Title: bosque pluvial
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099613/00002
 Material Information
Title: bosque pluvial
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Publisher: USDA Forest Service
Place of Publication: El Yunque National Forest, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
Publication Date: Winter 2006
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00099613
Volume ID: VID00002
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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The Caribbean National Forest Newsletter

El Bosqtie vil I
R .,6

Volume I, Issue 2

To El Bosaue Pluvial's
Winter, 2006 issue. As
usual it is packed with
interesting stories about
the Caribbean NF
(El Yunque), America's
only tropical rain forest
and the professional
staff who work to
conserve this vital

From the Forest Su-
pervisors Desk Contin-
ued from issue #1.
YCC Program at Car-
ibbean NF a success.
Students learn/earn.
Caribbean NF Fire-
fighter Training; Bruce
Drapeau interview.
Volunteer Teams
work on trails. Forest
benefits financially.
Forest r octlie t:
This issue we focus on
LE & I's Ismoel Monge.
Blanca Ruiz wins cov-
eted National Gifford
Pinchot Award!

Winter, 2006,

Parrots Released into State Forest
Ecosystem Team Efforts Contribute to Historic Event

At daybreak on Novem-
ber 19, 2006, Biological
Science Technicians
from the Caribbean NF's
Ecosystem Team
watched expectantly as
twenty two Puerto Rican
Parrots were about to be
released into the wild.
As the door to the
parrot's "flying cage"
was opened, the parrots
had to be encouraged to
leave, but then, with a
2 flurry of brilliant green
and blue wings, they
flew-out and began
2 foraging for food that
had been staged for
them in nearby trees.
This unique event
marked the first time in
3 the history of the PR
Parrot Recovery
Program that parrots
4 trained by scientists in
the Department of
Natural and Environ-
S mental Resources' Jose
L. Vivaldi aviary had
been released into a
State Forest.
To prepare for this

event, EcoSystems Team
Biologist Felipe Cano,
Supervisory Biological
Science Technician
Orlando Carrasquillo
and Biological Science
Technicians Benjamin
Fuentes and Anastasio
Gomez spent over a year
assessing land conditions
in the Rio Abajo State
Forest determining proper
placement for artificial
nests, planning access trail
locations, building
artificial nest cavities and
assisting DNER personnel
with the construction of a
huge 25 foot high, 900
square foot "flying cage."
The cage, located in the
forest near the aviary, is
used to train the birds to
forage for their natural
food sources while avoiding
simulated predators.

Ecosystems Team
bio-science techs also
trained members of the
DNER Wildlife Research
Bureau in proper tree
climbing, trail building
and maintenance
techniques and taught
them how to construct nest
monitoring platforms in
trees near the nesting

Ecosystem Team Leader
Pedro Rios was a vital

contributor to the
Inter-agency Technical
Advisory Team, joining
advisors from the US Fish
& Wildlife Service.

Forest Supervisor Pablo
Cruz provided valuable
input to the Inter-agency
Management Team that
monitored the project; the
R8 Regional Forester or his
representative attended
yearly Management Team
meetings as observers. CS &
P Team Conservation
Education Leader Blanca
Ruiz collaborated to pro-
vide outreach on the details
of the parrot release to local
schools and communities.

The survival of the PR
Parrot is not yet assured,
but the Caribbean NF's
involvement in vital projects
such as this one contribute
significantly to the ultimate
success of the parrot
recovery program!

The release of these parrots
into the Rio Abajo State
Forest is a vital part of the
Puerto Rican Parrot
Recovery Plan, whose ulti-
mate goal is to return 500
parrots into the wild. Plans
are to maintain two sepa-
rate "captive/wild"
populations on the island..


From the Forest Supervisors Desk

Sustainable Management in the Caribbean NF (cont.)

In the Fall edition of El Bosque
I shared some
answers I gave
in an interview
and the
Caribbean NF.

