Title: bosque pluvial
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099613/00009
 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 2010
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00099613
Volume ID: VID00009
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text


Volume lY, Issue 2 Sme,21


* Forest Supervisor's mes-
* A "Grand Reserve

* Comings/Goings

* NoteslQuotes

* Hurricane Earl

* Forest Facts/Trivial Pur-
* Amigos del Yunque
* Live PR Parrot

. ggygggy


NPED + Super Scouts = Forest Facelift!

Responding to the call for volunteers to work in the Forest on
National Public Lands Day, Scout troop 1959 had gathered near
the guardrail at El Yunque's popular Vista Point while Scoutmas-
ter Elias Colon explained the details of a Job Hazard Analysis for
the graffiti removal task they were about to tackle. He then read
from the instructions on the chemical solvent they were to employ
on the job. When that was done, Senior Patrol Leader Pedro
Agosto led his 25 scouts from Antilles Military Academy in Trujillo
Alto to begin "de-vandalizing" the Vista Point guardrails. When
they had completely restored the guardrails to their original condi-
tion, they moved on to the La Mina Nature Trail where they began
-- a '- to remove more graffiti from the picnic shelters there.
National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is a yearly, nationwide celebration in which thou-
sands of volunteers gather at National Forests, Grasslands and other public lands to lend a
hand in improving and enhancing the resources of those special places where America goes to
enjoy the outdoors. On Saturday, September 25thVOlunteerS joined with Forest staff to help
refurbish El Yunque's beauty and vitality.
Among this year's 40 energetic and dedicated volunteers were "Super Scouts" from Troop
1959 and Venture Crew 919 as well as volunteers from Iglesia Cristiana Discipulos de
Cristo, a local Fajardo church, recruited by El Yunque Law Enforcement Officer Carmelo
Ortiz. Venture Crew's 12 volunteers led by advisor Juan A. (Tony) Lopez Perez and adult
supervisor Aurora Morris, split into two teams one team walked up PR road 191 from the
Forest entrance, while the other team walked down from the PR 191 gate at the road's closure
point when they rejoined at the halfway mark, they had cleaned algae growth from an
amazing total of 149 signs during their long day's labor! Meanwhile church member/
volunteers Shaquille Rivera and Juan Diaz joined Law Enforcement Officer Ortiz (who
had re-arranged his schedule in order to participate and supervise) to repaint the no-parking
areas at the Mount Britton Nature Trailhead.

According to Visitor Information Service Leader Victor Cuevas,
who organized the work projects along with Supervisory Forest ,
Technician Jaime Valentin, the volunteers who participated in
this years NPLD projects "Got very involved when they saw that 0
their help was needed (and appreciated) so much so that they all
offered to return on future dates to work on vital Forest p..... I -'
The dedication displayed by this small but powerful group of volun-
teers along with Forest staff during this National Public Lands Day
activity at El Yunque serves as an encouraging reminder that
"Caring for the Land and Serving People" is much more than a For-
est Service motto let's hope it represents the genesis of an unsel- L
fish local commitment to the sustaining of the island's public lands!



W e are presently facing an ex-
tremely busy agenda. As summer ends
and we transition to the winter months
we are experiencing many challenges.
For example, since this is an election
year for the U.S. Congress, appropria-
tion legislation has stalled-a continu-
ing resolution was passed by Congress,

efienn c nt 1ptph 1 c d
congress is seated in 2011. Despite this
we continuetto wohr unceasingly to im-

hance public usage of our beloved El

We have been collaborating closely
with the Municipality of Rio Grande in
the development of their Territorial
Plan. As a result of these efforts we
were able to successfully incorporate
land conservation classifications adja-
cent to the Forest into the plan. This is
a very important protection mechanism
that contributes significantly to the
ecological integrity of the Forest. If this
plan is officially adopted and approved
we must all encourage responsible gov-
ernment entitles to implement and exe-
cute land use policies and classifica-
tions as planned. When we participated
in the hearings on the plan, we recom-
mended the definition of a special plan-
ning area in the Espiritu Santo and Rio
Grande watersheds designed to tackle a
significant existing ecological problem,
connectivity with the Forest. When gap
analyses were conducted around the
Forest in 2008, they concluded that

i o c cos eec 1 is t the
Forest. We call this special area the
"Corredor Biologico de Rio Grande".
The proposal is presently under consid-
eration by the Rio Grande Municipality.

We have reached exceptional accord
with the Puerto Rico Planning Board in
defining the "Corredor Ecologico del
Noreste (CEN)". By contributing to the
mutual broad vision we have made
great strides on the road to establishing
a proper connection between El Yunque
and the CEN. Along with the Planning
Board staff, we have been able to define
lands and outline a series of conserva-
tion tools. Consistent with USDA policy
the proposed corridor includes All
Lands in the Pitahaya, Juan Martin
and Sabana rivers watersheds. Our

activities and allowances per segment
of El Yunque's rivers in order to guar-
antee congressional mandated river
values and character. We have also
begun preparation of the El Toro Wil-
derness Area Plan. Utilizing the "limit
of acceptable change" concept we are
presently analyzing the uses, activities,
and their impact to the wilderness.

