Forest Service hiring for temporary positions for 2018 field season

From November 1-9, the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, will be accepting applications for temporary spring and summer jobs in Arizona and New Mexico.

More information on temporary employment in the Forest Service’s Southwestern Region can be found at Centralized Temporary Hiring Outreach, including a link to the 2018 Outreach Notice with job listings for the Southwestern Region.

Applications must be submitted on www.USAJOBS.gov. Interested applicants are encouraged to create a profile within USAJOBS prior to the open vacancy announcement period.

Positions in the Southwestern Region of the Forest Service are available in multiple fields, including wildland fire, engineering, visitor services, archaeology, recreation management, timber management, range management, wildlife program management, business management, and other fields in natural resource management.

Positions will be filled at various locations within any of the 11 national forests in Arizona and New Mexico and the three national grasslands in New Mexico, Oklahoma, and west Texas.

To learn more about national forests and national grasslands in the agency’s Southwestern Region, please visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/r3.

The Forest Service is an equal opportunity employer. The mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.

SCA Pharmaceuticals Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall

SCA Pharmaceuticals LLC (“SCA Pharmaceuticals”) is voluntarily recalling all/the following lots of the below listed injectable products to the hospital level. The is a potential for the products to contain microbial contamination.

Administration of a drug product, intended to be sterile, that may contain microbial contamination has the potential to result in serious adverse events which may include life-threatening infections. SCA Pharmaceuticals has not received any customer complaints or reports of adverse events related to this issue, but out of an abundance of caution, is voluntarily initiating this recall.
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Infant Sleep Positioners: FDA Warning – Risk of Suffocation

ISSUE: FDA is reminding parents and caregivers not to put babies in sleep positioners. These products—sometimes also called “nests” or “anti-roll” products—can cause suffocation (a struggle to breathe) that can lead to death.

In the last 13 years, the federal government has received 12 reports of babies known to have died from suffocation associated with their sleep positioners. Most of the babies suffocated after rolling from the side to the stomach. In addition to the deaths, the commission has received dozens of reports of babies who were placed on their back or side in the positioners only to be found later in hazardous positions within or next to the product.

To reduce the risk of sleep-related infant deaths, including accidental suffocation and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants sleep on their backs, positioned on a firm, empty surface. This surface should not contain soft objects, toys, pillows, or loose bedding.

BACKGROUND: The most common types of sleep positioners feature bolsters attached to each side of a thin mat and wedges to elevate the baby’s head. The sleep positioners are intended to keep a baby in a desired position while sleeping. They are often used with infants under 6 months old.

RECOMMENDATION: Parents and other caregivers should not put babies in sleep positioning products.

  • NEVER use infant sleep positioners. Using this type of product to hold an infant on his or her side or back is dangerous.
  • NEVER put pillows, blankets, loose sheets, comforters, or quilts under a baby or in a crib. These products also can be dangerous. Babies don’t need pillows and adequate clothing—instead of blankets—can keep them warm.
  • ALWAYS keep cribs and sleeping areas bare. That means you should also never put soft objects or toys in sleeping areas.
  • ALWAYS place a baby on his or her back at night and during nap time. An easy way to remember this is to follow the ABCs of safe sleep: “Alone on the Back in a bare Crib.”

ISSUE: FDA is reminding parents and caregivers not to put babies in sleep positioners. These products—sometimes also called “nests” or “anti-roll” products—can cause suffocation (a struggle to breathe) that can lead to death.

In the last 13 years, the federal government has received 12 reports of babies known to have died from suffocation associated with their sleep positioners. Most of the babies suffocated after rolling from the side to the stomach. In addition to the deaths, the commission has received dozens of reports of babies who were placed on their back or side in the positioners only to be found later in hazardous positions within or next to the product.

To reduce the risk of sleep-related infant deaths, including accidental suffocation and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants sleep on their backs, positioned on a firm, empty surface. This surface should not contain soft objects, toys, pillows, or loose bedding.

BACKGROUND: The most common types of sleep positioners feature bolsters attached to each side of a thin mat and wedges to elevate the baby’s head. The sleep positioners are intended to keep a baby in a desired position while sleeping. They are often used with infants under 6 months old.

RECOMMENDATION: Parents and other caregivers should not put babies in sleep positioning products.