When I ran out of space, I promised
to continue my comments in the
Winter edition, so here goes:

I was asked; "How does the
Caribbean NF help developers use
open spaces in a sustainable
manner?" I replied that when
there's been a conflict between envi-
ronmentalists and developers,
we've worked with the
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to
create laws that will encourage
more prudent management of the
island's resources. By doing so
we've effected a noticeable change
between how developers did
business in the past, and what they
do now.

The next question was "How
important is interagency

cooperation to the Caribbean NF?
I replied that I am convinced that
the only way for us to survive in
light of dwindling resources is to
collaborate with other agencies.
What we have here is a coalition of
federal agencies with much in
common, e.g., the Forest Service,
the National Park Service, and the
Fish and Wildlife Service; we meet
quarterly to plan how we can
combine our resources to maximize
our land management efforts. For
example, on St. John in the
neighboring US Virgin Islands, we
provide a unified eco-management
command for the Virgin Islands
National Park to work on
emergency response problems as
well as budgetary crises. Much of
our work entails combining our
resources in a cohesive manner.

I was then asked: "How does the
Forest Service's current focus on
"partnerships" play-out in this part
of the world? I said that we work
with Non-Government
Organizations (The Forest Gateway
Community Council is a good exam-
ple of this), as well as community
leaders, and local business people.
We have a partnership agreement
with the Puerto Rican Conservation

Trust, which lobbies Congress to
purchase adjacent lands and
transfer them to us, and also
raises funds for conservation
projects. NGOs provide important
attributes that we don't have;
they can do things that we have
neither the skills nor the
authority to do. As an example,
the Wildlife Foundation helps us
raise funds to support vital
species recovery projects. These
"symbiotic relationships" between
us benefit all involved.

Well, that's the rest of the story;
I've enjoyed sharing my views
with you. I welcome your com-
ments or observations about these
vitally important sustainability
issue and how they directly affect
both the Caribbean NF and
Puerto Rico's many other valuable
natural resources. Send your com-
ments to my e-mail address:

Hasta pronto,


Caribbean NF'sYCC Summer Employment Program;

ATeen Success Story!

The Caribbean National Forest
hosted a successful Youth
Conservation Corps Program from
June through August, 2006. YCC
provides summer jobs for young
men and women 15 to 18 years of
age; participating students can
gain greater awareness of the
environment, while earning a
salary. Administration &
Planning Team HRP Specialist

Elizabeth Trevino, chose the fol-
lowing six YCC candidates by web-
based lottery:

Zahily E. Rodriguez, Carlos E.
Estrada, Kidany E. Perez,
Carmen E. Rodriguez, Anthony
Alicea and Briceyra G. Ortiz.
Robertito Rios, Jr. led the team to
clean trash from forest trails and

The Caribbean NF hopes to host
the YCC program again next year!




Firefighter training in the Caribbean NF
An interview with Bruce Drapeau.

We asked EcoSystem Fire
Program Coordinator Bruce
Drapeau to tell us about the
Caribbean NF's Firefighter
Training Program; here's what he

The Caribbean National Forest
trains firefighters and dispatchers
to be available for deployment to
stateside fires or other incidents.
Our firefighters can be deployed
as a crew, or if they are bilingual,
as a single resource to fill in on a
crew anywhere in the country.
To get a crew properly prepared,
requires both extensive training
and a huge commitment from the
trainees. Prospective candidates
must complete a work capacity
test to ensure that they are
physically able to handle the
arduous duties assigned to them
on the fireline. This test consists
of completing a 3 mile hike within
45 minutes while wearing a 45 lb.
backpack. Candidates who pass

this test receive basic firefighter
training and are then qualified to
head-out to the fireline. Each year,
firefighters must repeat the work
capacity test and take part in a one
day Fireline Refresher Course to
maintain their firefighter
qualification. Firefighters who display
leadership skills and the
ability to communicate in English take
part in further "squad boss" training.
The most responsible and reliable of
the squad bosses are selected for
intense training to become Crew
Bosses. The Caribbean NF currently

trains and administers
approximately 200 firefighters
each year. Of this number, 14
are Squad Bosses, and 3 are
Crew Bosses.

