Example Forest Infrastructure: Beehive Trail at Acadia National Park

Example Summit Sunrise Vista Site Atop Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park

Sunrise vistas are among the most popular activity sites at national forests and parks; the reward-to-effort ratio is typically very high. On the way to a comfortable perch, visitors can cause crowding and conflict by competing for desirable sites. One usual effect is that the trampled extent of the vista viewing area expands radially out from a maximally-impacted (or artificially hardened/paved/bedrock) core location as the margins get trampled and then expanded. Mountain summits, by their convex shape and eventually-steep sideslopes, help to topographically constrain this expansion, but summit ecosystems are usually among the most fragile of all given their exposure to the elements.

Site: Cadillac Mountain Summit Loop Trail, Cadillac Mountain, Mount Desert Island Unit, Acadia National Park, Maine, USNPS 44° 21′ 11.16″ N 68° 13′ 25.32″ W

3D Interactive Onsite Google Earth Map

Index of 3D Interactive Onsite Google Earth Maps for This Course

Acadia National Park 3D Interactive Onsite Google Earth Map

Cache River Valley Wetlands, Illinois, 3D Interactive Onsite Google Earth Map

Denali National Park, Alaska, 3D Interactive Onsite Google Earth Map

Evergreen Community Model, Illinois, 3D Interactive Onsite Google Earth Map

Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve, Colorado, 3D Interactive Onsite Google Earth Map

Haleakala National Park, Hawaii, 3D Interactive Onsite Google Earth Maps

Mount Monadnock, New Hampshire, 3D Interactive Onsite Google Earth Map

Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Missouri, 3D Interactive Onsite Google Earth Map

Southern Illinois Forest Rec & Management Sites, Illinois, 3D Interactive Onsite Google Earth Map

Wai’ānapanapa State Park, Hawaii, 3D Interactive Onsite Google Earth Map

Example: Food-Attracted Seagull Gives Dr. Park the Side-Eyes at Acadia National Park

Wildlife quickly learn that refined, carb- & fat-rich human foods can replace days of dangerous exertion hunting or foraging for food.

Then they also try swallowing things like fishing line, plastic bags, disposable lighters, and mylar food wrappers.

Then they die or have to be euthanized.

Site: Basalt shoreline south of Thunder Hole, Ocean Drive Loop Road, Mount Desert Island Unit, Acadia National Park, Maine, USNPS, 44° 19′ 12.36″ N 68° 11′ 19.68″ W

Google Earth Interactive Onsite 3D

Video: Logan Park 2018

Wednesday, May 20 Rec Camp Roundup

Federal resume template is going live.

Go on a field trip near you! …Provided you feel safe doing so. Record some videos if you do of the things you find.

Join us for Zoom debriefs each day. Or don’t and watch the recorded sessions if you need to.

Practice your knots, so far including overhand, single/double figure eight, and today’s alpine butterfly.

Stay safe out there as the self-quarantine rollback begins. Expect a second pulse of infections in the coming weeks and months, hopefully, as they say in Letterkenny, “not s’bad” as the first one.

Example Vista: Sunset at Blue Hill Overlook at Acadia National Park

Blue Hill Overlook is managed as developed frontcountry sacrifice zone: demand is so high to view sunsets here–for 2+ million visitors annually–that heavy use and the associated vegetation & soil impacts are concentrated here to protect other, similarly fragile areas nearby. The use is concentrated onto naturally impact-resistant pink granite bedrock.

Ascending Cadillac Mountain Road ~1,500 ft to Blue Hill overlook at Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park.

Ascending Cadillac Mountain Road ~1500ft to Blue Hill Overlook (1m), note single vehicle we pass, parked on the downslope side of the road.  This is an overflow site also used for environmental interpretation, called a “wayside.”

