The Morning Report

Monday, May 04, 2015

Recent Editions  

INCIDENTS



Grand Canyon National Park (AZ)
Visitor Falls To Death From South Rim

A visitor from Las Vegas fell to his death from the South Rim on the afternoon of Thursday, April 30th.

Park dispatch received a report that a man had fallen from the edge of the Rim Trail east of Mather Point around 4:20 p.m. A hasty search was begun, but searchers were unable to find the man. His body was spotted about 400 feet below the rim from a park helicopter.

The body of the victim, identified as Juan Carreras-Soto, 29, was recovered the following day. Carreras-Soto was visiting the park with his family.

The fall has been ruled accidental, but the incident remains under investigation.

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


Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (MO)
Aryan Nation Holds First Amendment Rally In Park

On April 25th, a First Amendment gathering was held on the west steps of the Old Courthouse. The rally was sponsored by Aryan Nation/Church of Jesus Christ Christian in support of imprisoned Aryan Nation member Gary Yarbrough, currently held in federal prison in Florence, Colorado. About 20 people were in attendance.

The designated area for the special use permit had to be cleared by rangers, as it was occupied by members of the Anti-Racist Collective, who did not have a permit. The area was cordoned off with bike racks. About 40 people from this group stayed and heckled the members from the Aryan Nation. Rangers and officers from the St. Louis Police Department monitored the rally and a few verbal warnings were issued for language.

The rally lasted just over an hour and members of both groups were having civil conversations by the end of the rally.

Click on the link below for a story with photos and additional details.

[Submitted by Mike Horton, Law Enforcement Specialist]

 More Information...

NEWS AND NOTES



General Grant National Memorial (NY)
President Grant’s Legacy Recalled At Birthday Event

Late on a cool Monday morning in April, the National Park Service held the annual commemoration of President Grant’s birthday in collaboration with the United States Military Academy. This year’s theme was “Beyond Appomattox.”

On this the 150th anniversary year of the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln’s funeral procession in New York City, and the continuing commemoration of the modern civil rights movement 50 years ago, the air was thick with history.

Speakers all chose to expand beyond Grant's often heralded magnanimity in his surrender terms and the military aspects of the Battle of Appomattox Courthouse to discuss the implications the end of the war had on the nation, Grant's admirable civil rights record both before and during his Presidency, and how the results of the Civil War and its conclusion are still being worked out today. 

Ulysses Grant Dietz, great-great-grandson of President Grant, shared how he was often made to feel ashamed of his name when he was a young man, because whenever someone he met learned he was named after President Grant they would often disparage the president as a drunk, callous to the loss of life, and a poor president.

Dietz went on to say these misconceptions and false accusations about his namesake that were popularized and proliferated during the first half of the 20th century have been, despite persistent pockets of continued perpetuation online, largely disproven and dispelled as historians in recent decades have reevaluated Grant. Dietz now proudly embraces his full name.  

Noted historian and author Eric Foner addressed the assembled crowd of about 150 (including dozens of primary school children) on the strength of Grant's character, as demonstrated not only by his treatment of his enemy at Appomattox but by his actions expanding the use of federal power to enforce civil rights and combat "domestic terrorism" across the nation.

Colonel William Graham of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Ulysses Grant Dietz, and a representative of the National Park Service each laid a wreath at the entrance to the crypt.  After the sharp crack of a rifle salute, a bugle slowly played taps as the color guard furled the flags and the crowd dispersed to consider Grant's legacy.

[Submitted by Liam Strain, Acting Chief, Operations and Visitor Services]


Alaska Region
Alaska Region Hosts 2015 NPS Academy

Alaska Region has been hosting an NPS Student Conservation Academy at Kenai Fjords National Park for the past three years, one of four academies nationwide.

Youth interested in conservation come together from all over the state to learn about different career paths and jobs within the National Park Service. Each individual then has the opportunity to work the following summer as an intern at a national park in Alaska. More than 20 students participated in the March kickoff this year. 

