NPS Director on Sequestration
Subject: Jarvis letter on sequestration
February 26, 2013
To: All National Park Service Employees
From: Director /s/ Jonathan B. Jarvis
Subject: Update on Preparations for Potential Sequestration
While there is a slim possibility that Congress will reach an agreement that eliminates the need for sequestration and the senseless, across-the-board budget cuts that it will impose, with the March 1 deadline only days away we must finalize our plans, be ready to implement them, and prepare for the resulting impacts on our visitors, our partners, our parks and programs, and on each and every employee.
Sequestration requires the National Park Service to take a five percent $134 million reduction in the funds we expected, and it must happen in the remaining seven months of this fiscal year. We have few options and even less flexibility. No park or program is immune, and each was required to submit a plan of how the cut would be taken and the impacts that would result. This was a tough assignment and I appreciate everyone stepping up to get it done. A review of the plans Service-wide offers a grim reality of how we will have to reduce the level of direct services we provide to the American people in parks and communities across the country. There will be wide-ranging and long-term consequences. And there will be and already have been negative impacts across our entire workforce. While plans are still be finalized, we expect the following to happen:
All 25,000 National Park Service employees will face challenges in performing your job. Because we are just as dedicated to the proper stewardship of taxpayer dollars as we are to the stewardship of their parks, we have been prudent about spending since the start of the fiscal year. Since October 1, we have delayed filling many vacant permanent jobs and reduced travel and other expenses. Secretary Salazar has implemented a Department-wide hiring freeze as well as given direction to reduce overtime, travel, training, contracts, cooperative agreements, and grants and eliminate conference attendance. I want to emphasize to you that keeping positions vacant is not a sustainable strategy; it cripples our ability to meet mission responsibilities from providing education programs to kids, to coordinating wildlife research, to managing museum collections and it increases the burden on remaining staff that take on additional critical work that cannot go undone.
Furloughs of Permanent Employees. We are still finalizing our plans and assessing whether furloughs of NPS permanent employees will be required. Across the Department of the Interior, it is expected that thousands of permanent employees will be furloughed for up to 22 work days. In the unfortunate event it comes to furloughs, all affected employees will be provided at least 30 days notice or in accordance with the designated representative collective bargaining agreement, as appropriate. We continue to engage in discussions with employee unions to ensure that any furloughs are applied in an appropriate manner meeting agency mission requirements. If you have questions on this issue, I encourage you to go to the Office of Personnel Management website, which has helpful information and answers to frequently asked questions regarding furloughs (found at www.opm.gov/furlough , under the "administrative furlough" section).
Seasonal employees will be furloughed, have delayed starts, shortened employment periods, or will not be hired at all. We lose our utility infielders. Our seasonal workforce is the "bench" we turn to when fires break out, search and rescue operations are underway, and every other collateral duty in the world needs doing. Many of these folks return year after year; they are the repositories of amazing institutional knowledge for the park and our visitors. The sequestration will hit just as many parks are gearing up to hire seasonals. In some parks, like Yellowstone, the impact has already started; those who would normally be getting ready to plow roads for the spring season are on hold and the opening of the park could be delayed up to a month. All seasonal employees that are furloughed will be provided at least 30 days notice.
We will be unable to hire the number of students that we had planned halting the progress on youth hiring of the last four years. Students are a vital part of our workforce today and integral to the National Park workforce of tomorrow. Sequestration will mean that we will be unable to meet our youth hiring goals. We also expect significant reductions to cooperative agreements with partners that fund youth work crews and are the foundation for our vision of a 21st Century Conservation Corps. Our inability to hire students and enter into cooperative agreements will have lasting impacts as these young people are forced to find work elsewhere and ultimately may make different career choices.
Sequestration will have long-term and wide-ranging effects.
1. Economic. Reduced services and access will make families planning summer vacations think twice about coming to a national park. A drop in visitation could have devastating effects on the economies of gateway communities who depend on visitor spending and shut down park lodging, food, and other services provided by concessioners who support 25,000 jobs. Just today we announced that visitor spending in 2011 pumped $30 billion into the national economy that supported 252,000 jobs.
2. Unfunded Community Projects. Our commitment to states and communities will be jeopardized by $2.4 million in cuts to NPS grants to states to support local recreation, $1.9 million to support historic preservation, and $500,000 in technical assistance offered by RTCA.
