The Morning Report

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

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National Mall and Memorial Parks (DC)
Peak Bloom Date For Cherry Blossoms Announced

The National Mall and Memorial Parks kicked off the countdown to the National Cherry Blossom Festival yesterday with the annual peak bloom date projection for the cherry blossom trees.

Relying on winter weather data and temperatures, as well as the long range forecast for March, park staff projects the flowering cherry trees will be in peak bloom from April 11th to April 15th.  Record cold this winter has pushed back the projected peak period from its 20-year average date of March 31st.

Peak bloom is defined as occurring when 70% of the Yoshino trees, the most abundant variety of the 3,700 cherry trees maintained by National Mall and Memorial Parks, are in full bloom.

Other participants in the announcement event were the National Cherry Blossom Festival, District of Columbia mayor Muriel Bowser’s office, and Ambassador of Japan to the United States Kenichiro Sasae. The cherry blossoms were a gift of friendship from Japan to the United States in 1912. 

National Mall and Memorial Parks Acting Superintendent Karen Cucurullo gave remarks highlighting the National Park Service’s role in maintaining the trees and previewing the programs that will take place during the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which will be held from March 20th to April 12th.

New this year, the festival events are expanding beyond National Mall and Memorial Parks. National Capital Parks East and the 11th Street Bridge Park will present the first ever Anacostia River Festival on Sunday April 12th.  Held in Anacostia Park, steps away from the future 11th Street Bridge Park, this free festival will be a premier event and official closing of the 2015 National Cherry Blossom Festival.

The Anacostia River Festival will bring residents and visitors together to enjoy hands-on art workshops, musical performances, tours of historic Anacostia, boating, a bicycle parade, and other unique activities to engage families with the natural environment. 

The Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the grandest traditions in the Nation’s Capital, signaling the beginning of spring and drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the country and around the world.

In recent years, the annual peak bloom announcement has become a heralded part of the festival in its own right; yesterday’s announcement was well-attended by D.C. and Baltimore media, and #CherryBlossomDC was briefly trending on Twitter following the announcement.

For more information about the Cherry Blossom Festival, visit

[Submitted by Mike Litterst, Public Affairs Officer]

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks (CA)
Kings Canyon National Park Marks 75th Birthday

On March 4, 1940, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed legislation creating Kings Canyon National Park. The new park encompassed 454,000 acres of pristine Sierra Nevada wilderness. 

Kings Canyon National Park absorbed lands once part of General Grant National Park (established in 1890; abolished upon designation of Kings Canyon National Park) and was quickly expanded by Presidential Proclamation to include Redwood Canyon and its magnificent giant sequoia groves.

Today, a half million people annually find solace within this wild and scenic setting. Largely forgotten is the 60-year struggle at the turn of the 20th century to create the park.

Powerful hydroelectric interests from Los Angeles were battling irrigation and agriculture interests from the San Joaquin Valley for water storage and diversion licenses in the Kings River watershed. Early assessments prepared by the Federal Power Commission showed the potential for 19 dams and reservoirs on the south fork of the Kings River. Cedar Grove and Tehipite Valley would be inundated--similar to Hetch Hetchy in Yosemite.

When these assessments proved unreliable, tourism and preservation interests seized the opening and began lobbying for preservation. A compromise negotiated by Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, under the direction of President Roosevelt, led to development of water storage facilities in lower stretches of the Kings River, thereby preserving the pristine upper watershed as a national park. 

Kings Canyon National Park features scenic auto-touring routes, rustic lodges, family and group campgrounds, and over 825 miles of trails to explore spectacular scenery while hiking and/or horseback-riding. Nearly half the park is above timberline and two dozen peaks extend above 13,000 feet. The Pacific Crest and John Muir trails pass through cathedrals of glaciated valleys and domes, including Evolution Valley and Sixty Lakes Basin.

[Submitted by Woody Smeck, Superintendent]

United States Park Police
Chief, Assistant Chief Join Recruits On Fitness Circuit

On February 20th, Chief of Police Robert D. MacLean and Acting Assistant Chief Patrick C. Smith participated in physical fitness circuit training with UPTP-507, the first 2015 recruit class for U.S. Park Police under the leadership of Chief MacLean.

Captain Robert Lachance, the commander of the Training Academy at FLETC, led the eighteen recruits and the chiefs in a vigorous workout at the Anacostia Operations Facility in Washington, D.C. They all participated in fitness drills that were structured around teamwork.

