Title: bosque pluvial
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099613/00006
 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: Summer 2009
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Bibliographic ID: UF00099613
Volume ID: VID00006
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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Volume III, Issue II Summer, 2009


El Bosque Pluvial's
Summer, 2009 issue is
filled with interesting
stories about El Yunque,
America's only tropical
rainforest and its staff of
Forest Service
professionals; browse and
enjoy!


INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

* Forest Supervi-
sor's message...
* YCC Program
begins...

* Forest Clean-up
Day- 2009...
* Comings & Go-
ings...
* American Air-
lines exhibit...

* MCC kids + El
Yunque...

* El Portal Live
Animal exhibit...
* New 7 Wonders
of Nature...


* Spotlight...


New Film At

El Portal Rain Forest Center


S The El Yunque National
Forest premiered an excit-
ing new film; El Yunque:
Journey into a Tropical
Rain Forest in the El Por-
tal Rain Forest Center's
theater, on May 29, 2009 to
a select group of VIP's,
4 including Jaime Lopez,
Executive Director of the
Puerto Rico Tourism Com-
pany, who was the keynote
speaker at the event which
followed, celebrating the
13th year of operation for
the Forest's world class
6 Visitor Center. Also
among the honored atten-
dees at the premiere was
eminent island artist
Emilio Colon Colon, who
has created a major art-
work depicting the Puerto
Rican Parrot, that will be
on permanent display at
the Center.


The exciting and educational
15 minute video presentation
was professionally produced
by noted island conservation-
ist Maria Falcon and
"Geoambiente del Caribe", her
well-known local environ-
mental film production com-
pany, using the latest in
HDTV technology.

Oscar-winning Hollywood
actor Benicio del Toro pro-
vided English language nar-
ration for the film, while well-
known Puerto Rican radio/TV
personality David Ortiz nar-
rated the Spanish version.

Starting May 30th, the film
will be shown daily from 9:00
AM until 5:00 PM, alternat-
ing between English and
Spanish versions.

The film, which was scripted
by noted local author Kath-
ryn Robinson, portrays the
history, resources and vital
ecological importance of the
El Yunque National Forest to
both Puerto Rico and the in-
ternational community. It
features exceptional nature
photography, rare historical
footage and breathtaking ae-
rial views of the rainforest.
The film's premiere is the
first in a series of exciting
new features and events
planned to "kick-off' El Yun-
que's 2009 Summer Season
and to celebrate the world-
class El Portal Rain Forest
Center's 13th year of continu-
ous operation as a key venue
for visitors and islanders.


'. that I have seen the film
and experienced the positive
reaction of our premiere audi-
ence, I am convinced that all
who see it will not only enjoy it,
but will walk away with a
much better understanding of
El Yunque's ecology and why it
is so significant as an interna-
tional icon" said El Yunque
National Forest Supervisor,
Pablo Cruz. "This summer, I
encourage our visitors to bring
their families to view this excit-
ing new feature, enjoy the na-
ture and heritage displays at
El Portal, and then head out to
experience first-hand El Yun-
que's many fascinating nature
trails".


Jaime Lopez- Executive Director,
PR Tourism Company,







EL BOSQUE PLUVIAL


The Forest Supervisor's Message


Now that we're half-
way through the fis-
cal year, here are
some of my thoughts
on our work together
in these unusually
challenging times.

Each morning's headlines and every
day's conversations remind us that we
remain in the midst of an economic
downturn unlike any we've experienced
for decades. Uncertainty sometimes
seems our only certainty; it has become
abundantly clear that we are experienc-
ing more than a "bump in the road" -
the economic landscape has fundamen-
tally changed.

For El Yunque, as for other national
forests, our challenge is to confront
these new economic realities and intel-
ligently adapt ourselves to them, while
at the same time affirming and
strengthening the enterprise of conser-
vation and service that lies at the heart
of what we do so well.

Doing so will mean taking some diffi-
cult steps, involving both discipline and
sacrifice. We live in the moment that
history has presented to us I am con-
fident that we in the El Yunque NF will
rise to this current occasion as we have
so many times before. It is our collective
obligation to face the situation with the
right balance of short-term focus and
long-term ambition, for ourselves and


for the generations whose opportunities
will be shaped by our choices. In this re-
gard, the Forest is re-organizing with the
stated objective of sustaining a viable
operation that best serves you and our
public.