3. Resources at Risk. Our capacity to respond to new threats from invasive species will be cut in half and previous investments in eradication will be endangered; at Yosemite, more than $2.5 million spent in recent years to remove/control aggressive species as yellow star thistle, Italian thistle and Himalayan blackberry will be wasted if those plants reestablish their hold and increase their threat to native ecosystems. Water quality testing will be reduced in as many as 55 parks. At Redwood, the inability to fill the park's hydrologic technician position will lead to a degradation of the park's long-term hydrologic record. The park will be unable to collect water quality data that supports Clean Water Act Section 303(d) monitoring and directives from Congress contained in the 1978 Redwood Act. Ford's Theatre will lack the curatorial capacity to manage its collection of over 14,000 artifacts relating to President Lincoln and the management, preservation, and documentation of these objects and documents would be jeopardized.
If sequestration happens, I want you to know that I will be doing everything possible to mitigate its effects on our mission and on you and your families. Over the next several days it may be difficult to sort through what is fact and what is rumor. Your entire National Park Service leadership team in Washington, in the regions, and in parks, is committed to making sure that you have accurate and timely information as we know it.
Fort Larned holds off Mucho Macho Man to win Breeders' Cup Classic!!
Saturday, November 03, 2012
After a nice introduction at the start of the race about how Fort Larned was a fort on the Santa Fe Trail and was a protector of travelers, the horse named Fort Larned led from start to finish. You can't buy advertizement like this anywhere, right.
Of course we all know that Fort Larned, Kansas is #1.!!!!!!
Fort Larned, a 9-1 long shot, led all the way to win the $5 million Classic by a half-length on Saturday, capping a weekend of upsets at the Breeders' Cup.
Brian Hernandez Jr., aboard the winner, celebrated his 27th birthday with the biggest victory of his career.
Fort Larned ran 1¼ miles in 2:00.11 in the showcase race of the two-day world championships that was shown in prime time for the first time.
The Kinsley Public LibraryLet's Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War. The book discussion series will be conducted during 2012 at 65 libraries throughout the United States, with Kinsley being the only Kansas site. More Information listed here!
Cheyenne & Sioux Village Site
On Natinal Register
Fort Larned, Kansas NHS
Cheyenne & Sioux Village Site - Ness County
A notice from the Kansas State Historical Society that the Cheyenne & Sioux Village Site in Ness County was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 17, 2010. The nomination was made two years ago and approved unanimously by the state historic sites review board. The Old Guard received an award from the Kansas Preservation Alliance for preserving and protecting this important site associated with the Plains Indians and the Indian Wars. The nomination was initiallly rejected because the National Park Service reviewer concluded the site was "not that important in the career of George Custer," missing the fact that the nomination emphasized that it was a Cheyenne and Sioux village destroyed by General Winfield Scott Hancock, and that this was Custer's first encounter with Plains Indians. With the help of staff at the Kansas State Historical Society, who added information to classify the property as an archaeological site as well as a historic site, and material from Bill Chalfant's new book, Hancock's War, the revised nomination was approved. Special thanks to all who worked to make this possible. Addition to the National Register is a major step toward the goal of transfering the site to the National Park Service.
Fort Larned, Kansas Gets New Chief Ranger
Larned, Kansas - Fort Larned National Historic Site in southwest Kansas has a new chief ranger.
Veteran National Park Service employee George Elmore replaces Felix Revello, who retired.
Elmore grew up on a farm near Larned. He went to work at the Fort Larned historic site in 1973 as a seasonal employee after graduating from Fort Hays State University, then became a permanent employee in 1978.
Since 1986, Elmore has been the historic weapons coordinator for the midwest region of the National Park Service.
Below is a story of one of the many things George has done for the historic interpretation of this treasure on the plains, Fort Larned National Historic Site.
The Fort Larned Army Bridge was built in 1868. Until this photo was offered on E-Bay in December, there was no image or evidence available of its possible location. The photo, now in the Fort Larned National Historic Site archives, shows the bridge with a Rambler automobile, an original page from a car magazine dated 1906. The caption in the magazine states: "Rambler automobile on the old government bridge which spans the Pawnee Creek near Fort Larned, Kansas"
The bridge was located on the river west of the fort buildings, close to the point where the river bends back to the west. The bridge apparently did not survive long after this photo was taken. The early Frizell family photos do not show it. This the first known view of the bridge, which is very typical of 1860s military bridges, including those built during the Civil War.
