Mark your calendars (OCTOBER 17-19, 2014) for the kickoff event of the Fall climbing season in JTree… Climb Smart 2014. A benefit for Friends Of Joshua Tree as well as JOSAR, this gathering at the Joshua Tree Astronomy Arts Theater and various venues in and outside of the Park is simply an awesome way to sharpen your trad skills, meet some amazing climbers, get to win piles of swag, give back to the Park and just have fun with loads of new climbers.
(From National Park Service Morning Report)
Pacific West Region
David Smith Named Joshua Tree Superintendent
David Smith has been selected as the new superintendent for Joshua Tree National Park in California. Smith is currently the superintendent of Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Topeka, Kansas. He will begin his new position in mid-September, replacing former superintendent Mark Butler, who retired earlier this year.
“David’s experience and proven leadership will be a great asset for the park,” said Pacific West Regional Director Chris Lehnertz. “His background working in diverse parks with many different types of resources and his proven success in building collaborative relationships both inside and outside government makes him a great fit. It is a bonus that David considers Joshua Tree to be ‘his dream park.’ It is where he signed on as a park volunteer, and in 1998, got his first permanent position with the National Park Service.”
During 22 years with the National Park Service, Smith has served as a law enforcement ranger, a park interpreter, and a biological technician in a host of western parks. Before coming to Kansas, he served in Washington, D.C. as legislative staffer on the House Natural Resources Committee as part of the NPS Bevinetto Fellowship program.
Smith arrived in Washington having worked as district naturalist at Grand Canyon National Park, interpretive specialist at the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, and as a law enforcement ranger at Cabrillo National Monument and Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.
“I grew up climbing and camping in what is one of America’s hidden jewels: Joshua Tree National Park,” said Smith. “Helping to lead Joshua Tree in the coming years is an honor. The staff at Joshua Tree are committed to caring for the park and its visitors. They are leaders in environmental education, scientific research, as well as search and rescue, resource protection, and facilities management. I am looking forward to the privilege of working with such an amazing cadre of individuals.”
Smith earned a BS in forestry/developmental studies from the University of California, Berkeley as well as an MS in resource interpretation from Texas State/Stephen F Austin University. He is a graduate of the NPS GOAL leadership program and is the national winner of the Freeman Tilden Award for excellence in interpretation. He is also featured in a 2013 TEDx talk on civic engagement and national parks
Smith grew up in northern San Diego County, California, which is still home to his extended family. He will be joined by his spouse and their two children when he begins his tour of duty in mid-September. Smith’s hobbies include rock climbing and trail running. He is looking forward to finding a local church, maintaining his ties with Rotary and becoming an active member of the greater Joshua Tree National Park area communities.
We wanted to let you know about an Adopt a Crag event happening in your area.
Where: Town Hall, Idyllwild, CA
When: Sunday, June 1
Details: After coffee and scones we will break into three groups to work on the trail to Lunch Rock, the trail to the North Side of Tahquitz, and the trail to Suicide Rocks. When the work is done we will return to Town Hall for lunch, a raffle, and a silent auction. Sponsors have been generous with swag so you efforts should be rewarded!
Bring work clothes, gloves, water and snacks, and contact James Pinter-Lucke with questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every hour of time you donate to a crag helps show land managers that climbers are responsible stewards. Grab some friends and a pair of work gloves and spend a day giving back to the sport you love! We hope to see you there.
Thanks for your support,
Access Fund and FOJT
On Saturday, April 19, 2014, Joshua Tree National Park, along with other fee parks in the National Park Service, will kick off National Park Week and offer a fee-free weekend, April 19 and 20, 2014.
Come visit Joshua Tree Visitor Center (open 8-5), Oasis Visitor Center (open 9-5) and Cottonwood Visitor Center (open 9-4). Enjoy the beauty of the desert, hike a trail, and experience the majesty of your national parks! Some closures due to storm damage and nesting raptors are still in effect. Please ask a ranger at one of the visitor centers for additional details.
Pass the word please, especially to your friends who have never seen JTree in the springtime.
Join a ranger for a program! Programs currently having space available include:
April 19 – Evening Campfire Program at Indian Cove Campground, 8:00 p.m.;
April 20 – Cap Rock Hike, 2:00 p.m.;
April 23 – Cholla Cactus Garden Talk, 10:00 a.m.;
April 24 – Twin Tanks Talk, 10:00 a.m.; Walk Street Mill Hike, 11:00 a.m.
April 25 – Cottonwood Canyon Hike, 2:00 p.m.; Evening Campfire Program at Cottonwood Campground, 8:00; Evening Campfire Program at Jumbo Rocks Campground, 8:00 p.m.;
April 26 – Evening Program at Indian Cove Campground, 8:00 p.m.
