicewide benchmarks. The Scorecard encourages park managers to know the story behind their parks’ data and empowers them to use this information to make increasingly complex and difficult decisions.

The Scorecard compiles data from many sources into one location and calculates metrics for all NPS units using formulas developed and refined over the past several years. Gathering data from various existing data sources highlights the important of data integrity across systems.

For instance, the Scorecard utilizes specific account strings to calculate metrics. If a park does not use account codes as advised by the region and WASO, the Scorecard may not reflect accurate metrics for that park. See the FY13 Measure Descriptions document for more information on formulas and data sources.

In combination with the new platform for the Scorecard, the Business Management Group is working to create a place for parks and regions to access more visually appealing analytical tools, like the Park Pages and the first tab of the FY14 budget planning template. We will continue to build out the Scorecard Sharepoint site with these tools as we finalize them.

For more information, please contact Lindsey Kurnath, NPS  Scorecard coordinator in the Business Management Group, at 202-208-5849 or lkurnath@nps.gov

Link to the Scorecard website: http://inp2625aocpmds1.nps.doi.net/scorehome/

Link directly to the Scorecard Reports: share.nps.gov/Scorecard

[Submitted by Lindsey Kurnath]


Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (AZ,UT)
District Ranger Jeff Kracht Has Retired

District Ranger Jeff Kracht retired on July 31st after 29 years of service with the National Park Service.

Jeff (or Jeffro as his friends call him) began his career as a seasonal fee collector in Badlands National Park in 1985 after completing seasonal law enforcement training in Sylva, North Carolina. After a month of collecting dollar bills, he started working as a law enforcement seasonal park ranger and the rest is history.

After two years in the Badlands, Jeff moved to Grand Canyon National Park. From 1987 to 1996 he worked at several duty stations, including Desert View, Phantom Ranch and the North Rim. Jeff’s primary focus was the park’s beautiful backcountry.

In 1996 Jeff moved to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. After a few years of living on the island, he met his wife, Carol, the park’s animal caretaker.

In 2005 the Escalante District Ranger position at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area opened and the Southwest was calling to Jeff once again to come home. Jeff remained in that position until his retirement.

Jeff and Carol love the Escalante, Utah, area and plan on remaining there for the time being, keeping busy riding bikes, hiking and horseback riding.

[Submitted by Lindy Mihata]


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 August 8th.

NOTE: The House and Senate will be out of session until September 8th.  The next weekly report will be issued on September 5th.

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 July 31st, the Senate passed by a vote of 81-13, H.R. 5021 (Camp, R-MI-4), the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014.  The bill extends authority for funding for Federal surface transportation programs, including the Federal Lands Highways Program, through May 31, 2015.  Senate passage clears the bill for the president.

On August 1st, the House passed by a vote of 223-189, H.R. 5230 (Rogers, R-KY-8), making supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2014, and for other purposes.  Title III of the bill would allow unrestricted activities by U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Federal land located within 100 miles of the U.S. border with Mexico.

Committee Activity

Nothing to report.

New Bills Introduced     

One new bill was introduced.

  • H.R. 5397 (McClintock, R-CA-4), to modify the boundary of Yosemite National Park, 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 Melissa Kuckro]


CAREER OPPORTUNITIES



Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs
GS-0301-12/13 Legislative Affairs Specialist (Bevinetto Fellow)

The Washington Office has issued an announcement for two Bevinetto Fellows.

The Bevinetto Fellow program is a two-year leadership training and development program within the National Park Service.  The selectees serve as legislative affairs specialists (Bevinetto  Fellows).  

During the first year of the fellowship, each legislative affairs specialist works on the staff of a member, committee, or a support agency/organization of the Congress and reports to the staff director of the assigned office.

During the second year of the fellowship, one legislative affairs specialist reports to the assistant director of the Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs and assists in the development, coordination, and implementation of the National Park Service legislative affairs program, including Congressional relations and controlled correspondence.   The other reports to the head of an office within WASO, to be determined based upon the priorities of the NPS directorate. 

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 August 28th.
 More Information...
Grand Canyon National Park (AZ)
GS-0025-5/7/9 Interpretive Ranger

Dates: 08/11/2014 - 08/15/2014

Grand Canyon National Park has posted an internal announcement for an interpretive ranger, with promotion potential to GS-9. This is open to all Grand Canyon current permanent career and career-conditional employees. 

This position is permanent and career-seasonal in nature and does not provide employment on a year-round basis. For more details, click on the link below.

[Submitted by Stephanie Sutton, stephanie_sutton@nps.gov, (928) 638-7783]

 More Information...
Glacier National Park
GS-1084-9 Visual Information Specialist

Glacier National Park is seeking candidates for a visual information specialist position.

Click on the links below for copies of the announcements with full details on duties, area information, and procedures for applying.

Both close on August 20th.

Gateway National Recreation Area
GL-0025-9 Protection Ranger (Lateral)

Dates: 08/06/2014 - 08/22/2014

Gateway National Recreation Area is seeking candidates interested in a lateral reassignment to a law enforcement ranger position within the park’s Sandy Hook Unit in central New Jersey. Applications will be accepted from employees of the National Park Service with career or career-conditional status in the competitive service. Payment of moving expenses is authorized.

This is a lateral reassignment for a Level I commissioned ranger into a special retirement covered position. The person selected will be responsible for independently performing law enforcement duties, including detection, investigation, apprehension, and prosecution under applicable laws, rules, and regulations. In addition to law enforcement, the person selected will also be required to perform structural firefighting, wildland firefighting, and emergency medical services. 

Applicants with skills and/or certifications in the following areas are preferred.

  • Structural firefighter
  • Wildland firefigher
  • Emergency medical technician
  • DOI motorboat operations certification course (MOCC)

The Sandy Hook Unit's law enforcement operation is 24/7, 365, so the person in this position will be required to work nights, weekends, holidays, and will be subject to callouts. Duties require extended periods of outdoor work and exposure to conditions including temperatures below freezing to hot and humid summers with temperatures in excess of 90 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway is located in Monmouth County, New Jersey, and all amenities are available in the local area. Monmouth County is consistently rated one of the best places to live in the United States. Sandy Hook is approximately a one hour drive from New York City, one and a half hour drive from Philadelphia, and one hour and fifteen minute drive from Atlantic City. Park housing may be available.

For more information about the park, visit our website: www.nps.gov/gate. For area information, please visit: http://www.visitmonmouth.com.

Resumes can be sent to Joe Blaeuer at joseph_blaeuer@nps.gov.

[Submitted by Robert Louden, joseph_blaeuer@nps.gov, 732-489-0734]