Our local island government administra-
tions are confronting even harsher eco-
nomic times. The Commonwealth is at
threat to lose its current credit rating
and as a result, is embarking on a major
down-sizing never before seen on our Is-
land. Our Municipalities are being asked
by the central government to assume new
operational responsibilities such as main-
tenance of the tertiary road system. We
are working closely with local admini-
strations to seek common areas of mutual
benefit, by "mission sharing" with them.
A prime example of this is our agreement
with the Municipality of Naguabo to op-
erate and maintain the recently com-
pleted Rio de Sabana Picnic Area. We are
also in process of renewing our agree-
ment with PR-DNER to lodge law en-
forcement officers within the Forest. We
will soon sign an agreement with the PR
Tourism Company so that they can help
us to better promote and serve our Forest
visitors.


to reality, these efforts will likely be-
come more complex,

On a final note, we must all be aware
that this year's Atlantic hurricane sea-
son has just begun although the
"experts" are predicting a moderately
active season, the final outcome is
never assured until the season's end in
November...

We must be prepared for the worst at
all times, with both our Forest and per-
sonal hurricane plans in place. We be-
gan our preparations early in April here
in the El Yunque NF. On June 1st, the
Forest was certified ready to respond to
hurricane incidents. Because all of our
staff must be "first responders" if an
incident occurs in the Forest, we en-
couraged them to ensure that their
families and homes are prepared and
ready to cope with potential damage
and the inevitable losses of the islands
infrastructure should a severe storm
occur.

Thankfully, no tropical storm develop-
ment has occurred in the Atlantic so
far, but there are still five long months
remaining in the season, so we must
continue to remain prepared and alert.


I am extremely grateful to the Forest's U ...
various staffs who are working diligently
to determine how we can reduce budgets Hasta pronto,
and are exploring new, improved proce-
dures that will save costs and enhance a 1
our operations. As things move from plan


YCC "Teen Team" Begins EIYunque Summer Schedule


sr On June 1st the El Yun-
que National Forest be-
gan hosting its yearly
Youth Conservation
Corps (YCC) Program. As
in the past, this year's
YCC program, will extend into July,
providing summer jobs for young men
and women 15 to 18 years of age. Par-
ticipating students gain increased
awareness of the Forest's environ-
ment by working alongside El Yunque
staff on vital Forest conservation pro-
jects, while earning money.

This year's participants, Ashalid
Diaz Santiago, Stephanie L. Mar-


tinez Rosario, Marisel Rodriguez
Melendez, Francisco M. Matos,
David D. Carrion, Jose M. Ramos
and Raul Molina Cruz come from the
surrounding communities of Rio
Grande, Luquillo, Canovanas and
San Juan; they were chosen from a
field of 144 applicants by web-based
lottery.

This year the YCC "Teen Team" is work-
ing on Ecosystem projects such as
Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery Support,
and Fisheries management, encouraged
by their Ecosystems Team Mentor-
Supervisor, Orlando Carrasquillo.
The Teen Team will also spend one day


cross training with the
Service in San Juan...


National Park


PAGE 2


VOLUME III,







EL BOSQUE PLUVIAL


ELYUNQUE CLEAN-UP DAY 2009 EDITION!


As in the past, this year's, El Yunque National Forest's 19th annual Clean-up Day was a resounding
success! A record number of participants from surrounding municipalities collaborated with US Forest
Service staff and sponsor American Airlines to ensure the event's outstanding accomplishments and to
educate the public on the severe littering problem that exists on our island and how it contaminates
our natural resources...

On Saturday, April 25th, over 600 volunteers joined us from the surrounding
municipalities of Rio Grande and Luquillo to pick-up and bag trash along El
Yunque's trails and roads, collecting over 5 tons of garbage and scrap during the morning hours... The
amount of trash collected this year was much less than that of previous year; an encouraging indica-
tion that our forest visitors are disposing of their trash in waste containers or taking it with them
when they leave, rather than leaving it on the forest's roads and trails a testament to the Forest I
Service philosophy of "Pack-it-in; Pack-it-out"!