(Audio volume warning): Ascending an entire mountain by road puts visitors to Blue Hill Overlook squarely in “frontcountry” category.
Some aspects of the visitor experience are deeply dependent on timing and weather.
(Audio volume warning): Mountain peaks are windy. This exposure is a visitor risk/safety factor (ushering in rapidly-changing weather conditions including lightning strikes) but also helps create the unique soundscapes of each peak.
Dr. Park acting like a Fellow Kid taking a selfie.  Ironically self-aware, probably. (1m)
(Audio volume warning) Observe the overwhelmingly common tendency to establish a minimum radius between visitors at vista sites. This pushes visitors onto vegetation & creates trampling impacts if left unmanaged.
As dusk transitions into night, observe the light (pollution in some cases) of nearby towns and other gateway communities such as Bar Harbor. The U.S. National Park Service has begun coordinating out beyond its borders with nearby landowners and business operators to help protect nighttime sky resources, such as the ability to see the Milky Way unaided.

Another view of a wayside built into the downslope side of Cadillac Mountain Road. If this were located on the upslope side, many visitors would be placed in harm’s way by the understandable temptation to cross the road for a better view.

One task of foresters, park rangers, and planners is to help identify normal motivations like this well in advance.

(Audio volume warning) Example of “God Rays,” or sunlight partially occluded/blocked by clouds on the horizon. The light becomes visible to us as these rays by hitting atmospheric particulate/dust/coastal marine salt aerosol. Foresters & park rangers cannot control the weather conditions that present these experiences, but we can set visitors up for maximum success and safety with thoughtful site design, flow management, onsite environmental interpretation, and maintenance onsite.

Example Vista Site: Sunset at Blue Hill Overlook & Cadillac Mountain Road, Cadillac Mountain summit, Mount Desert Island Unit, Acadia National Park, Maine, USNPS. 44.350428 N 68.2308993 W

Videos & Images: Logan Park 2018

Interpreting Peregrine Falcon Cliff-Nesting Sites at Acadia National Park

Park staff close the wildly popular via ferrata (off-harness/nontechincal climbing route) Precipice Trail seasonally to protect the peregrine falcon nesting sites using the same cliffline.

They also work hard to contact visitors here, armed with spotting scopes, to explain why the trail is closed. Visitors behave much more prosaically once they understand what’s at stake.

Site: Precipice Trail Parking Lot, Ocean Drive Loop Road, Mount Desert Island Unit, Acadia National Park, Maine, USNPS 44° 20′ 58.2″ N 68° 11′ 16.44″ W Interactive Google Earth Onsite 3D

Alaskan Sled Dogs (Working Animals) demo at Denali National Park

Much of Denali National Park is federally-designated wilderness. Traditional land uses, like Alaskan sled dog travel, are A-OK in wilderness.

These dogs, though…let me tell you they’re bred to live like the hottest of hot-blooded racehorses. Intelligent, highly trainable, and completely pants-on-head over the top insanely energetic.

I remember these barking as though possessed for 22 hours a day. Granted, in the summer, it’s light out for about that long each day. It’s difficult to get rest in those conditions.

I miss sleep.

Send burritos.

3D Interactive Google Earth Onsite

Moose Jam at Denali National Park

Forest Wildlife Habitat Managers, this is what your visitors will do when encountering any type of charismatic megafauna. These behaviors can cause tremendous problems if not managed.

Done right, though, this is a safe, healthy, and exciting experience for your visitors and protective of the wildlife as well.

In this location at Denali NP, visitors are confined to the bus, leaving the moose, grizzlies, caribou (reindeer) etc. to their hurried short summer browsing and calorie storage.

3D Interactive Google Earth Onsite

Exercise: Listen for the unique soundscape / natural quiet of a cobble beach

Since the 1990s, national park systems around the world have begun to incorporate natural quiet and soundscapes as a precious and fragile natural resource. Noise pollution has powerful deleterious effects on human health and well-being, as well as for wildlife!

Bass Harbor Head, Mount Desert Island Unit, Acadia National Park, Maine, USNPS 44° 13′ 30″ N 68° 19′ 47.64″ W

Wave-tumbled basalt and pink granite cobble beach.

Wild edibles, such as fiddlehead ferns, blueberries, blackberries/raspberries, etc. can tempt people to go crashing through woody vegetative undergrowth in search of sweet morsels.

A thirty-second diversion into a berry patch can destroy years of growth for sensitive species.