The Fort Larned long--range plans call for the removal of the old highway bridge (that you presently use to enter the fort) and construction of a wooden bridge near it historic location, with parking on the west side of the river. Now it is possible to know how that original bridge appeared.
There are references to the bridge in the post records. On June 17, 1867, the Post Commander requested authority to build a bridge across Pawnee Fork. On September 6, 1867, word was received at the post that construction of the bridge had not been considered by the Secretary of War. The following year the Post Commander again requested authority to construct a bridge, and this was approved on September 20, 1868. On September 22, 1868, the Chief Quartermaster, Department of the Upper Arkansas, sent a plan for a bridge to be built at Fort Larned. Just a few days later, on September 25, the Acting Assistant Quartermaster at Fort Larned, Lieutenant L. W. Cook, 3rd Infantry, was given authority to construct a bridge. In December 1868 the Post Surgeon wrote, "A good substantial bridge across the Pawnee Fork about 100 yards above the post was completed this month."
During June 1869 the Pawnee Fork began rising and soldiers had to remove the plank flooring to keep it from washing away. The next day the string pieces floated away. In May 1872 the Surgeon commented, "Rain has fallen nearly every 24 hours during the entire month. On the night of the 18th the Pawnee Fork commenced rising, and by 10 A.M. next morning was up to the string pieces of the bridge: 21 feet above ordinary water mark." During June 1873 the Post Quartermaster submitted an estimate for materials needed for repairs around the post. On the list is a request for kegs of spikes 4" long to repair the deck of the bridge.
There is one reference to the bridge after the fort was abandoned. The Larned Chronoscope, April 23, 1880 reported: "Mr. H. King had quite an accident happen to him last Friday night. He had been to the Fort to a dance and was returning when the buggy slipped on the embankment at the Fort Bridge and tipped over tipping Mr. King and companion out."
In June 1855, a year after the fort was sold to the Pawnee Valley Stock Breeders, Mr Sage had a fancy new bridge built about 250 feet long at almost exactly the same location as the later concrete low water bridge and the current highway bridge built in 1963. By 1885 the towns farther west, including Rozel and Burdett, were growing, and a road was located near present highway 156.
The chronology that follows includes a sampling of events that involved Fort Larned in 1868-1869. It is based largely on selected letters sent from the fort and preserved on National Archives microfilm and taken from the Fort Larned Old Guard Newsletter "Outpost."
December 31, 1868
During the month, a "good, substantial wood bridge" was completed across the Pawnee Fork about one hundred yards above the fort. That same day, the commanding officer published an order forbidding owners of horses, cattle or hogs to allow the animals to run at large within the post. All horses or cattle found loose were to be driven into the corral and not returned to the owner except on payment of two dollars. Hogs running loose on the post were to be shot.
June 26, 1869
Medical history by Lieutenant Colonel Woodhull:
On Tuesday, 22d, the Pawnee Fork commenced rising, without rain having fallen at this post, and by the afternoon of 23d washed the string pieces of the bridge 21 feet above ordinary water mark. The flooring of the bridge was taken up as a precaution to decrease its resistance should the water rise higher. The might of this freshet is believed to be unprecedented since the establishment of this Post. The water subsided during the week, leaving the banks covered with mud and with some of this vegetation killed. The "dry channel" was filled with water, much of which remained there, in giving out offense odors until drained by ditching.
It is interesting what shows up on ebay, George Elmore, Fort Larned National Historic Site Ranger, was able to get this photo in late December. The photo above shows the Fort Larned Army bridge built in 1867-68. It is an original page from a car magazine dated 1906, showing a 1906 or older Rambler automobile on the bridge. You can see the bridge is located on the river close to the area where the river bends back to the west. I am positive the bridge did not survive much longer after this view, the early Frizell family photos we have do not show it, this is the first time we have seen the bridge, looks very typical to the 1860's Civil War bridge views.
Fort Larned NHS
1767 KS Highway 156
Larned, Kansas 67550
620-285-6911 Office phone
620-285-2896 ext 224 desk phone
Santa Fe Trail Research Site
"E-Mail & Home Page"
Larry & Carolyn
St. John, Ks.