We also train dispatchers who
deploy to fires and coordination
centers throughout the US.
Dispatchers are not required to
pass the work capacity test to be
eligible. Candidates receive
training in dispatch procedures
and must be completely fluent in
English. We currently have 4
fully trained dispatchers, and
another 18 who will complete
their training on assignment.

For more information about the
Caribbean NF Firefighter program,
e-mail Bruce at: bdrapeau@fs.fed.us
or write: Caribbean NF, HC-01,
PO Box 13490, Rio Grande, PR

VolunteerWork Cuts Labor Costs at Caribbean NF
NGO Volunteer labor saves forest $30,000

Again this year, volunteer
organizations from the mainland
US have done extraordinary work
in support of conservation projects
on the Caribbean NF.
Over the summer, teams from the
Sierra Club (photo below),
Michigan State University
(photo lower right) and the
American Hiking Society

(photo upper-right), labored arduously
under the management of CS&P Team
Supervisory Forest Technician Jaime
Valentin to complete tasks vital to the
Forest Service mission; re-opening the
La Coca Nature Trail, cleaning-up and
repairing the Quebrada Grande,
Angelito, Big Tree, La Mina and
Caimitillo Nature Trails, painting the
bridge at the Palo Colorado Visitor
Center and collecting garbage along
access roads. Their efforts saved the
Forest Service approximately $30,000 in
labor costs!

Please join us in applauding them for
dedicating their precious time and effort
to help the Caribbean NF accomplish the
Forest Service mission: "Caring for the
land and serving people!"




Pablo Cruz
Forest Supervisor
Caribbean National Forest
HC-01, Box 13490
Rio Grande, PR 00745-9625
Phone: 787 888 1810
Fax: 787 888 5622
Email: pcruz0 I @fs.fed.us

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimi-
nation in all its programs and activities on the basis of race,
color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political
beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status. (Not all
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
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
202-720-5964 (Voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity
employer and provider.


This issue's cFrest Spotlieht illuminates another
VIP (Very Impressive Professional): LE & I Team Law
Enforcement Officer Ismael Monge who has patrolled the
Caribbean NF for the past 27 years. Forest visitors frequently
comment on his pleasant and helpful attitude, while his
tenacious investigative skills are the bane of potential

4 Monge was born in Canovanas.
In the 1950's his family moved to
Chicago; when he graduated from
high school, the family returned to
the island. His university, studies

attending the Army's Jungle
Warfare School and then saw combat with the 1st Air Cavalry
Division in Vietnam where he earned his Combat Infantrymans
Badge, and was awarded the Air Medal and several other

Upon his return he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in
Education at the University of Puerto Rico. He taught Senior
High School English at schools in Canovanas and Rio Grande
until retiring in 1991. He began his "next" career, attending the
Federal Law Enforcement Academy in Glynco, Georgia. He has
served the Caribbean NF as a Federal Law Enforcement Officer
ever since.

Monge will be retiring "for good" in January of next year. He will
be sorely missed in the forest for his absolute professionalism
and his sunny, easy-going personality.

Monge lives in Colinas del Yunque with his wife Lillian Cabrera
and their black Rottweiller "Oso." Their three children Lillian,
Alexis and Ismael Jr. and their five grandchildren are frequent


CS &P Team Conservation Education Leader Blanca
Ruiz has captured the prestigious Gifford Pinchot
National Award for Excellence in Conservation
Education. She was selected from a list of top Conservation
Education Leaders from all nine Forest Service Regions to
receive the honor (photo left) at the annual National
Association for Interpretation Workshop in Alburquerque,
NM in November.

Well Done Blanca! We join the Forest Service community in
applauding your selection as the winner of this award and
the well-deserved national recognition that comes with it!

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