Just when we thought everything was
calm as the end of summer approached,
uni ecEa epad us in uneaxp teet

produce a lot of vegetation debris clog-
ging Forest roads and nature trails.
Fortunately, rainfall was minimal, and
there was no physical damage to any of
our facilities. Thanks to the enthusi-
asm and dedication of our staff, with-
out any outside help we were able to
simultaneously assess damage, and
plan and execute cleanup and restora-
tion projects. While this was in pro-
gress, there were various facilities
closed for short period of time. We ask
our many visitors to remember that for
us, your safety and that of our staff is
our prime concern. The total estimated
cost of damage is approximately
$98,000. Since we are at the peak of
the Atlantic Tropical Storm Season, we
must continue to maintain our readi-
ness and vigilance!
As you can plainly see, our "plate is
full." Our staff maintains their de-
manding work schedule to ensure El
Yunque's continued quality. However,
we cannot do all this alone. Tour com-
d vol
nutment aWe ne ty t '1 ehasnd"

to support our vital mission of "Caring
for the Land and Serving People!"

Hasta Luego!


proposal describes a "Grand Reserve"
extending from the Forest boundaries to
the coastal plain. Since this is a work in
progress, there is still more work to be
done to refine the proposal.

After an intense planning effort to attend
to the problem of high visitation during
peak months we were able to successfully
mp t o 1 es of our new

over the summer. Portable electronic
s wer r ea aOnpd to Fore

defined and coordinated with Law En-
forcement. Plans were implemented and
hardware installed during high visitation
demand days. While ongoing efforts to
obtain approval to integrate the ITS sys-
tem into the Forest's computer system
were underway, the portable signs were
deployed and operated manually. We
expect that this problem will be solved by
our internal Information Technology (IT)
staff before the onset of our 2011 peak
season. Despite many unusual rainfall
events experienced during the period our
ITS system and its operation proved ca-
pable of effectively alleviating the effects
of high visitation. We are hopeful to have
our new Mass Transet System in place by
next summer as a demonstration/pilot

Of great concern to all is the deplorable
condition of the state road system in the
Forest. There are 45 miles of Common-
wealth roads in El Yunque. They are the
main access routes to the Forest, and
provide primary access to rural communi-

tie u s e y
routes reliably will result in resource
damage and can lead to major public
safety issues. Since the Federal Highway
Act of 1958 stipulates that it is the re-
sponsibility of the local Commonwealth,
Department of Transportation and Public
Works to operate and maintain roads on
Federal property, we are doing every-
thing possible to raise these concerns to
the proper responsible officials. In FY11
we will intensify effort s to attain a better
understanding of the problem and thus
encourage diligent operation of the For-
est's roads.

We are close to completing our Wild and
Scenic River Plan. In FY 2011 we will
begin working on the implementation
strategy of the plan, defining the use





La Gran Reserva del Este A Bold Conservation Proposal For Luquillo!

La Gran Reserva del Este An area within Luquillo's boundaries in which all lands contribute to the conserva-
tion of its terrestrial, riparian and marine environments".

.. This quote forms the title of a recent El Yunque NF proposal that addresses a

Ecologico del Este" (CEN) a recent plan to establish a conservation reserve
within the northeast corridor. The purpose of a conservation reserve is to
perceived imbalance in the Puerto Rico Planning Commission's "Corridor
'preserve existing biological diversity and natural biological processes while
curbing habitat losses" according to the El Yunque proposal. Currently, the
local public views the CEN as a piece of land along the north side of PR high-
way 3 as it passes through Luquillo. Previous CEN proposals have not consid-
ered three important watersheds which are positioned south of highway 3 -
Sabana, Pitahaya and San Martin. These watersheds comprise upper, mid and lower mountainous areas con-
tained in a matrix of rural, suburban and urban settings, part of an Area de Planification Especial (Special
Planning Area) which enhances land and marine segments but fails to include the equally important riparian
(river) elements that connect the CEN with the El Yunque National Forest the areas which drain the water-
sheds to the Atlantic ocean.
With this proposal, the El Yunque NF suggests the expansion of the CEN to include these three critical water-
sheds, extending the area of the presently planned reserve from the Forest's edge at the gateway community of
Luquillo, all the way to the eastern coastal plain a "Grand Reserve indeed!

