The Morning Report

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Recent Editions  


Yellowstone National Park (ID,MT,WY)
Visitor’s Body Found Along Yellowstone Ski Trail

The body of a Montana man was discovered this past weekend along a park ski trail.

Snowshoers called 911 around noon on Saturday after spotting what they thought was a frozen human body in the snow along a groomed ski trail in the northern part of the park. 

Rangers responded to the Frog Rock Trailhead, which is south of the Grand Loop Road, eight-and-a-half miles east of Mammoth Hot Springs.  

They discovered the body of 52-year-old Merik Morgan from Belgrade, Montana, not far from the ski trail along the Blacktail Plateau Drive.

While initial indications are that the man succumbed to hypothermia, the incident remains under investigation.  

[Submitted by Al Nash, Public Affairs Officer]

Great Basin National Park (NV)
Suicide Victim Found In Park

On Thursday, January 22nd, maintenance employees reported a suspicious vehicle parked near a closed road. A follow-up by rangers revealed that the car was registered to a Utah resident who had been reported as missing and was described as despondent. 

On Friday morning, rangers, assisted by a Forest Service K-9 unit, located a man’s body in Grey Cliffs Campground.  Identification is pending autopsy results. 

The White Pine County Sheriff’s Office has the lead responsibility for the continuing investigation.

[Submitted by T. Henderson, Chief Ranger]


Death Valley National Park (CA)
Temperature Records Set, Tied At Furnace Creek

Death Valley National Park reached 87 degrees on Sunday, January 25th, which is the warmest temperature recorded for that particular day at the Furnace Creek weather station.

That temperature tied that of the previous hottest day ever recorded in January – January 8, 1962.

Hopes are alive for a good wildflower season this year, barring more heat setting records before the buds sprout.

[Submitted by Cheryl Chipman, Management Assistant]

Fire and Aviation Management
New Wildland Fire Management Strategic Plan Released

The National Park Service Branch of Wildland Fire has released a five-year strategic plan that will guide the program until 2019. The new plan positions the NPS Wildland Fire Management Program for the future by identifying trends, reaffirming the program’s values, and establishing program priorities to meet the NPS mission.

Applicable at all levels of the Service, the plan reflects the direction of both the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy and the NPS A Call to Action, specifically the theme, "Preserving America’s Special Places." The goals in the plan directly impact how the NPS Wildland Fire Management Program plans, responds, and manages wildland fire. In addition, they establish the framework for effectively planning an efficient organization comprised of a well-trained and well-positioned workforce, as well as how to make the best use of appropriated funds.

“This plan was developed in close coordination with our many stakeholders, including other divisions within the National Park Service. We saw this as an opportunity to shape the future of the NPS Wildland Fire Management Program into our Centennial and well beyond,” stated Acting Wildland Fire Branch Chief Mark Koontz.

Work on the plan began in 2013 and involved staff at all levels of the wildland fire management organization. The group reached out to the broader NPS interdisciplinary community, the interagency wildland fire community, and the public for comments and feedback on the drafts.  The final plan takes these diverse perspectives into account and puts forth goals, objectives, and strategies that will take the NPS Wildland Fire Management Program into the the National Park Service's second century.

The Wildland Fire Strategic Plan may be found at

[Submitted by Mark Koontz,, 208.387.5090]

 More Information...
Midwest Region
Joy Kinard To Head Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers NM

Joy G. Kinard has been selected as superintendent of Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Wilberforce, Ohio. 

Kinard, who has been the central district manager for National Capital Parks- East since September 2011, will begin her new assignment in late February.

“We are delighted that Dr. Kinard will be the next superintendent of Charles Young,” said Acting Midwest Regional Director Patricia Trap.  “She is also well-known and well-respected throughout the Mid-Atlantic region as a scholar of African American history and culture, having led African American national historic sites for three years.  We know she will have great success working with the partners and community leaders to ensure the preservation and enjoyment of this monument, honoring such an accomplished leader like Colonel Charles Young and resilient veterans who served this country as Buffalo Soldiers.”