This fitness training allowed the recruits the opportunity to truly experience and embrace how the next 18 weeks of training will go and the importance of working together. 

Chief MacLean shared encouraging words with the group about perseverance, dedication, leadership and pride. With everyone’s hands gathered in a circle a loud chant of ‘leadership’ could be heard throughout the facility, inspiring all that were there to share the experience.

All eighteen recruits began their training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Facility in Glynco, Georgia, on February 23rd. 

[Submitted by Sergeant Lelani Woods, Public Information Officer]

Fire and Aviation Management
Resource Specialists Sought For Post-Wildfire Response Teams

The National Park Service is recruiting for natural and cultural resource specialists to serve as wildfire resource advisors and on post-wildfire Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) teams.

These are emergency response assignments that last up to fourteen days. Interested individuals need to be able to obtain a fire red card as a technical specialist, resource advisor, or Burned Area Emergency Response specialist (see

While many wildfires cause minimal damage to the land and pose few threats to the land or people downstream, some fires cause damages that require special efforts to prevent problems afterwards.

Resource advisors make recommendations to fire responders to lessen the impacts. BAER teams assist parks by conducting wildfire assessments and developing BAER plans that address these post-wildfire situations.

NPS incident response teams have needs for specialists such as team leaders, hydrologists, soil scientists, geologists, GIS specialists, foresters, wildlife biologists, cultural resource professionals, botanists, exotic plant management team members, and document specialists. Participants to be members on response teams are selected based on the skill sets that are needed during the fire and the member's availability.

The NPS Fire Management Program Center maintains the roster of interested employees that serve in an emergency capacity as resource advisors and on NPS BAER teams. We ask everyone that has submitted past applications to resubmit once again so that we can update the database.

The rosters are developed by completing an online application:

This application should not take more that fifteen minutes to complete. The application requests the candidate's area of professional interest and technical related qualifications. Please include all contact information (name, work phone number, and government email address) in the application. Please do not include any protected personal contact information that can be used as personally identifiable information. A privacy act statement is available on request.

A reply is requested by March 25thBy the end of April, you will be notified about a webinar to cover expectations and intent.

For more information about the BAER program, click on the link below or contact Rich Schwab at

[Submitted by Richard Schwab,, 202-513-7129]

 More Information...


Acadia National Park (ME)
GL-0025-9 Protection Ranger (Lateral)

Acadia National Park is seeking a qualified candidate for lateral assignment to a subject-to-furlough protection ranger position.  Applicants must be GS-9 career or career-conditional employees working in the GL-0025 series.

This is a non-supervisory position within the ranger (LE) workgroup. The person selected will be the principle protection and enforcement contact at the Schoodic District of Acadia and must be able to work independently.  The position is supervised on site, requires shift work, and exposure to the natural elements.

This full-time, subject-to-furlough position is stationed at Acadia National Park in Winter Harbor, Maine. Acadia is over 47,000 acres in size. The 3,800-acre Schoodic Peninsula boasts ponds, mountains, and rugged ocean shoreline and is home to the Schoodic Education and Research Center, the largest of 19 research learning centers in the NPS.

The six-mile Schoodic Loop Road offers outstanding views of the park’s ocean shoreline, coastal forests, and outstanding views of mountains on Mount Desert Island. The Schoodic Peninsula offers more than eight miles of bicycle paths, about ten miles of hiking trails, and a brand new 96-site campground that will open in August.

Basic amenities can be found in the Winter Harbor area and surrounding towns.  A wider range of services can be found 25 miles away in the city of Ellsworth.

This position is career-seasonal in nature and does not provide employment on a year-round basis. Furlough length is typically five-and-a-half months.

Interested applicants should contact Human Resource Specialist, Tammy Goodwin, at  The application package should include:

  • Current resume
  • Current SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action (Do not submit an award SF-50)
  • Copy of most recent performance appraisal

Applications may be submitted electronically or by mail.  Applications must be postmarked/dated by March 20th. 

Submit electronic applications to Submit mailed applications to Tammy Goodwin, Human Resources Specialist, Northeast Servicing Human Resources Office, Acadia National Park, P.O. Box 177, Bar Harbor, Maine, 04609

Yosemite National Park (CA)
GL-0025-9 Protection Ranger (Lateral)

Yosemite National Park is seeking qualified candidates interested in a lateral reassignment to a full-time, 6c-covered GL-9 protection ranger position at the Yosemite Holding Facility.

This is a required occupancy position, with housing in the Valley District.  Candidates must currently hold a GL-0025-9 position and possess a valid NPS law enforcement commission.