NEVER use infant sleep positioners. Using this type of product to hold an infant on his or her side or back is dangerous.
NEVER put pillows, blankets, loose sheets, comforters, or quilts under a baby or in a crib. These products also can be dangerous. Babies don’t need pillows and adequate clothing—instead of blankets—can keep them warm.
ALWAYS keep cribs and sleeping areas bare. That means you should also never put soft objects or toys in sleeping areas.
ALWAYS place a baby on his or her back at night and during nap time. An easy way to remember this is to follow the ABCs of safe sleep: “Alone on the Back in a bare Crib.”

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  • Complete and submit the report Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report
  • Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

Williams and Tusayan Ranger Districts announce seasonal prescribed fire plans

Fire managers on the south zone of the Kaibab National Forest have completed plans for the 2017 fall and 2018 spring prescribed fire burning seasons and expect to begin working in several project areas by the end of this month. The specific units to be ignited will be chosen based on fuel moistures and weather conditions that are within prescriptive levels that meet fuels reduction objectives.

The flowing project areas are planned for treatments:

Green Base Dry Lake Project: Thirteen burn units northeast of Williams, north of I-40 and east of Highway 64 near Pittman Valley. This project is a total of 5,990 acres.

Green Base Hardy Project: Five burn units also northeast of Williams, north of I-40 and east of Highway 64 near Pittman Valley. This project is a total of 3,846 acres.

Sunflower Project: Seven burn units south of Williams, between County Road 73 and Whitehorse Lake. This project is a total of 15,195 acres.

Reed Project: Three burn units 5 miles east of Tusayan and just south of the Grand Canyon National Park. This project size is 1,182 acres.

Fire plays a beneficial role in maintaining the ecological stability of many landscapes including the Kaibab National Forest. Managers use prescribed fire as a practical means to reduce risks associated with uncharacteristic wildfires that can pose significant threats to public health and safety.

Officials understand that impacts to air quality may be unpleasant at times, however they can significantly reduce the amount and limit the duration of smoke more effectively using prescribed methods as opposed to an uncontrolled wildfire situation. Fire managers will continue to be mindful of wind direction and ventilation and will take a proactive approach to minimize smoke impacts to businesses and residences whenever possible.

During operations, fire personnel and vehicles working in the vicinity of the burns will be visible to the public. Motorists are reminded to slow down and drive with heightened caution when passing through active project areas.

All prescribed burning on the Kaibab National Forest is subject to approval by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

For additional information on the Smoke Management Division of the ADEQ and to view prescribed burns authorizations, please visit www.azdeq.gov/environ/air/smoke/index.html. Additional fire information for Kaibab National Forest can be obtained through the following sources: InciWeb inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5160/ Kaibab National Forest Fire Information Phone Line (928) 635-8311; Text Message – text ‘follow kaibabnf’ to 40404.

Northern AZ prairie dog burrows dusted to combat plague near Williams, Flagstaff

FLAGSTAFF — The Arizona Game and Fish Department, together with the Kaibab National Forest Williams Ranger District, recently applied insecticidal dust Williams and Flagstaff-area Gunnison prairie dog holes for fleas.

Last month fleas tested near the Red Lake area north of Williams tested positive for plague, a potentially fatal disease that could eradicate prairie dog colonies and other infected animals. Plague-infected fleas were also recently found at an AZGFD research plot at Garland Prairie near Flagstaff.

“Unfortunately, it has been a very busy year for plague,” said Holly Hicks, a small mammals biologist with AZGFD. “An infestation can prove detrimental for prairie dog populations because they are highly communal animals, and the disease spreads easily in a colony. That is why it is important for us to identify an infected colony and dust it with insecticide to reduce the risk of infection to other animals and people.”

Crews recently dusted prairie dog holes across 664 acres near Red Lake about 10 miles north of Williams.

On September 3, an AZGFD biologist found a deceased prairie dog, which tested positive for plague near Garland Prairie. To prevent the spread, an additional 800 acres were dusted, including around plots currently being used for sylvatic plague vaccine research.

The disease is carried by fleas which spread the disease through host animals. While prairie dogs are host to fleas, the fleas can remain in the burrow after their host dies and attach themselves to the next host that comes along, which may or may not be another prairie dog.

Badgers, coyotes and foxes are also host to fleas and are more likely to cause a widespread outbreak of the disease because they travel further distances.