Site: Bass Harbor Head, Mount Desert Island Unit, Acadia National Park, Maine USNPS 44° 13′ 19.92″ N 68° 20′ 4.2″ W Interactive Google Earth Onsite

Video: Logan Park 2018

Example: Visitor-Created Trail Soil Subsidence (Erosion + Compaction) at Acadia National Park

This is an example of a “Condition Class 5” (active erosional processes underway) trail segment in saturated subalpine acidic soil over granite (insoluble, low pH buffering) parent material.

These roots shouldn’t be visible and degloved (bark stripped off by lugged boot sole trampling) under natural/non-trampled conditions.

Site: Forested shoreline east of Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, Mount Desert Island Unit, Acadia National Park, Maine, USNPS

44° 13′ 19.92″ N, 68° 20′ 8.16″ W, 3D Interactive Onsite Google Earth

Video: Logan Park 2018

Example: What hardening a resource against rec impact looks like at Acadia National Park

Observe the basalt/granite stone steps sourced from local material. Also observe the custom-built boardwalk (raised wooden) stairs. Both are used all across the national park by Acadia National Park’s management team to physically separate 2+ million annual visitors’ feet from the fragile subalpine, shoreside lenses of thin, acidic spruce & fir needle-based soils.

Onsite Interactive Google Earth, 3D

Video: Logan Park 2018

Caribou Causing Congestion

The tundra brush in Denali National Park can grow quite thickly, slowing wildlife travel, costing more precious calories, and concealing hungry predators. Some species adapt by using cleared human transportation infrastructure like the Denali Park Road to move much more quickly.

Joe van Horn, Denali’s Chief of Resource Management at the time (2007) is driving a respectful distance and speed behind this bull caribou.

Natural Resource Conflicts Section, Human Dimensions, Day 5:

Important Reminder: Keep an eye on D2L for the link to this afternoon’s debriefing with Dr. Akamani (Zoom) at 4pm Central USA time.

For a detailed understanding of Lesson 5: Natural resource conflicts and wicked problems, please read Rittel and Webber (1973), Nie (2003), and Brooks & Champ (2006). All readings are available in the “Reading Materials” folder on D2L. Please see the full citations of the readings below:

Brooks, J. J. & Champ, P. A. (2006). Understanding the wicked nature of “Unmanaged recreation” in Colorado’s front range. Environmental Management, 38, 784-798. (D2L)

Nie, M. (2003). Drivers of natural resource-based political conflict. Policy Sciences, 36, 307-341. (D2L)

Rittel, H. W., & Webber, M. M. (1973). Dilemmas in a general theory of planning. Policy Sciences, 4, 155-169. (D2L)

  1. Based on Rittel and Webber (1973), what are wicked problems, and what are some of their defining characteristics? Please provide some examples of wicked problems in recreation planning. (D2L discussion topic)
  2. Based on Nie (2003), what driving forces contribute to the formation of wicked natural resource conflicts? (D2L discussion topic)
  3. Nie (2003) makes a distinction between environmental conflicts that are wicked by design and those that are wicked by nature. How important is this distinction for conflict management purposes? (D2L discussion topic)
  4. How useful are the recommendations Nie (2003: 335) provides for managing conflicts that involve conflicting values and knowledge uncertainties / disagreement? (D2L discussion topic)
  5. Based on the case study on unmanaged recreation from Brooks and Champ (2006), what recommendations would you provide for the successful management of wicked problems in the field of parks and recreation planning? (D2L discussion topic)

Important Reminder: Keep an eye on D2L for the link to this afternoon’s debriefing with Dr. Akamani (Zoom) at 4pm Central USA time.

Begin learning your knots, bends, hitches, and lashings:

You already know this one, so learn when it’s used for safety and when *not* to use it.

Extend the life of your safety gear and your own life by learning to coil (“flake”) your lines to avoid tangles and fiber breakdown.

Each knot serves a specific safety or functional purpose; you need to use the right one for each situation.

