Volume 1I, Issue 2 Summer, 2007, Welcome! El Yunque’s Nature Guides: a Valuable To El Bosque Pluvial’s Resource for Our Visitors Summer, 2007 issue. It is Cynthia Manfred bent Cynthia, and her 787 888 1810. down over leaf litter colleagues Frank Torres packed with interesting beside the Baño de Oro and Edwin Velazquez During summer months, stories about the El Yunque nature trail; with a are US Forest Service In- Cynthia, Frank and Edwin magnifying monocular formation Specialists present a series of “Live National Forest, America’s she inspected wasp (Nature Guides) assigned Animal” shows at the only tropical rainforest and larvae deposited on the to the El Yunque NF. All Forest’s El Portal Rain belly of a paralyzed three are Interpretive Forest Center. Caged its staff who conserve this centipede. Nicole Viau, Guides, certified by the reptiles, amphibians and 11, and her brother National Association for vital resource. Jacob, 7, visiting from Interpretation (NAI). New Hampshire, knelt They attend regularly next to her. Cynthia scheduled refresher handed them the courses given by Visitor magnifier, carefully Information Service Op- explaining how wasps erations Leader Victor use parasitism to feed Cuevas, who is an NAI their larvae. After Certified Interpreter INSIDE THIS ISSUE: questions had been Trainer. A large portion of answered, Cynthia each day is spent guiding exotic species are continued to lead the visitors on “Forest featured for “close-up” From the Forest 2 kids and their parents Adventure Tours;” these viewing and the guides give Supervisors Desk. along the trail, pausing one-hour nature trail hikes talks about the habits and to describe each new are designed to give habitats of the animals. Youth Conservation 2 discovery. Nicole and visitors a better Corps-Teen Summer Jacob were delighted understanding of the El Frank and Edwin work only jobs in El Yunque! with Cynthia’s clear Yunque National during the seven month In Memoriam: 3 Forest’s complex “high” season (February to Miguel Lopez– a friend ecosystems. A small fee is the beginning of and colleague is lost. charged for the tours; the September), while Cynthia PR & Federal 3 funds are used to offset the works “solo” for the leaders celebrate costs of maintaining the remaining five months. Forest’s new name. Forest’s high level of El Yunque’s Nature Guides service. keep extremely busy; the Forest Spotlight: 4 Delia Gomez- Forest welcomes over problem solver. They also give one hour 1,000,000 visitors each year! “Rent-A-Ranger” explanations; they nature trail tours to “El Yunque’s Nature Guides couldn’t wait to use schools and large groups. provide an invaluable their new-found Information about Rent-a- service to visitors from all rainforest knowledge Ranger tours can be over the world. when they went home. obtained by calling PAGE 2 E L BO S QU E P LU VI AL VOLU ME 1I, ISSUE 2 From the Forest Supervisor’s Desk Unusually high Thankfully, the first few months of during our peak visitation periods temperature and the season have passed without this summer. We will study the humidity have tropical storms developing, but the results of these operations and use characterized season is not over until the end of what we find to refine our future the weather here November so we must remain recreation management skills. in the eastern prepared and vigilant. Caribbean Our highly motivated firefighters during the The preliminary results of the 2006 saw a lot of action over the summer. summer of 2007. National Visitor Use Monitoring Four firefighting crews and their The onset of (NVUM) survey reflect an impressive support personnel were dispatched summer also signaled the start of increase over former years in the to combat major fire incidents in the Atlantic hurricane season. number of visitors to the Forest; the western United States. Both University of Colorado expert, Dr. El Yunque received over 1 million firefighting crews and support William Gray has stated that storm visitors over the period of the survey. personnel performed admirably, activity during this hurricane This is favorable news; it proves that executing their assigned duties and season will be above average. the El Yunque NF has become an tasks professionally. We are extremely popular tourist thankful for their safe return to the We began our preparations early in destination, due in large part to the island. April here in the El Yunque NF. quality of the ecotourism experience On June 1st, the Forest was that our dedicated staff provides to As you see, we have had a very certified ready to respond to our visitors. However, increased busy summer in the El Yunque NF. hurricane incidents. Because our visitation poses a tremendous I sincerely hope that you and your staff are “first responders” when an challenge, potentially impacting our families have enjoyed a relaxing incident occurs in the Forest, we ability to manage the Forest summer season. encourage them to ensure that their recreation venue at its present high families and homes are levels. I am happy to report that Hasta pronto, prepared and ready to cope with despite our recent loss of the SCSEP potential damage and the inevitable senior worker program (Spring, 07 El loss of services should a severe storm occur. Bosque Pluvial) our staff and volunteers successfully managed the Pablo Forest access control operation El Yunque NF’s YCC Summer Employment Program; Another Teen Success Story! The El Yunque National Forest Specialist Elizabeth Trevino, Team technicians with a fisheries hosted another successful Youth chose five YCC candidates from a project with technicians Orlando Conservation Corps Program from total of 108 Carrasquillo, Benjamin Fuentes June through August this year. applicants by web-based lottery: and Anastacio Gomez. YCC provides summer jobs for young men and women 15 to 18 Ricardo DiCristina, Joel Diarza- years of age; participants gain Millan, Frances M. Matos and greater Jorge L. Cabrera from Rio Environmental Grande; Vilma Santos Navarro awareness, from Fajardo. while earning extra money. This year the YCC teens learned Manpower De- important conservation velopment lessons by helping Ecosystem V OLU ME 1I, ISSUE 2 E L BO S QU E P LU VI AL PAGE 3 El Yunque Loses a Friend and Colleague This Summer the El to New York seeking Yunque National Forest employment. Returning to lost a good friend, an the island he met his esteemed colleague and future wife Dolores