This program continues to be a huge success and the best way to get diverse youth working in our parks. Thanks to all those who helped to make this happen.

[Submitted by Margaret Goodro, margaret_goodro@nps.gov, 907-644-3627]


Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve (FL)
National Park Night Held At Ballpark

Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve brought the Find Your Park campaign to the baseball grounds the night of Friday, April 24th, to encourage locals to help celebrate the upcoming centennial.

Timucuan Preserve and the Jacksonville Suns teamed up to launch National Park Week with a bang – the park’s historic weapons team fired the cannon to start the night’s festivities.  The game’s first pitch was thrown out by one of the four Junior Rangers who joined two rangers on the mound.

The fun didn't end there. Rangers were on hand to answer questions, promote National Park Week events, and hand out special trading cards to encourage fans to learn more about the parks in their own back yards. Those not lucky enough to attend the ballgame heard a ranger interviewed during the game bythe play-by-play radio voice of the Suns, Roger Hoover.

The Timucuan Trail Parks Foundation, the park friends group, was also on hand to explain all of the great volunteer opportunities in the park.   

National Park Night coincided with Scout Night at the minor league baseball game.  This provided rangers with an excellent chance to reach the next generation of nature lovers. The #FindYourPark campaign video played on the big screen between innings and over 4,000 spectators were encouraged find their parks.

Timucuan used this event at the baseball stadium located within the urban core of Jacksonville to promote parks, celebrate with our partners, and introduce ourselves to the next generation of stewards.

[Submitted by Emily Palmer, Park Ranger]


San Antonio Missions National Historical Park (TX)
Naturalization Ceremony Held During National Park Week

To celebrate National Park Week, San Antonio Missions National Historical Park hosted its first ever naturalization ceremony on Thursday, April 23rd, at Mission San Jose.

Director Jarvis joined United States Magistrate Judge John W. Primomo, who presided over the ceremony. Fifty candidates took the oath of citizenship in front of Mission San Jose’s famous Rose Window. 

The new citizens came from 22 countries, including Australia, Bahamas, Bhutan, Brazil, China, Colombia, Cuba, Czech Republic, France, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, India, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Sudan, United Kingdom, Vietnam, and Yemen.

Director Jarvis and Superintendent Mardi Arce presented brief remarks during the ceremony, welcoming candidates to their national park and inviting them to find their park during National Park Week and beyond. 

Attendees enjoyed music from the 323rd Army Band, “Fort Sam’s Own,” Mission Brass Quintet. Students from Harlandale High School’s Junior ROTC provided the color guard for the ceremony.

Immediately following the ceremony, Director Jarvis presented Annual Military Passes to new citizens who are currently serving in the military as well as members of the 323rd Army Band Mission Brass Quintet.

The ceremony was the result of months of planning and coordination with Park Ranger for Community Outreach Anna Martinez-Amos, Chief Ranger Greg Smith, and staff from the US Citizenship and Immigration Service’s San Antonio Field Office.

Fire and Aviation Management
Rayne Rohrbach Named 2014 Prevention 52 Award Recipient

The NPS Structural Fire Program is pleased to announce that Rayne Rohrbach, a law enforcement ranger and park structural fire coordinator (PSFC) at Zion National Park, was selected as the recipient of the 2014 Prevention 52 Award.

In its fourth year, the Structural Fire Program’s Prevention 52 Award recognizes employees who have demonstrated a commitment to the prevention of structural fires throughout the year. Examples of this commitment can include completing annual fire and life safety inspections, preparing pre-incident plans, training employees on the use of fire extinguishers, or promoting fire prevention through an effective education program.

Rayne has worked extensively with the park’s concession operation to improve the reporting of structural fire incidents, ensuring prompt and appropriate firefighter response. He has also made efforts to ensure that fire alarm and sprinkler systems are properly inspected, tested, maintained, and repaired as necessary.

