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Thursday, October 26, 2006


Yosemite National Park (CA)
Noted Climber Falls To His Death

An experienced rock climber fell to his death this past Monday while climbing near Bridalveil Fall in Yosemite Valley. Todd Skinner, 47, of Lander, Wyoming, was climbing a route on the Leaning Tower when he fell approximately 500 feet to his death. Skinner's climbing partner reported the fall at around 4 p.m.  Skinner was pronounced dead at the scene. He is survived by his wife and three children. The exact cause of death is under investigation. [Submitted by Adrienne Freeman, Public Affairs]  More Information...

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (AZ)
Sentencing Of Drug Smugglers

Thirteen Mexican nationals who were arrested in two separate drug smuggling incidents have been sentenced in federal court to extended terms in jail, followed by deportation. On October 2, 2005, rangers arrested ten Mexican nationals who were caught smuggling backpacks of marijuana into the United States. The total weight of the marijuana was 550 pounds. The ten men were indicted on one count each of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana (21 USC 846) and one count each of possession with intent to distribute marijuana (21 USC 841). All ten defendants have now pled guilty to one count each of the conspiracy to distribute charges, and have been sentenced to a total of 175 months of commitment with credit for time served and 36 months each of supervised release. They will be deported upon completion of their sentences. On June 28, 2005, rangers arrested another three Mexican nationals, also caught smuggling backpacks of marijuana into the United States. The total weight of the marijuana was 266 pounds. They were indicted on the same to charges. After a lengthy series of motions and hearings, the narcotics charges were dismissed in favor of immigration charges. Two of the men pled guilty to one count each of unlawfully entering the United States from Mexico (8 USC 1325 (a)). They were sentenced to six months commitment with credit for time served. The third man pled guilty to illegal re-entry after deportation (8 USC 1326(a)), with sentencing enhancement pursuant to 8 USC 1326 (b) (1), and was sentenced to 19 months commitment with credit for time served and 36 months of supervised release.  They will be deported upon completion of their sentences. [Submitted by Susan Morton, Special Agent]


Southeast Region
Art Frederick Selected As Deputy Regional Director

Art Frederick has been selected as the new deputy regional director for Southeast Region. Frederick comes to Atlanta after three years as the superintendent of Virgin Islands National Park.

“We are very fortunate to have such an excellent park service professional join our regional headquarters team,” said regional director Patricia Hooks. “Art brings with him a wealth of park service management experience that will be a great asset for us.”

Frederick has worked for the National Park Service for nearly 30 years. He is a Florida native and a graduate of Florida State University, who earned a double major in history and political science with a minor in sociology. He started his park service career at Fort Caroline National Monument as an interpretive ranger.  Frederick spent a number of years as a law enforcement ranger, first at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. He later transferred to the Blue Ridge Parkway, where, after 12 years, he became chief ranger. In 1996, he was selected as deputy superintendent at Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site. In 2000, he was selected as superintendent of Cumberland Island National Seashore, where he stayed until he took charge of  the Virgin Islands National Park in 2003.

As superintendent of the Virgin Islands National Park, Frederick supervised the renovation of key facilities and launched the development of a new general management plan for the park. He also worked vigorously to accomplish land acquisitions and exchanges to preserve important natural and cultural resources.

Frederick said he knew he wanted to be a park ranger from a young age.  "When I was about 14 years old, my brother and I were fishing in the Everglades and we encountered a ranger who spent about 45 minutes telling us all about the marine resources of the Glades," Frederick said. "As he walked away, I said to my brother ‘that is what I want to be in life.'"

"This is a great opportunity and I'm really pleased that I was selected for this position," Frederick said. "The Southeast Region of the National Park Service has 64 wonderful and remarkable units ranging from Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site to the Virgin Islands National Park, and I’m really looking forward to working with the devoted and dedicated staff in the parks and the regional office to continue the collective effort to preserve and protect the cultural and natural features of the Southeast Region and provide opportunities for our visitors to enjoy those features.”
[Submitted by William F. Reynolds, Assistant Regional Director for Communications]

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Submission standards for the Morning Report can be found by clicking here. All reports should be submitted via email to Bill Halainen at Delaware Water Gap NRA, with a copy to your regional office and a copy to Dennis Burnett in Division of Law Enforcement and Emergency Services, WASO.

Prepared by Visitor and Resource Protection, WASO, with the cooperation and support of Delaware Water Gap NRA.