Those in areas where plague and/or rodents are known to be present are urged to take the following precautions to reduce their risk of exposure:

  • Do not handle sick or dead animals.
  • Prevent pets from roaming loose. Pets can pick up the infected fleas. De-flea pets routinely. Contact your veterinarian for specific recommendations.
  • Avoid rodent burrows and fleas.
  • Use insect repellents when visiting or working in areas where plague might be active or rodents might be present (campers, hikers, woodcutters and hunters).
  • Wear rubber gloves and other protection when cleaning and skinning wild animals.
  • Do not camp near rodent burrows and avoid sleeping directly on the ground.
  • In case of illness see your physician immediately as treatment with antibiotics is very effective.

More information is available at https://www.cdc.gov/plague/.

Officials lift closure of Kendrick Mountain area on Kaibab and Coconino National Forests

WILLIAMS – Effective at 6 p.m. Wednesday, the Kaibab and Coconino National Forests—in coordination with the Arizona Game and Fish Department—lifted the area closure on and around Kendrick Mountain that has been in place since the Boundary Fire in June. The public can now access the area, which had been closed due to unstable conditions caused by heavy monsoonal rains, but are advised to have heightened awareness about potential safety hazards and exercise increased vigilance regarding personal safety.

“Public safety was the driving factor in keeping the area closed for as long as we did,” said Kaibab National Forest Supervisor Heather Provencio. “It was important that we allow the landscape to stabilize during the immediate post-fire period and especially at the height of our monsoon season. We now believe it is appropriate to lift the closure, but that doesn’t mean that no hazards exist. It is important for people to always be aware of their surroundings when recreating in the forest, but it is especially important in areas recently impacted by wildfire.”

Potential risks in any area recently burned by wildfire include the following:

  • storms resulting in flash flooding that could wash out roads, initiate debris flows, and entrap people at flooded stream courses;
  • unsound burned trees (snags) that could fall or shed large limbs;
  • eroded and very rough roads resulting in dangerous driving conditions;
  • unstable terrain with potential for rolling debris (logs, rocks, boulders, etc.);
  • burned out stump holes that could cause injury if stepped in;
    and, blowing dust on roads and hillsides.

Visitors to the Kendrick Mountain area are advised to follow these outdoor safety best practices:

  1. Know the weather forecast and check it frequently as conditions can change in a very short timeframe.
  2. Let someone outside of the area know exactly where you are and where you will be going daily.
  3. Do not park vehicles or camp in areas with burned snags or where potential flood waters would prevent escape. Know where you are in relation to drainages.
  4. During windy conditions, remain in open areas that are free of trees (both live and burned) as much as possible.
  5. If an area seems unsafe for any reason, leave.
  6. Have good maps and know where you are at all times.
  7. Keep a well-charged cell phone with you and check it frequently so you know when you’re in an area where there is no coverage.
  8. Understand that there are many areas on public lands that are remote. It can take a very long time before responders can arrive if a rescue is required. The Kendrick Mountain area is very remote.

Visitors to the Kendrick Mountain area should also be aware that Forest Road 149 on the Kaibab National Forest side and which leads to the Pumpkin Trailhead is undergoing maintenance work for at least the next week. Barricades are installed at the entry to the road, so Pumpkin Trail users will have to park along Forest Road 171 and then walk to the trailhead, which will add about a mile to overall hiking distance. No driving or parking along Forest Road 149 will be allowed until the road maintenance work has been completed and the barricades removed.

The Kaibab and Coconino National Forests have been coordinating closely with the Arizona Game and Fish Department on the lifting of the Kendrick Mountain area closure due to several big game hunts opening in northern Arizona. The mountain is part of Game Management Unit 7W, and there are many hunters planning trips to the area in the coming weeks.

“We urge hunters to understand the potential hazards and to prepare accordingly,” said Colby Walton, wildlife manager with the Arizona Game and Fish Department. “We know people wait a long time for their hunts. We want them to get to have the experience, but we also want them to do it safely, recognizing that any area recently impacted by wildfire will likely have some greater risk than other areas.”

Public invited to release of California Condors on September 30, at Vermilion Cliffs National Monument

VERMILION CLIFFS – California Condors will be released to the wild in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in northern Arizona at 11 a.m. Saturday, September 30. The public is welcome to observe the release from a viewing area where spotting scopes will be set up and project personnel will be available to answer questions.

The release coincides with National Public Lands Day, the nation’s largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance America’s public lands. National Public Lands Day involves the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and other federal agencies, along with state and local governments and private groups.