During Rayne’s time at Zion, he has dedicated much of his time to maintaining an effective working relationship with local fire departments, including the hosting of joint training exercises. This has resulted in a well-trained and prepared joint firefighting program that is ready to protect park resources and occupants. He has also ensured that all divisions and all levels of management are engaged and understand their role in fire prevention.

In addition to his efforts at the park level, Rayne provides assistance to the Intermountain Regional office and the WASO Structural Fire Program office. He devoted a significant amount of time and expertise to the development of the recently released Park Structural Fire Coordinator Certification Course.

“Rayne’s dedication to the NPS is second to none”, states Intermountain Regional Structural Fire Manager, Todd Neitzel, “His contributions are outstanding. He assists the other surrounding parks with any issues or concerns and ensures he connects them with the proper resources. His work with concessions has also echoed through the region, improving overall compliance with all large concessions operations.”

Rayne’s dedication and professionalism has been noted by park, regional, and national staff. Without a doubt, his efforts have helped to ensure the safety of park structures, cultural resources, and those who visit, live, and work in the national parks.  

If you know of an employee in your park or region who has been outstanding in their efforts to support structural fire prevention, consider nominating the individual for the 2015 Prevention 52 Award during the Semi-annual Consolidated Awards Call in January.

[Submitted by Eric Anderson, (208) 387-5786]


Carlsbad Caverns National Park (NM)
Passing Of Retired Historian Bob Hoff

Former National Park Service historian Robert "Bob" Hoff, 67, passed away peacefully on April 27th surrounded by family.

Bob began his career with the National Park Service in 1970 at Bandelier National Monument and went on to work at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Fort Union National Monument, Washington D. C., Fort Smith National Historic Site and Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park. He eventually found his way back to Carlsbad Caverns National Park, where he enjoyed his work as an interpretive supervisory park ranger and eventually retired in 2005 as the park’s historian. 

Bob felt a deep connection and passion for the cavern and to Carlsbad, where he and his family made their home.  Bob’s other passion was his wife of 44 years, Chris, who he met at the cavern during his first assignment.  Even in retirement, Bob never lost his love of Carlsbad Caverns and created an online blog where he shared information about the park. He was always helpful in teaching new interpretive rangers whenever he was asked. Much of his research remains in the park library and is still used by park staff.

He is survived by his wife, Chris, and their three sons, Jeffrey, Darren and Erik, in addition to his grandchildren, Jimi and Bane, and his siblings, Lyn, Karl and James.  Bob was a good friend and an exceptional wealth of knowledge for the park. He will be sorely missed.

[Submitted by Valerie Gohlke]


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 May 1st.

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 April 28th, the House passed the following bills of interest to the National Park Service:

  • H.R. 373 (Heck, R-NV-3), the Good Samaritan Search and Recovery Act.  The bill directs the Secretary of the Interior and Secretary of Agriculture to expedite access to certain Federal land for good Samaritan search-and-recovery missions.  The bill passed by a vote of 413-0.  The Department supports the bill with amendments.
  • H.R. 984 (Fortenberry, R-NE-1), to amend the National Trails System Act to direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study on the feasibility of designating the Chief Standing Bear National Historic Trail, and for other purposes.  The bill passed by voice vote.  The Department supports the bill.

Committee Activity

On April 29th, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (Chavetz) held a hearing on “Flying Under the Radar: Securing Washington, D.C. Airspace.”  The hearing was held to question several Federal agencies about the April 15, 2015 incident in which a gyrocopter landed on the U.S. Capitol grounds.  Robert MacLean, Chief of the US Park Police, was the Department’s witness.

On April 29th, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations  (Gohmert) held an oversight hearing on “Zero Accountability: The Consequences of Politically Driven Science.”  One topic of the hearing was the disposition of the Drakes Bay oyster farm at Point Reyes National Seashore. The Department was not asked to testify.