Natural Resource Planning Section Human Dimensions Day 3: Natural Resources Planning and the Cache River Valley

Complete: Lesson 3 Reading Assignment (from yesterday evening in the course calendar):

Confer: Natural Resources Planning Discussions:

Commence: Lesson 4 Reading Assignment (available at 6:00 pm Wednesday)

Calendar-ize Conversation Coming Up: Friday 4pm – 5pm Zoom debrief with Dr. Akamani

Clearcutting Chokes Current

Historic clearcutting practices by some of the early western settlers and farmers to the area caused massive, massive soil erosion into rivers like the Current and Jacks Fork of Ozark National Scenic Riverways. These river channels were once described as deep, fast-flowing, and routinely scoured by flooding.

Now, they are choked with gravel, cobble and other coarse fragments dozens of feet thick in places. This sediment is then locked in place by vigorously growing early successional species that reduce the ability of flooding to flush these clogs downstream.

Many millennia from now, the erosion will all finally be blasted out to sea and the Current & Jacks Fork will flow rapid, cold and deep once again long after we’re gone.

Cave Spring Aperture

Cave spring is what a wet seep looks like when it grows to the size of a small river.

This karst (calcareous / limestone-type wet cave could serve as solid habitat for a variety of aquatic & cave species, but its easy access and high desirability among human visitors puts a lot of pressure on the species that might otherwise be abundant here.

One example is the onset in the past few decades of Whitenose Syndrome (geomyces destructans) among North American bats. The spores have jumped from cave to cave from Europe to the Northeastern USA and now here. Combining that with visitation pressure is a difficult bar for local bat populations to survive.

So, the USNPS has worked with the Cave Research Foundation to build in-place cave gates that fence out human visitors and allow bats & smaller through just fine.

Antidunes migrating upstream

Medano Creek is a sinking stream, but of a different kind than we’re used to in the karst (eroded, effectively porous/fractured limestone-type) geology we’re used to in the southern Midwest. Here in southern central Colorado, the sandy, wind-deposited soil forces the stream aboveground here and there and lets it disappear to flow slowly through the sand elsewhere.

The snowmelt sediment and specific landform slope combine here to have a strange thing happen over and over in Medano Creek: the little dune-like riffles collapse and the current immediately rebuilds each, but *slightly upstream*. This is mighty unusual/rare. Normally dunes and other fluid-sculpted sediment deposits migrate downstream/downwind (“saltation” from the latin word for jumping), not up, as the flow takes a hold and transports each particle.

So, students, how would you have to manage this area’s onsite use and upper watersheds to protect this rare phenomenon’s existence and value at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve?

Site: Medano Creek at Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

Managing Rivers Large and Small

Read this:

Watch this short intro to Ozark National Scenic Riverways (1m): https://www.facebook.com/Ozarkriverways/videos/319674212301433/

Watch this condensed 45-mile Current River float trip (10m): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBenak-PbnQ

Explore the route shown in the video above using Google Earth for high-resolution 3D onsite tour.

Get to know Big Spring using these onsite summer camp and class field trip videos:

Example Federal Fire Hire + Advice From SIU Forestry Alum Jeremy

I received another posting from Forestry Alum, Jeremy Surprenant.  I will also include part of Jeremy’s message to me below.  Good luck, we would love to see more SIU Foresters in these permanent positions.  He invites you to call him if you have questions.
All the Best, Patti


From: Jeremy:

Most people looking for jobs straight out of college do not realize this, but this is an incredibly rare opportunity to get a permanent fire position right out of the gate.  Very rarely do you see permanent fire positions announced at the 3 and 4 level.  Typically the lowest permanent fire position is at the GS-5 level, which takes multiple seasons as a temporary seasonal employee to qualify for.  Many students should qualify for the GS3 and if anyone has a season of fire experience they’ll qualify for the GS4 positions. 

Feel free to pass this along to those who may be interested, and as always, any students with questions about federal hiring are more than welcome to reach out to me.  Cell phone below works best.  

Thank you!!


Forest Service ShieldJeremy Surprenant
Supervisory Fire Engine Operator
(Captain E-601)Forest ServiceLand Between the Lakes National Recreation Areap: 270-924-2188
c: 815-295-4995
100 Van Morgan Dr.
Golden Pond, KY 42211
  Caring for the land and serving people