The Yosemite Holding Facility is a 24 hour facility in Yosemite Valley.  Yosemite Holding Facility rangers are responsible for the management of the jail in addition to patrol and response throughout the park.  The facility maintains an in-custody population, works closely with prosecution, and transports prisoners to other federal facilities or to local and state facilities.  The majority of scheduled time is spent actively patrolling.  Yosemite Holding Facility rangers work primarily in the busy Valley District but are often sent to other districts as staffing needs dictate.

Yosemite National Park offers great opportunity with skill-development in law enforcement, investigative services, marijuana cultivation interdiction, emergency medical services, search and rescue, structural and wildland fire.

The primary collateral duty for this position will be staffing the Yosemite Holding Facility.

For more information regarding this position contact Supervisory Park Ranger Shannon Kupersmith at 209-372-0562, or by email at

To be considered for this position you must submit:

  • A resume which includes your commission level and number;
  • Your most recent SF-50 (Notification of Personnel Action) indicating current grade and step;
  • A copy of your current EMS certification;
  • A copy of your most recent performance appraisal. 

Send your complete application package to Yosemite National Park’s Human Resources Office, Attention: Cyndi Mattiuzzi, PO Box 279-HR, Mariposa, CA 95338. You may email your application to .  Please ensure that you are use only a secure government email account to do so. You may also fax your application package to (209) 379-1934.  

Applications must be received in the Human Resources Office no later than March 16th.  If you have questions regarding the application process, please contact Cyndi Mattiuzzi at (209) 379-1806, or by email at .

Blue Ridge Parkway
GL-0025-9 Protection Rangers

Blue Ridge Parkway has issued an announcement for seven protection rangers. They will be based, respectively, at ranger stations in Balsam, Laurel Springs, Spruce Pine, Bedford, Fancy Gap, Floyd and Vinton.

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 March 17th.
 More Information...
Wind Cave National Park (SD)
GS-1603-7 Facility Services Assistant (Lateral)

Wind Cave National Park is seeking candidates for a lateral reassignment to a permanent, subject- to-furlough facility services assistant position.  The closing date is March 16th. 

The facility services assistant provides administrative support for activities involved in asset management, work associated with the Facility Management Software System (FMSS), the Facility Condition Assessment System (FCAS), the Cost Estimating Software System (CESS), and other budgetary programs such as Financial and Business Management System (FBMS) and Administrative Financial System (AFS4).

The person selected will undertake other related administrative duties as assigned, including but not limited to the following duties:

  • maintains records and database information to complete reports such as fleet, energy, housing and environmental Management System (EMS);
  • maintains all records and databse information in accordance with established guidelines;
  • maintains employee records, such as payroll, personnel, and travel;
  • inputs employee payroll;
  • performs required audits;
  • follows appropriate payroll procedures to ensure accurate employee timekeeping;
  • initiates personnel actions, counts and deposits fee monies. 

Travel, transportation, and relocation expenses may be paid if the person selected for the position is from outside the local commuting area and is otherwise eligible for reimbursement of relocation expenses under the current Federal Travel Regulations; however, there will be no guaranteed home sale.

Wind Cave National Park is located in the southern end of the Black Hills near Hot Springs, SD.  The 33,850 acre park includes the sixth-longest cave in the world which contains 95% of the world’s boxwork formations.  Approximately 70% of the park consists of the streams, hills, crags and canyons of a mixed-grass prairie with the remaining area covered by ponderosa pine forest.  Numerous wildlife species roam the park including large herds of bison, elk, mule deer, pronghorn, black footed ferrets, prairie dogs and coyote. 

Wind Cave National Park is located in the southern Black Hills of southwest South Dakota, approximately five-and-a-half hours north of Denver.  Medical and dental services, shopping, restaurants and churches of most faiths are available in Hot Springs (12 miles) and Custer (20 miles).  The vibrant full service community of Rapid City, population 60,000, is 60 miles away.

For more information about the park, visit our web site at or our Facebook page.  Applicants may contact the hiring official for additional information on the position by contacting Facility Manager Doug Crossen at 605-745-1140 or by email at

To be considered applicants should submit the following:

  • Current resume/application
  • Current SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action (cannot be an award SF-50)

Applications/resumes may be mailed directly to Wind Cave National Park and must be received by the close of business on March 16th (4:30 p.m. MST).  Mailing address is Wind Cave National Park, Attention Karri Fischer, 26611 US Hwy 385, Hot Springs, SD  57747 or by email to