On April 30th, the House Natural Resources Committee (Bishop) approved by unanimous consent H.R. 1991 (Bishop, R-UT-1), a bill to extend the authority of the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to carry out the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (Bishop, R-UT-1).  The bill would extend the authority of the FLREA program for one year, to September 30, 2017.  The Department supports the continued authorization of FLREA but has not taken a position on this bill.

On April 30th, the House Armed Services Committee (Thornberry) approved by a vote of 60-2 H.R. 1735 (Thornberry, R-TX-13), the National Defense Authorization Act for 2016.  As reported, the bill includes a provision that would permit Federal agencies to prevent National Register and National Historic Landmark designation of Federal properties based on agency determination of national security needs.  The Department opposed this legislation when it was introduced as a stand-alone bill in the 113th Congress. 

New Bills Introduced

The following new bills of interest to the NPS were introduced:

  • S. 1100 (Thune, R-SD), to require State and local government approval of prescribed burns on Federal land during conditions of drought or fire danger.
  • H.R. 2059 (Connolly, D-VA-11), to award a Congressional Gold Medal to Edwin Cole “Ed” Bearss, in recognition of his contributions to preservation of American Civil War history and continued efforts to bring our nation’s history alive for new generations through his interpretive storytelling.
  • S. Res. 154 (Wyden, D-OR), a resolution designating May 16, 2015, as “Kids to Parks Day”.
  • H.R. 2167 (Grijalva, D-AZ-3), to amend the Public Lands Corps Act of 1993 to expand the authority of the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Secretary of the Interior to provide service opportunities for young Americans, to help restore natural, cultural, historic, archaeological, recreational, and scenic resources of the United States, to train a new generation of public land managers and enthusiasts, to promote the value of public service, and for other purposes.
  • S. 1160 (Udall, D-NM), to amend the Public Land Corps Act of 1993 to expand the authorization of the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, and the Interior to provide service opportunities for young Americans; help restore the nation’s natural, cultural, historic, archaeological, recreational and scenic resources; train a new generation of public land managers and enthusiasts; and promote the value of public service.

Upcoming Committee Activity

On May 5th, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee (Murkowski) will hold a hearing on the Federal government’s role in wildfire management, the impact of fires on communities, and potential improvements to be made in fire operations.  The hearing will take place at 10 a.m. in room 366 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.  A Department of Agriculture official will be the Administration’s witness.

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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



Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument - NV
GS-0340-13 Park Superintendent

An announcement has been issued for a superintendent for Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument.

The park was established last December through the transfer of lands from the Bureau of Land Management to the National Park Service. The urban park is located just north of Las Vegas. 

The superintendent will work in concert with an advisory council to establish and implement an overall management program for the only NPS site specifically dedicated to the preservation of Pleistocene fossils.

Applicants must be willing to work with people and teams and have proven management experience. 

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 May 18th.
 More Information...
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (HI)
GS-0025-12/13 Chief Ranger

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has issued an announcement for a chief ranger.

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 May 11th.
 More Information...
Death Valley National Park (CA)
WG-5716-8 Engineering Equipment Operator

Death Valley National Park has issued an announcement for an engineering equipment operator.

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 May 8th.
 More Information...
Mount Rainier National Park (WA)
GS-0303-5 Administrative Support Assistant

The Facility Management Division at Mount Rainier National Park has issued an announcement for a permanent  career seasonal administrative support assistant.   

Click on the link below for a copy of the announcement with full details on duties, area information, and procedures for applying.

If you are interested in more information, please contact Chief of Maintenance James Minor at 360-569-6712. 

It closes on May 8th.
 More Information...
Grand Canyon National Park (AZ)
GS-0025-11 Supervisory Protection Ranger

Grand Canyon National Park is currently seeking applicants for a fee and commercial enforcement supervisory ranger position.

Click on the link below for a copy of the announcement. It closes on May 6th.
 More Information...
Yosemite National Park (CA)
GL-0025-9 Protection Rangers (Lateral)

Yosemite National Park is seeking candidates interested in  lateral reassignments to one of several protection ranger (6c covered) positions.