You can also join a ranger for informal talks throughout the week at various locations including Hidden Valley, Skull Rock, Keys View and Barker Dam. Times will vary. Please check in at any of our visitor centers to see where these opportunities are available.
On April 26, 2014, we will conclude National Park Week by celebrating our next generation of park stewards with National Junior Ranger Day. Please see a ranger at any of our visitor centers for a list of ongoing activities this weekend.
Enjoy a glimpse at what makes these parks and park sites special to some of our dedicated staff by linking to: http://www.nps.gov/jotr/photosmultimedia/multimedia.htm We encourage you to enjoy your public lands and to find a place that gives you solace – find your park!
JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK, Twentynine Palms, California –
Joshua Tree National Park Visitor Protection Rangers, along with volunteer Joshua Tree Search and Rescue team members (JOSAR) responded to several incidents in the park this weekend. A report of a fallen climber near Hemingway was received at 11:29 AM, Saturday, March 29, 2014. The report indicated the climber had fallen 15-20 feet and was unconscious and bleeding. National Park Rangers and medics from San Bernardino County arrived on scene and the patient was transported by Mercy Air to High Desert Medical Center.
On Sunday, March 30, 2014, a motor vehicle accident was reported just before 12:00 noon. A motorcycle went into the soft shoulder of the road approximately one-mile from the entrance closest to the West entrance to the park and crashed. The rider was wearing a helmet but appeared to have suffered a possible head injury. He was transported by Morongo Basin Ambulance to High Desert Medical Center. California Highway Patrol, in cooperation with the National Park Service, is investigating the incident.
Also on Sunday, a fallen climber at Headstone Rock was reported just after 12:00 noon. A 38-year old male had fallen an unknown distance, and was unconscious with a head wound. The patient was lowered using a technical rescue and was transported by ambulance to High Desert Medical Center. Partnering in this effort were San Bernardino County, Morongo Basin Ambulance, JOSAR and Joshua Tree National Park.
It is the busy season at Joshua Tree National Park, a time when local, domestic and international visitors all get out and experience parks and public lands. Enjoy your time here safely.
JOSHUA TREE SPRING CLING
Joshua Tree, CA Join the American Alpine Club and Friends of Joshua Tree for our 3rd Annual Spring Cling Event! One of the AAC Southwest Section’s best annual events, we gather en masse to lend Joshua Tree a helping hand! We will be meeting in Joshua Tree National Park on March 22nd at 8:00am in Hidden Valley Campground for a FREE volunteer breakfast and climber’s coffee. From 9:00am to 2:00pm we’ll be working with the Park Service’s Conservation Crew on a series of environmental projects. PLEASE COME OUT IN FORCE AND HELP CLEAN UP JTREE! BRING YOUR FRIENDS! At 6:30pm please join us at the very interesting FURST WORLD STUDIO (8528 Desert Shadows Rd.), right outside the Park gates, for beer, silent auctions, raffles and a special slideshow by Ethan Pringle.
The AAC has free campsites for up to 18 people. If you are interested in acquiring one of these sites, please contact AAC Western Manager Jeff Deikis.
If you’ve missed out on this event in the past, now’s your chance for redemption! One of the years best AAC events!! Hope to see you there!
Joshua Tree National Park Superintendent Mark Butler signed a Temporary Emergency Closure to protect nearby nesting raptors. The climbing routes affected by this closure include: Slatanic Area, Rattlesnake Buttress, Margaret Thatcher Spire, The Stepping Stones, The Bulkhead, The Dunce Cap and Commissioner’s Buttress. These are all located in the Indian Cove area of the park. Day hiking in Rattlesnake Canyon is not restricted at this time.
The nesting pair appears to have finished constructing a nest, and this area will remain closed until the nest has been abandoned to ensure the protection of the species for the duration of the nesting activities. The park does not anticipate the closure will last beyond June 15, 2014.
FOJT thanks Kevin Powell for stepping up to improve the anchors at a popular feature in the Park, and for showing the way forward for climbers to work with the Park in wilderness fixed anchor management. Here’s a screen cap of his post on Mountain Project about the replaced/upgraded anchors on Room To Shroom and four other climbs just a short scramble from Barker Dam. No need to use the Pinyon Pine anymore!
Both Mark Butler (Superintendent JTNP) and John Jarvis (Director, NPS) have made recent landmark decisions that clarify how fixed anchors in wilderness are to be managed… thanks to the input of groups like FOJT, AF, and climbing ranger Bernadette Regan (JTNP), the way forward is both better for climbers and the preservation of the Park. That is a win/win! FOJT BOD