El Yunque staff family members Raul Santiago, Sharitza Pomales, Maria Gomez, Dali Rosa,
Maribel Cano and Shari Valentin volunteered their time and effort, greatly enhancing the outcome of
the clean-up day's activities.

Los Niios Trovadores (Maria and Gianne de Jesus) provided entertainment for the volunteers workers when they returned
around noon to hear the results of their labor.

"All in all, the event was a great success, it combined the satisfaction of a public service job well done, with the joy of making
new friends and working alongside family and old friends", said El Yunque National Forest Supervisor Pablo Cruz.


Commaillgs A Goillngs: I 'u-in. i i . Aurea IMIoragon .ur T,.. u I i.' \t .- 1. i.. I% l'.i -
-i S. i~.i. .. .. 1ii Smokey Bear's i-.1 h 1 h.I; h '. I. .. .n II 1...- -iT. m- 1. im I... Kristina Cooksey i.'I
LeAndra Sm ith. -1L i. t i 'l n .I ll ii \\.1 11 I 'I..I,_,. T .- 1 ii . .. I..-, il, i 1'.. I i I .. ..- -i. - B ruce
D ra p e a u ,' 11l '1 -. I I .. 'l.... i . .n .l i I. .h .I.- i I 11. ...i -. .1 I ll. I ik. '-. ..I. i n .,


ElYunque Exhibit At San Juan Airport


ment and to the island's inhabitants...

This year's exhibit, again designed and
constructed by the El Yunque NF Cus-
tomer Service Team's Interpretive & Con-
servation Education staff, was a celebra-
tion of "El Yunque, One Of The World's
Natural Wonders", featuring the forest's
extensive and diverse wildlife and plant
S .species, while also highlighting the For-
est's world-class El Portal Rain Forest
Center...
Center... AmerianAirlines



For the second consecutive year,
American Airlines has asked the El The exhibit was viewed by passengers
Yunque NF to provide an educational arriving and departing on American Air-
exhibit to install in their main con- lines flights throughout the month of
course at San Juan's Luis Mufioz May.
Marin International Airport...

Last year's exhibit theme described El
Yunque's abundant watershed and
the benefits it provides to the environ-


VOLUME III,


PAGE 3








EL BOSQUE PLUVIAL


ElYunque NF = Long Distance Learning For New


York School Kids


It began a few months ago with an e-
mail request for information about
the nesting habits and habitat of
Amazona vittata, the endangered
Puerto Rican Parrot. Maria Tapias-
Avery who teaches Spanish to 7 and
8 year olds at the Manhattan Country
School, a unique, conservation-
minded kindergarten/elementary/
middle school, founded in 1966 in
New York City
(www.manhattancountryschool.org)
wrote that, "as part of a combined
Science/Spanish language teaching
project, her class was learning the
Spanish names and characteristics of
El Yunque rainforest animals but
they couldn't find any information
about the Palo Colorado tree" -
(Cyrilla racemiflora), the preferred
nesting habitat of the highly-
endangered Puerto Rican Parrot. El
Yunque National Forest volunteer
interpretive media writer Alan Mow-
bray, who works with the El Yunque
Customer Service Team's, Interpre-
tive and Conservation Education
staff, and has compiled the monthly
Wildlife Facts feature for El Yunque's
website www.fs.fed.us/r8/el vunque


for over eight years now, answered
Ms. Tapias-Avery's query with a full
description of the Palo Colorado tree,
including photos of parrot nesting
cavities retrieved from the forest's
extensive electronic collection. As a
bonus, he offered to answer any addi-
tional questions her class might have
about parrots or other interesting
"critters and plant life" that call the
El Yunque NF's tropical rainforest
their home...

An "El Yunque NF/Manhattan Coun-
try School mentoring partnership" to
benefit MCS' 7 and 8 year old stu-
dents was instantly formed since
then the young students, many of
whom have parents or grandparents
with ties to Puerto Rico, have sent
regular lists of questions to Mr. Mow-
bray, who dutifully answers them in
detail the list of subjects has ex-
panded to include questions about the
island's ubiquitous Coqui tree frogs,
its diminutive anole lizards, the en-
dangered Puerto Rican Boa snake and
many other fascinating island and
rainforest fauna and flora species...