As one of the newest additions to the National Park System, Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers NM is currently open to the public only during park-sponsored events and open houses.  Dr. Kinard will focus on visitor use and the development of interpretive programs and exhibits. 

President Barack Obama established the national monument under the 1906 Antiquities Act on March 25, 2013, to preserve the home of Colonel Charles Young and its surrounding farmland, where Colonel Young raised a family, mentored a generation of leaders, and did some of his most important work.  The site encompasses almost 60 acres of land.

 “I am extremely honored to have been entrusted with the awesome responsibility of leading the stewardship efforts for Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument,” said Kinard, “and I cannot wait to begin working with the incredible partners and community to create the next generation of stewards and supporters of this special place. Together, we will care for, restore, and share these amazing stories and resources with all people as we prepare to celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service in 2016.”

Kinard is experienced in connecting with local communities in the Washington, D.C., area and national partners, such as the National Council of Negro Women, Inc., the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Her experiences with these groups will add depth to the work that is happening at Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument.

Dr. Kinard is a native of Washington, D.C.  For the past 18 years, she has worked for the National Park Service  in various capacities.  She served as a park ranger at Arlington House: The Robert E. Lee Memorial, Frederick Douglass National Historic Site and other locations. She also served as acting chief of interpretation, education, and cultural resource management at Martin Luther King, Jr., NHS in Atlanta, Georgia, and Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna, Virginia. Kinard has also served as acting Southern District manager of National Capital Parks- East.

She has been a contributing author in many publications, including the Oxford University Press, W.E.B. DuBois Institute of Harvard University, and the New York Historical Society. She has been featured in the HGTV documentary, “African American Historic Homes,” produced by High Noon Entertainment, where the focus was the home of Frederick Douglass, and was recently featured on C-SPAN in an observation of Women’s Equality Day by Sewall Belmont House and Museum.

She has also studied race relations abroad in Paris, London, and St. Catherine’s, Canada, as part of a Howard University cultural study tour, and served as an adjunct professor in the Department of History at the University of the District of Columbia for seven years.

Kinard is a graduate of Livingstone College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in social work and sociology. She is also a graduate of Howard University, where she earned a master of arts degree in history and a doctorate in U.S. history with a minor in public history and Caribbean studies. 

[Submitted by Mike Johnson]

Business Services
Administration And Business Management Awards Conferred

The Business Services' Directorate is pleased to announce the 2014 recipients of the Director’s Awards for Excellence in Administration and Business Management:

Excellence in Customer Service

Individual: Rebecca Bizier, AOC

Team: Sleeping Bear Dunes Administration

Excellence in Innovation/Process Improvement

Individual: John Spernoga, Office of the Comptroller

Team: Business Management Group, WASO

Excellence in Cost Savings / Efficiency

Individual: April May Preston, SAGA and SPAR

Team: NCR Regional Contracting

Rising Star Award

Steve Mahorney, AOC

Click here to learn more about the tremendous efforts of the awardees and to see a list of the regional finalists.

Click here for information about the Director’s Awards for Excellence in Administration and Business Management.

[Submitted by Antonia Giammo,, 202.208.3581]


Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (MI)
GL-0025-9 Protection Ranger (Lateral)

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is seeking candidates for a non-competitive lateral reassignment to a permanent full-time GL-9 protection ranger position.

A strong background and interest in law enforcement, boat operations and EMS are highly desired for this position.  An EMT-level certification, wildland fire skills and search and rescue experience are also highly desired.

The person selected will be working and living on South and North Manitou Islands in Lake Michigan for approximately four to five months of the year and on the mainland for the remainder of the year.  Job duties will include law enforcement, emergency medical services, land and water based search and rescue, boat operations, backcountry foot patrols, hunting patrols, and traditional front country road patrol duties during the winter months. 

The person selected will also assist the Leelanau District Ranger with seasonal and volunteer supervision.  Government housing is provided on the islands at no cost and may be available for rent on the mainland.