These are required occupancy positions and are located in several different districts within the park. Candidates must currently hold a GL-0025-9 position and possess either a Level I or level II law enforcement commission to be considered.

Yosemite National Park encompasses 748,000 acres in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range of California.

The Wawona District is a true all-hazard work environment that includes resource protection orientated law enforcement, emergency medical services, search and rescue, wildland and structural fire, wilderness patrols, and participation in park-wide incidents. The primary area of responsibility includes the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, the Badger Pass Ski Area, Glacier Point, and Wawona. Opportunities may exist in the park’s tactical Special Response Team, park medic program, structural fire brigade, and all-hazard incident management.  With a unique community of private citizens, businesses, and park employees, the incumbent will be expected to engage in community oriented policing and work with park partners.

The community of Wawona includes the Wawona Hotel and Golf Course complex, stores, gas, a K-8 elementary school, county library, and approximately 300 houses of intermixed federal and private ownership. The Wawona District is located in the southern one-third of the park and is within a reasonable driving distance to full-service towns and metropolitan areas including Oakhurst (30 minutes) and Fresno (75 minutes).

The Valley District has a permanent population of approximately 1,500 residents, with visitation as high as 15,000 visitors per day during the busy summer months. Visitor and resource protection in the Valley District is a true all-risk operation, with staff specializing in law enforcement, investigative services, marijuana cultivation interdiction, emergency medical services, search and rescue, structural and wildland fire. Collateral duties may include serving as a field training ranger, park medic or paramedic, or membership on the park’s special response, technical rope rescue, swift water rescue, and/or helicopter rescue teams.

A market, stores, restaurants, church, day care center, and elementary school are all located within Yosemite Valley. Small towns, including Mariposa and Oakhurst, are approximately a one hour drive away, and large metropolitan areas including Fresno and Merced are two hours away. 

The Mather District’s area of responsibility includes a large portion of the Big Oak Flat and Tioga Roads, the Crane Flat gas Station, Tuolumne and Merced groves of giant sequoias, six campgrounds, White Wolf Lodge, and NPS information station with support facilities and the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.  Duty station may be in the Crane Flat, Tuolumne, or Hetch Hetchy Sub-district. The Mather District is looking for a highly motivated ranger with a pro-active enforcement approach for visitor and resource protection with the adaptability for backcountry operations.  The Crane Flat ranger offices are ideally located with close proximity to the park’s helibase and contract helicopter providing convenient opportunity for skill development as a HECM or Project Manager.  This position is in support of the All-Hazard operations of Yosemite National park with skill-development opportunities in law enforcement, investigative services, marijuana cultivation interdiction, emergency medical services, search and rescue, structural and wildland fire

Yosemite is seeking professional, team-orientated rangers interested in working in an all-hazard law enforcement ranger position with other dedicated professionals. Additional park information can be found at: www.nps.gov/yose. For more information regarding these positions, you can contact:

  • Wawona District: Supervisory Park Ranger Chad Andrews at 209-375-9520, ext. 228 or email (chad_andrews@nps.gov).
  • Valley District: Supervisory Park Ranger Jack Hoeflich at 209-379-0224 or jack_hoeflich@nps.gov.
  • Mather District: Supervisory Park Ranger Matt Stark at 209-379-1898 or matt_stark@nps.gov.

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 most recent performance appraisal. 
  • Please indicate in your application package the  area of the park you would prefer to work in (Wawona, Yosemite Valley, or Mather/Hetch Hetchy)

Send your complete application package to Yosemite National Park’s Human Resources Office, Attention: Cyndi Mattiuzzi,  PO Box 279-HR   Mariposa, CA 95338, or by fax to (209) 379-1934, or by secure government email to cyndi_mattiuzzi@nps.gov.

Applications must be received in the Human Resources Office no later than May 11th.  

If you have questions regarding the application process, please call Cyndi Mattiuzzi at (209) 379-1806.