Ms. Tapias-Avery and Mr. Mowbray


intend to keep this "mentoring
partnership" alive Ms. Tapias-
Avery and her science teacher col-
leagues are planning to include an
"El Yunque rainforest curriculum"
in next year's 7/8s Spanish/science
classes, using the Spanish versions
of El Yunque NF Interpretive Site
guidebooks and other forest pro-
duced materials as background
references and of course Mr.
Mowbray will continue to make
himself "electronically available"
to answer the 7/8s questions...

MCS is also considering the feasi-
bility of a future experimental
"7/8s working field trip" to El Yun-
que according to Ms. Tapias-
Avery, class members will partici-
pate in activities that "accent rain-
forest conservation" and thus ac-
quaint the young students with a
"love of nature and a familiarity
with the culture of their island
forebears."

El Yunque awaits the arrival of
the first "7/8 Gang" with great
anticipation!


Animales en El Yunque


horizontal
vertical



5. 3.


Vocabulario
boa
coqui
cotorra
guaraguao
agartijo
mangosto
murcielago
pez
rata


OlbuJado pOr
ios 7-s de:
MCnhSttan
Country School


PAGE 4


VOLUME III,







EL BOSQUE PLUVIAL


Boas and Pythons and Crocodiles, Oh My!

Live Animal Exhibits at El Portal


Have you ever befriended a Boa?
Peered at a Python, gotten chummy
with a crocodile, or gazed at a
ground turtle? Or even monitored a
monkey or gotten friendly with a
frog?


Every year during the summer
months, the El Yunque National
Forest presents a series of live ani-
mal displays on selected Sundays at
the Forest's El Portal Rainforest
Center. Visitors have a chance to
come "face-to-face" with caged na-
tive and exotic animals that they
would be unlikely to encounter in
their daily lives. Forest Service
Nature Interpreter/guides Cynthia
Manfred, Frank Torres and
Edwin Velasquez, under the su-
pervision of VIS Operations Leader
Victor Cuevas, are on hand to
describe the habits and habitat of
the animals, relate animal folklore,
show how some animals are used in
medical research, and to clarify


related animal health and safety
issues. Visitor's questions are an-
swered after each lecture. The live
animal exhibits and associated lec-
tures are free of charge and are
presented twice; once in the morn-
ing and again in the afternoon.


EIYunque Seeks New 7 Wonders of Nature Semifinal Slot


*oNDjD5 I Puerto Rico's El
S' Yunque National
~ a Forest has been
Nominated among
the first cut of
261 elite interna-
tional nature
venues and is
vying for a spot
in the select list of 77 semifinalists in
the New 7 Wonders of Nature cam-
paign.

The contest was organized by the New
7 Wonders Foundation-the brain-
child of Swiss filmmaker and museum
curator Bernard Weber-in order to
"protect humankind's heritage across
the globe." The foundation says the
poll attracted almost a hundred mil-
lion votes.

"The renowned Ancient Wonders be-
long to antiquity," Weber said, "and,
with the exception of the Pyramids,
none remain in existence." There has
never been any true public consensus
of opinion on the last 2000 years of


human achievement.


The "New Seven Wonders of the
World," announced last July 7 follow-
ing a global poll to decide a new list of
human-made marvels, were voted for
by internet poll. They included the
Coliseum in Rome, India's Taj Mahal,
the Great Wall of China, Jordan's
ancient city of Petra, the Inca ruins of
Machu Pichu in Peru, the ancient
Mayan city of Chich6n ItzA in Mexico
and the 105-foot-tall "Christ the Re-
deemer" statue in Rio de Janeiro in
Brazil.

The New 7 Wonders of Nature, a
new list of the world's most signifi-
cant natural marvels, will also be
voted for through the internet. The
second phase of the campaign has
begun and El Yunque employees are
asking former and current visitors
and supporters to go online and vote
for the EL Yunque National Forest at
the N7WN website:
www.new7wonders.com/classic/en/
index/ .