who a dedicated worker. hailed from Naguabo. They were soon married Miguel Lopez passed and shortly after their away suddenly in July, first child Magda was after serving his born, they set out for New beloved El Yunque for York once again. They more than three lived in New York for decades. He would have many years; their three been 71 next January. other children; Nelida, Miguel Jr. and Harry were Miguel was loved and born there. After their respected by the entire return to the island, El Yunque staff; his Miguel joined the Forest tireless maintenance Service in 1975, where he work on the Forest’s trails, worked at his side. His reputation was continued to work until his death shelters, buildings and just about such that he was often requested by in July. everything else that comes to name to work on special Forest mind was a familiar sight to staff projects. Miguel will be sorely missed by and visitors alike. He his family, by all of his friends accomplished every task set Miguel was born and raised in and colleagues, and especially by before him in a most Luquillo, Puerto Rico, where he the El Yunque Forest that meant professional manner, setting a attended elementary and high school. so much to him; the land will feel high standard for those who Shortly after graduating, he traveled the loss of his loving care. El Yunque National Forest Celebrates Official Name Change The Forest celebrated its official An audio-visual presentation name change on Tuesday, August “El Yunque, a Rain Forest With 28th, 2007, acknowledging the historic Many Names” prepared by the event with a morning ceremony at the Forest’s Customer Service Team, El Portal Rain Forest Center was shown next, followed with followed by the unveiling of the new speeches by the Regional Forester, El Yunque National Forest sign at PRFAA Director and Resident the Forest’s entrance. Commissioner; each spoke about the historical significance and cultural Forest Supervisor Pablo Cruz importance of the name change to kicked-off the event, welcoming the Forest and to Puerto Rico’s USDA Forest Service Regional patrimony. On April 2, 2007 a proclamation Forester Charles Myers, PRFAA by President George W. Bush Executive Director Eduardo Bhatia As the highlight of the ceremony, the officially changed the Forest’s (representing Governor Acevedo) entire assembly was escorted to the name from the Caribbean and Puerto Rico’s Resident National Forest to the Commissioner Luis Fortuño, and (continued on next page) El Yunque National Forest. other distinguished guests along with the Forest’s employees and volunteers. EL BOSQUE PLUVIAL FOREST SPOTLIGHT Pablo Cruz Forest Supervisor When an El Yunque NF employee El Yunque National Forest HC-01, Box 13490 encounters an administrative Rio Grande, PR 00745-9625 “glitch,” whether it be with payroll, Phone: 787 888 1810 purchasing, ordering uniforms, or Fax: 787 888 5622 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org just about anything else imaginable, chances are they will take their The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimi- nation in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, troubles to Administrative color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status. (Not all Support Assistant, prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabili- ties who require alternate means for communication of pro- gram information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should Delia Gomez. contact USDA’s TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (Voice and TDD.)To file a complaint of discrimination write USDA, Direc- tor, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call Delia’s cheerful demeanor, coupled 202-720-5964 (Voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity employer and provider. with her detailed knowledge of how the Forest Service works, is a gift to all who ask for her help. Delia quickly resolves a problem; or if she can’t, she hooks-up an Forest Name Change Ceremony employee with the exact person in FS’ Albuquerque Service Center (continued from previous page) or Regional or Washington DC office to provide final resolution. entrance of the Forest at PR road # 191, km 9, by the Taino cultural preservation group “Güatu Ma Cu a You never get short-changed, you get your desired results quickly, Borikén” to witness the unveiling of the efficiently and cheerfully when you “deal with Delia!” new El Yunque National Forest sign. Delia is the youngest of four sisters born to Juan Gomez Felix and After the unveiling, the group returned to El Portal, where Regional Forester Aida Jimenez. She was raised in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, where she Myers and Forest Supervisor Cruz attended elementary and high school. She married her “military” recognized the contributions of El husband, Roberto Soto Lebron soon after graduating from high Yunque’s employees and volunteers during a luncheon event. Each person school. While living on various military bases in exotic locations such was presented with a new El Yunque as Germany, Delia found time to raise a son, Roberto, and two National Forest brass name tag and given daughters, Bianca and Lorna. a plaque as a memento of their Caribbean National Forest service. The luncheon also included entertainment provided by Upon returning to the island Delia earned an Associate degree in the exciting University of Puerto Rico, Business at the University of Puerto Rico; she worked with local Rio Piedras campus’ “Tuna,” traditional music group. manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies until coming to El Yunque, where she began as a receptionist. She was quickly In the afternoon, the event was opened to promoted to Support Service Specialist, Accounting Technician the public at the Forest’s El Portal Rain Forest Center, with an aboriginal and was recently reassigned as Administrative Support Assistant. Taino culture demonsation by the While working at El Yunque, she completed studies for a BA in Taino group “Güatu Ma Cu a Business Administration at the Interamerican University in Fajardo, Borikén” at El Portal’s third level parking area. graduating Magna cum Laude! A truly memorable day! Delia says she enjoys working at El Yunque; she is especially happy when she is interacting with her Forest colleagues, helping them to solve their day-to-day problems!
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