Monday, July 4, 2016

Resource Protection & PSAR

Cumberland Island

My Preventative Search and Rescue (PSAR) program at Cumberland Island National Seashore is finally in full swing. These past few weeks, I have been writing up a PSAR Program for the park. This document will define the purpose, goals, structure and operation of the program. It is not only used to define my activities but can be given to rangers in the future who want to conduct PSAR. The program has been extremely beneficial and only one heat related EMS call has been received since the implementation. So far I have made over 300 PSAR related contacts with park visitors.

As visitation increases, wildlife issues continue to rise. Many visitors feel the need to pet the horses, especially the young foal pictured above. Yesterday I spent hours watching a band of horses and informing visitors they are entirely too close and need to give the horses more space. Its important to protect and maintain the safety of the wildlife and visitors. This week I also got to observe resource management,  Georgia Department of Natural Resources and other manatee rescue organizations capture and tag a few manatees in the park. They put a GPS tracking device on the tail to track their water travels. It's great to learn more and get familiar with the resources we are protecting. 

 This week I also witnessed two visitors attempting to steal natural resources from the park, which is a clear violation (36 CFR § 2.1(a)(4)). two visitors attempted to steal drift wood from the island. I approached the couple and informed them that they were in violation and taking drift wood home is illegal. The superintendent's compendium allows visitors to take home up to two gallons of seashells, but no other resources. This act may seem mundane but if every visitor took home drift wood it would certainly alter the natural environment of the island. The visitors were got given a citation because they were compliant and did not know they were committing a crime. I'm proud and excited to continue to protect the park resources and ensure that they stay in their proper home, on the island.

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