Sleeping Bear Dunes is within a beautiful resort area on the northwestern shores of Lake Michigan, approximately 30 miles west of Traverse City (population 15,000), Michigan. The lakeshore includes South and North Manitou Islands, which are located approximately seven miles off shore in Lake Michigan.  The two islands receive approximately 10,000 visitors annually via a concession ferry.   

Travel between the mainland and the islands is limited, so staff working on the islands are provided transportation and island housing at no charge.  On the mainland, entertainment opportunities, recreational facilities, shopping, churches, banks, medical facilities, etc. are readily available within a 30 mile radius from park headquarters in Empire.  For additional information, please go to

Permanent change of station costs will be paid for by Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore if selectee is from outside the local commuting area.

Applicants must submit the following:

  • Current resume
  • Copy of your Level 1 law enforcement commission
  • Copy of your First Responder or higher certifications/cards
  • A copy of your most recent performance appraisal  
  • Current SF-50

All application materials must be received by COB on Friday, February 9th.  Submit electronic applications to   For additional information about the duties and location, please contact Leelanau District Ranger Andy Blake at 231-326-4805 or

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks (CA)
GS-0025-9 Protection Ranger (Lateral)

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park is currently seeking qualified applicants to fill a protection ranger position. This is a permanent full time position stationed in Grant Grove, Kings Canyon, CA. The announcement closes on February 17th.

The Grant Grove law enforcement staff consists of a subdistrict ranger, two permanent year-round rangers, two permanent subject-to-furlough rangers, and two seasonal rangers. The Grant Grove operation provides a full range of resource protection and visitor services, including very active EMS, SAR, law enforcement, structural fire, and wilderness operations.

The Grant Grove subdistrict encompasses 86,000 acres of developed area and wilderness. The developed area has about 16 miles of public highway, three campgrounds with about 300 campsites, a 36 room lodge, rental cabins, market, restaurant, post office and a major NPS Visitor Center. The community of Wilsonia has approximately 200 homes. Peak daily occupancy can exceed 4,000 people.

The subdistrict also includes Redwood Canyon and the Roaring River drainage, two areas of designated wilderness.  Redwood Canyon contains the largest existing grove of Giant Sequoias, including some of the world’s tallest specimens.  Roaring River is a traditional stock use area that ranges from 7,000 to over 12,000 feet.

Grant Grove is approximately 50 miles east of Fresno, California.  The surrounding U.S. Forest provides numerous year round recreational opportunities not found within the park.  The local area has mountain communities with public and public-charter schools (K-12) available.  Fresno is a significant metropolitan area with typically associated services and entertainment, such as colleges, cultural events, airports, and medical facilities.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks have an extraordinary protection operation, which includes a park medic program, marijuana tactical operation, helicopter short-haul program for both SAR and LE, technical rescue, swift water, wildland and structural fire programs, and the FLETC field training program.

This is a required occupancy position.

If you are interested in this opportunity contact Grant Grove Subdistrict Ranger Tom Parrack at 559-565-4332 or by email at

Intermountain Region
GS-11 Administrative Officer (Detail)

Intermountain Region has issued an announcement for a 90- to 120-day detail as an administrative officer for Grant-Kohrs Ranch NHP.

The person selected will be the principal advisor and management consultant to the superintendent and the park management team for administrative and business matters. Fluency in FBMS and skill in timely management of internal controls (e.g. property inventories, charge card program, billing and invoices) are critical factors applicants must possess to be considered.

During this detail, the selectee’s salary will continue to be paid by his or her home park.  Travel and per diem will be paid by the receiving park.  No government housing is available, but housing will be provided in Deer Lodge. 

This is a detail opportunity, not a temporary promotion.  Selectee’s salary will remain the same. Interested individuals should gain approval from their supervisors, then submit one-page resumes detailing work history, educational background, and any special qualifications they might possess.  Resumes should be submitted by electronic mail to:, no later than February 9th.

Please contact Superintendent Jacque Lavelle at 406-846-2070 x221 or with additional questions about the detail opportunity.