· Driving directions: Take Highway 89A from Kanab or Page to the Vermilion Cliffs (from Flagstaff take Highway 89 to Highway 89A). Turn north onto BLM Road 1065 (a dirt road next to the small house just east of the Kaibab Plateau) and continue almost 3 miles.
· Bring: Spotting scope or binoculars, sunscreen, water, snack, chair and layered clothing
· Details: Informational kiosk, shade structure, and restroom at the site.
· Map: https://www.blm.gov/sites/blm.gov/files/documents/files/2010%20VCNM%20California%20Condor%20Release%20Map.pdf

This will be the 21st annual public release of condors in Arizona since the condor recovery program began in 1996. Condors are hatched and reared in captivity at The Peregrine Fund’s World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise, Idaho, and transported to Arizona for release to the wild. Condors also come to the release site from the Oregon Zoo, Los Angeles Zoo, and San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

As of June 30, there were 74 condors in the wild in the rugged canyon country of northern Arizona and southern Utah. The world’s total population of endangered California Condors numbers over 450 individuals, with more than half flying in the wilds of Arizona, Utah, California, and Mexico. The historical California Condor population declined to just 22 individuals in the 1980s when the program was initiated to save the species from extinction.

The Arizona-Utah recovery effort is a cooperative program by federal, state, and private partners, including The Peregrine Fund, Arizona Game and Fish Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management’s Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, Grand Canyon and Zion national parks, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, and Kaibab and Dixie national forests among many other supporting groups and individuals.

For more information about California Condors in Arizona: http://www.peregrinefund.org/condor

Crews respond to a new lightning caused wildfire on the Williams Ranger District

WILLIAMS – Fire crews on the Williams Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest are responding to a new lightning caused fire start called the “Government Fire”. The Government Fire was discovered August 4, and has grown to approximately 6 acres in size. It is located on the southwest slope Government Hill just south of Spring Valley and north of Parks near the Sanderson Pass area.The Government Fire is burning in a mixed conifer and ponderosa pine fuel type. Recent moisture from monsoonal rains has dampened the environment considerably, however the fire is expanding moderately burning through available dead and down fuels near the top of the peak. Officials will continue to monitor this incident as wet weather is forecast over the next few days. Fire behavior is expected to be minimal as precipitation moves into the vicinity.

Officials recognize the concerns people have about wildfires that occur relatively close to private property within residential communities. However when fuel moisture is elevated and fire intensity is low, opportunities to allow fire to consume hazardous fuel loads can be beneficial in reducing the risks associated with living in forested areas. The end result will ultimately lower a future threat of a potentially devastating wildfire which can threaten homes and be very difficult to control.

Smoke may be visible from the surrounding communities of Parks, Spring Valley, Pittman Valley, and from the Interstate 40 corridor. Smoke impacts are predicted to be light in the neighboring communities and will be monitored closely.

Kaibab National Forest employee captures first image of rare beetle

Art Gonzales and his family love exploring the outdoors and identifying species. Photo by Gonzales family. Kaibab National Forest photo.

WILLIAMS – A Kaibab National Forest employee recently captured the first and only known image of a rare beetle.

Art Gonzales, who is currently serving as the acting district ranger for the Williams and Tusayan districts of the Kaibab National Forest, was out with his family this summer near an earthen stock tank on the Williams Ranger District when he came across a beetle that, until now, had no photographic evidence in the scientific literature.

Gonzales, who is an avid birder, can now not only claim fame for his prized photo of the Typocerus gloriosus beetle but also for it being selected as the “Observation of the Week” on the free online platform iNaturalist.org. At the beginning of 2017, the Kaibab National Forest began a citizen science project to identify and document the biodiversity of the forest by encouraging visitors and employees alike to take photos of plants and animals and post them to the project page using the iNaturalist app.

Photo of the Typocerus gloriosus beetle that was submitted to iNaturalist. Photo by Art Gonzales, Kaibab National Forest.

In what was described as an important observation of its taxon by iNaturalist, the Typocerus gloriosus beetle did not have any image sources available until the submission by Gonzales, according to Boris Büche, who is described as “an invaluable beetle expert on iNaturalist who currently has 48,662 identifications.”

Büche used The Cerambycidae of North America guide to identify the observation and added, “In 1976, no more than five specimens were known to science. It is readily identified by its colour pattern, being one of the most beautiful, and most scarce Longhorn beetles on U.S. territory.”

Gonzales, who is known as “birding4fun” on iNaturalist and currently has 593 observations, is an avid outdoorsman and is fascinated with learning about the biodiversity that exists in the Kaibab National Forest. Gonzales said he and a former colleague became engrossed in birding as a hobby, and with it came the stimulation of finding new places, discovering species and the thrill of the chase.