The municipality of Rio Grande has
formed an "Official Support Commit-
tee" nominating the El Yunque Na-
tional Forest to compete in the second
"semi-final" phase of the campaign.
Among the highly motivated support
committee members are the Depart-
ment of Natural and Environmental
Resources, the Puerto Rico Tourism
Company, the Puerto Rico National
Parks Company and the Corporation
for Planning and Development of
Tourism (COPLADET).

EL Yunque is the only tropical rain
forest in the National Forest System
and is the only forest selected to par-
ticipate in the competition. Following
the selection of the 77 semi-finalists,
the list will be narrowed down to 21
on July 21, 2009. The seven winning
international nature venues will be
announced in 2011.


VOLUME III,


PAGES










EL BOSQUE PLUVIAL


Pablo Cruz Forest Supervisor
El Yunque National Forest
Telephone 787 888 1810
Fax- 787 888 5668
e-mail pcruz01 @fs.fed.us





Alan Mowbray Editor
El Bosque Pluvial
Telephone 787 888 5654
Fax 787 888 5622
e-mail amowbray@fs.fed.us

Graphics Aurea Moragon
Photos Victor Cuevas (EYNF); Orlando Carrasquillo (EYNF); Maria
Tapias-Avery (MCS).






El Yunque National Forest
Telephone -787 888 1810/1880
Fax 787 888 5685
Web www.fs.fed.us/r8/el_yunque
Mail USDA Forest Service
El Yunque National Forest
HC-01 Box 13490
Rio Grande, PR 00745-9625


FOREST SPOTLIGHT

This Summer's Forest Spotlight is on Bruce
Drapeau, El Yunque's "quadruple-threat"
Natural Resources Specialist-Fire Services
Manager-Federal Employees Union Local
President-Employee Association Treasurer...

SBorn in Massachusetts to a family with five
other siblings, Bruce is a lifelong Boston sports
fan avidly following "his" Red Sox and Bruins...

Attending college briefly, he left to work at a private company, before
"seeing the light" and returning to college. In the summer of 1996, he
came to Puerto Rico to volunteer with El Yunque's Ecosystem Manage-







projects. During his time away, the island had been struck by hurricane
Hortense, causing significant damage to the Forest's watersheds. Emer-
gency funds became available to hire personnel to work with recovery
projects by his own admission, Bruce was "in the right place at the
right time" with the required background and experience he applied
and was accepted for one of the temporary jobs. After serving in several
temporary positions, he became a permanent, full-time FS employee as
a Biological Science Technician in 2001...

Over the next few years, he worked with the Puerto Rican Parrot Re-
covery program, the Forest fisheries program and various heritage re-
sources, wildlife and ecosystem projects.

Around that time, he was also assigned to the Forest's Wildfire Man-
agement Program, dispatching firefighters to fires on the US mainland,
as well as assisting with fire training courses on the island.

In March 2003, he was deployed to aid in the search for debris from the
Space Shuttle Colombia, which had disintegrated over east Texas while
re-entering the atmosphere during his two week assignment he was
instrumental in recovering several pieces of the shuttle.

In 2005, Bruce was promoted to the position of Natural Resources Spe-
cialist, with additional fire management duties he is currently respon-
sible for interagency coordination of island fire resources deployed to
fires and other high-risk incidents on the US mainland. He is also
responsible for coordinating El Yunque NF and Interagency Fire
training courses on the island. Every year he trains, tests and certi-
fies approximately 150 local firefighters as Wildland Firefighters,
and facilitating an annual multi-agency coordinating group meeting
of agency heads from state and federal emergency preparedness
agencies...

In his "spare-time" Bruce also serves as the President of the Local
chapter of the Federal Employees Union and is Treasurer of the El
Yunque NF Employees Association...

Is it any wonder that Bruce is typically perceived as a "blur." rush-
ing from one assignment to the next?


USDA


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimina-
tion 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 prohib-
ited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who
require alternate means for communication of program informa-
tion (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's
TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (Voice and TDD.) To file a com-
plaint of discrimination write USDA, Director, Office of Civil
Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Ave-
nue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call 202-720-5964 (Voice
and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity employer and provider.




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