Thursday, December 19, 2013
Lake Mead National Recreation Area (AZ,NV) Former Concession Employee Pleads Guilty To Sexual Abuse
On June 27, 2012, special agents from the Investigative Services Branch arrested 60-year-old James E. Killian of Blandon, Pennsylvania, on eight felony counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a minor. The charges stemmed from a six-month-long investigation by agents.
Killian, a former concession employee at Lake Mead, was taken into custody for sexually abusing three victims who ranged in age from 8 to 13 years old over a five year period.
On December 10th, Killian pled guilty to one count of sexual abuse and accepted a plea deal consisting of 14 years in prison and lifetime probation when released.
[Submitted by Investigative Services Branch]
NEWS AND NOTES
Yosemite National Park (CA) New Film On Yosemite Premiers At Paramount Studios
A new film by acclaimed documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, entitled "Yosemite – A Gathering of Spirit," premiered on Sunday, December 8th, at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles.
The 23-minute film, written by Burns' long time collaborator, Dayton Duncan, focuses on the Yosemite Grant and the history of the protection of Yosemite National Park.
The event was sponsored by the Yosemite Conservancy, the park's philanthropic partner, and consisted of two showings of the new film. The second showing was followed by a question and answer session and a reception with the filmmakers. Over 800 people attended the event, making it the largest attended event in the history of the Yosemite Conservancy.
Yosemite National Park was represented by Superintendent Don Neubacher, Chief of Interpretation and Education Tom Medema, and Park Ranger Shelton Johnson. Also attendiner were several former park employees, including Woody Smeck (now superintendent at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks), Russell Galipeau (now superintendent at Channel Islands National Park), and Mark Butler (now superintendent at Joshua Tree National Park).
The film accompanies the new book, Seed of the Future – Yosemite and the Evolution of the National Park Idea, written by Dayton Duncan. The book, recently published by the Yosemite Conservancy, traces the history of the park from the signing of the Yosemite Grant to 1864 to its inclusion in the National Park System.
These new publications are part of the park's commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Yosemite Grant, which occurred on June 30, 1864. The park is also working with gateway communities on events in and around the park. There are over 100 events planned, with several of them having already occurred.
Please visit the anniversary website at www.nps.gov/yoseanniversary to learn more about the park's upcoming sesquicentennial.
[Submitted by Scott Gediman, Public Affairs Officer]
Office of the Comptroller FY 2012 NPS Scorecard Now Available
The FY 2012 NPS Scorecard is now available for download from the Scorecard website.
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, as well as evaluate and make decisions about activities in FY14. 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 FY12 Measure Descriptions document for more information on formulas and data sources.
The FY12 version of the Scorecard has a very different layout. In response to user feedback on the hurdles to accessing the Scorecard, we are working to transition the Scorecard to a Sharepoint site. The Sharepoint version will be ready by the spring of FY14, when we hope to release the FY 2013 Scorecard.
In the meantime, the FY12 version is an Excel file available for download on the Scorecard website. Older data is still available in the previous Scorecard database, accessible from the website. 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.
Training will be offered by region in January. For further information, please contact Lindsey Kurnath, NPS Scorecard Coordinator in the Business Management Group, at 202-208-5849 or email@example.com.
[Submitted by Lindsey Kurnath] More Information...
Southeast Region Park Ranger Ove Jensen Leaving NPS
Horseshoe Bend NMP Park Ranger Ove Jensen is leaving the NPS after over 20 years of service for a management position with the Alabama State Historic Commission. An Alabama native, Ove will become director of Fort Jackson-Fort Toulouse State Historic Sites, located outside Wetumpka, Alabama.
Ove grew up in Auburn, Alabama, and attended Auburn University, receiving a B.A. in German, then served in the U.S. Army, deploying overseas during Desert Storm. Upon his return, he began coursework at Auburn towards a graduate degree in history with an emphasis in the Southern campaign during the American Revolution. He has served his entire NPS career at Horseshoe Bend.
During his NPS career, Ove has been one of the leaders in the historic weapons training program, serving as a group leader and instructor for many years. The safety and effectiveness of the black powder program has been positively changed due to Ove's involvement. His quiet demeanor has influenced dozens of historic interpreters over the years.
[Submitted by Marianne Mills, firstname.lastname@example.org, (404) 507-5613] More Information...
Biological Resource Management Division Linda Drees Receives Superior Service Award
Linda Drees has received the Department of the Interior’s Superior Service Award for “strong advocacy for resource conservation and outstanding civil service.” The award citation follows:
Linda has been a biologist in the federal government for more than 22 years. Having spent nearly 15 years with the National Park Service, she has been instrumental in bringing to fruition many natural resource achievements. Her contributions have transformed many of the internal workings of the Natural Resource Stewardship and Science Directorate (NRSS).
During her tenure with NRSS’ Biological Resource Management Division (BRMD), Linda has been responsible for the initiation, coordination, and implementation of Exotic Plant Management Teams throughout the Service. Additionally, she co-coordinated a national multi all-hazard incident management team to develop Service-wide quagga/zebra mussel management tools, including a Quagga/Zebra Mussel Infestation Prevention and Response Planning Guide.
As Program Manager for BRMD’s Partnerships and New Initiatives Branch, Linda has been responsible for the development and initiation of a new friend’s group agreement between the National Park Service and the “Nature Fund for National Parks”. The primary goal of “Nature Fund” will be to draw attention to the need for science to help guide the complex natural resource issues facing parks while attracting support from philanthropic organizations and the public. She has also been a key figure in overseeing the development and modifications of the Financial Assistance and Contracting Solution (FACS) process within NRSS and represents NRSS as a liaison with contracting personnel to facilitate effective and productive signing of agreements and contracts.
Linda’s positive personal demeanor and exceptional communication skills have resulted in the establishment of strong relationships with partner organizations, universities, Government agencies at all levels, and conservation organizations across the country. Her decades of strong vision and leadership have propelled her coworkers, contacts, and affiliates to strive for increased conservation of our Nation’s significant natural and cultural resources.
[Submitted by Sally Plumb, Biodiversity Coordinator]
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks (CA) Airport Christmas Display Delights Travelers
The Fresno Yosemite International Airport, Yosemite National Park, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and several artists have partnered to develop an exhibit entitled "An Airport Christmas: Celebrating Our National Parks."
This exhibit, located in the lobby and baggage claim areas of the airport, will delight travelers for nearly a month during the holiday season with 12 Christmas trees – each decorated by an artist with a specific park-related theme – and four thematic wall displays developed by park staff and others.
Each artist had the opportunity to choose a theme that most interested him/her. Themes for the trees include the following:
- Majestic Mountain Loop – Tourism promotion for “Three Parks in Three Days”
- John Muir Trail
- General Grant Tree
- Native Americans
- Ode to Yosemite
- Susan Thew (little-known heroine of Sequoia National Park)
- Ansel Adams
- Nature in the Parks
[Submitted by Dana M. Dierkes, Public Affairs Specialist]
Yosemite National Park (CA) GS-1601-14 Supervisory Facilities Management Specialist
Yosemite has issued an announcement for a chief for its facilities management division.
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 17th.