“All those feelings of excitement I got from the chase, identifying new birds, and visiting new locations happened again as I caught the iNaturalist bug,” he explains. “Now I find myself trying to identify just about every living organism I walk past, which makes for some seriously long short walks. Despite my years of being outdoors, I am blown away by how many more life forms I have learned to identify in just the last few months.”

The Kaibab National Forest created its year-long citizen science project with a couple goals in mind. First, biologists and planners hope to increase knowledge of plant and animal species, especially unusual or rare ones such as the Typocerus gloriosus beetle, and to inform the overall species list for the forest as well as management approach. Second, forest managers see the project as a way to build relationships with local communities and visitors, creating an opportunity for shared stewardship and turning visitors into scientists and champions of public lands and the resources they offer.

“Our iNaturalist citizen science project has also helped the employees of the Kaibab National Forest connect kids at the local school to nature through a project called the Williams Middle School BioBlitz,” Gonzales said. “It’s a fantastic way to get kids outdoors.”

Gonzales encourages all visitors to and employees of the Kaibab National Forest to get involved in making observations. The discovery of the Typocerus gloriosus beetle is filling in missing gaps of information about the elusive species and providing invaluable documentation to forest managers. But, Gonzales admits that “secretly” he and a coworker seem to be in a race to find the most species on the forest, which not only serves as a source of motivation but also fun and inspiration.

“Through iNaturalist, I hope to share my excitement with others and share my observations on the Kaibab National Forest with people across the globe,” Gonzales said. “As I walk through the woods, I’m constantly reflecting on the treasures we are provided with all that public lands offer to every one of us. All of the observations my family and I have made were on U.S. Forest Service lands and are available for everyone else to enjoy.”

To participate with the Kaibab National Forest in its citizen science project, visit Kaibab NF 2017 Citizen Science Project on iNaturalist.org. Follow the Kaibab National Forest on Facebook and Twitter @KaibabNF.

FCC proposes $82-Million finde for spoofed robocalls

WASHINGTON – The Federal Communications Commission on August 3 proposed an $82,106,000 fine against an individual and his companies which apparently made more than 21 million illegally spoofed robocalls in violation of the Truth in Caller ID Act. The law prohibits callers from deliberately falsifying caller ID information—a practice called “spoofing”—to disguise their identity with the intent to harm, defraud consumers, or wrongfully obtain anything of value.

The FCC found that Best Insurance Contracts and its owner/operator, Mr. Philip Roesel (doing business as Wilmington Insurance Quotes) apparently made millions of illegally spoofed
robocalls consumers around the country. Mr. Roesel of Wilmington, North Carolina displayed inaccurate caller ID information when making robocalls in an effort to sell health insurance, which especially targeted vulnerable consumers, including the elderly, the infirm, and low-income families.

In December 2016, a medical paging provider called Spok complained to Commission staff that robocalling campaigns were disrupting its network. Using information provided by Spok to
connect these calls to Mr. Roesel, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau subpoenaed Mr. Roesel’s call records from October 2016 through January 2017. Based on these records, FCC investigators verified 82,106 health insurance telemarketing calls made during that time used falsified caller ID information. These calls are the basis for today’s proposed fine.

The Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009 and the Commission’s rules prohibit spoofing with the intent to cause harm, defraud, or wrongfully obtain anything of value. Consumers rely on caller ID information to make decisions about what calls to accept, ignore, or block. Accurate caller ID information is a vital tool that consumers use to protect their privacy, avoid fraud, and ensure peace of mind.

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau also issued a citation to Best Insurance Contracts and Mr. Roesel, doing business as Wilmington Insurance Quotes, for apparent violations of the Telephone
Consumer Protection Act’s robocall limits. Under the Act, the Commission must first provide a warning––in the form of a citation––to TCPA violators if the person or entity in question does not possess a license or authorization issued by the FCC. If those violations continue, they may be subject to additional fines.

The FCC has focused on malicious caller ID spoofing recently. Changes in technology have made it easier and cheaper for scammers to make robocalls and to manipulate caller ID
information. To address this consumer problem, the FCC has focused both on enforcement actions like today’s and on pursuing policies to help consumers and their service providers block
malicious robocalls.

In recent months, the Commission has taken a number of significant enforcement actions related to spoofing and robocalling. It proposed a $120 million fine against an individual who apparently used “neighbor spoofing” while making nearly 100 million robocalls to sell timeshares. It also fined a New Mexico company $2.8 million for providing a robocalling platform which also allowed easy caller ID manipulation.
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