Connainag.s & Goinags: In -lull Customer Service Team's inn-sproblls..n ..n-a-rional..n bluean..n
L.-;olve BInnea Ruiz;Ind 11.-l.ni:1-1.-c cc:1.his- acil-1 mis-spre-I.-c.1urea Moragon insi.-le-.l I..11.-ns. N.-1;I.1;I
Inc National Visitor Use Monitoring (NYUM) Insining in Augu-I S.-a-c.-lars is. Fun--I superil-..r Lucy
Cruz:III.-n.1.-.1 lhe- Regional Executive Assistant nis-.-ling in I'.-n-:1.*..1:1 Ph.col:1 In 8.- .I.-nil..-c Engin.-a-c
in Talinine Toniette Addison lenis-led En.ni lhe- NF"s in Florida 1..11..ck un El Toro Trail assessment

Notable Notes & Quotable Quotes Around The Forest

-> This summer's El Yunque NF Clean-Up-Day event in July was another unqualified success -
2.5 tons of trash were collected by 515 eager volunteers from Luquillo, Rio Grande,
Canovanas and Naguabo, while members of the "Scuba Dogs" organization scoured the
rivers. American Airlines was El Yunque's "perfect partner" for this important event.

-> A reminder from Forest Supervisor Pablo Cruz El Yunque is on twitter you can view
our "Tweets" at: http://twitter.com/ElYunqueNF

-> There's still time to vote in the N7WN campaign With your help, El Yunque will be named
one of the seven internationally acclaimed "New 7 Wonders of Nature" Check our website
www.fs.fed.us/r8/elyunque for details.

-> Looking for digital downloadable or print maps of El Yunque? View details at: http://




Earl A Hurricane Season Wake-up Call!

Hurricane Earl came close to our island -passing about 100 miles p .
away from the northeast coast on August 20th. Earl was a fairly large
storm, so tropical storm winds ranging from 40 to 60 mph (with much
higher gusts in the northeast) were felt over most of Puerto Rico. A "Dry"
storm, rainfall was less than 3 inches over the Forest. El Yunque suffered -
light damage none to buildings and facilities -- mostly from fallen trees,
downed branches, tree limbs and leaf defoliation. Although the impact to
Forest vegetation was low, species such as Yagrumo, Bamboo, Palm and -- .
Tree Fern were uprooted or lost limbs and foliage.

A positive result of the storm's impact may be the opening-up of the canopy, allowing more light into
4 the Forest's ground level which in turn allows normally "suppressed" young trees
* and plants to get a head start on the next growing season!
A less positive result was the storm's possible impact on El Yunque's federally
listed endangered and sensitive plant species whose after-storm population con-
dition will need to be surveyed. Of additional concern is potential harm to Forest
watersheds if episodes of heavy rain are experienced during the remainder of
the 2010 hurricane season, road culverts over rivers and streams may become
clogged impairing water passage.
( Meanwhile, Forest trails, trailheads, parking areas, roads and buildings have
been cleared of large, dead overhanging branches, limbs and downed small trees.
The storm's possible impact on the Forest's critically endangered Puerto Rican Parrot (Amazona vit-
tata) is still being assessed by biological staff but, assessment is inhibited by downed trees and
branches impeding trail access to the breeding grounds.
Most importantly, Hurricane Earl served as a test of the ability of El Yunque National Forest staff to
organize and react quickly and positively to this storm event without outside assistance simultane-
ously assessing damage while planning and executing cleanup and restoration work -a test that they
passed with flying colors! So far, the total estimated damage to the Forest from Hurricane Earl is ap-
proximately $98,000...




Forest Geology (Story idea by Eco-
Team Leader Pedro Rios)

G ecological theory tells us that
around 200 million years ago the
North American and South American
tectonic plates separated, allowing a
section of the Pacific tectonic plate to
"pry" between them, becoming the
Caribbean tectonic plate. A "Zone of
Subduction" (when one tectonic plate
is pulled underneath another) oc-
curred when the North American
plate was driven under the advancing
Caribbean plate causing the forma-
tion of the Puerto Rican trench. Be-
hind the zone of subduction the sea
floor melted into the earth's mantle
and formed a line of submarine vol-
canic eruptions whose magma solidi-
fied to produce the dense igneous rock
that was subsequently folded and

faulted by the resulting compressional
forces. These rocks formed the cores of
what are now the Greater Antilles is-
lands. In what became the island of
Puerto Rico a core formed the Cordillera
Central (central mountain corridor),
and, at the island's northeast corner the
Luquillo Mountains, where the El Yun-
que National Forest is located. Forest
elevations range between 100 feet (30
meters) above sea level at the northern
boundary to 3,500 feet (1,067 meters) at
El Toro, the Forest's highest peak. Ter-
rain ranges from gentle slopes at lower
elevations to steep angled slopes with
deeply notched, stream-eroded valleys at
higher elevations.

The Luquillo Mountains are composed of
igneous, marine-deposited Cretaceous
volcanic rock with some Tertiary intru-
sive quartz diorites occurring on the

Forest's south side. Quaternary un-
consolidated alluvial deposits, such as
sands, gravels, silts and clays, occur
along the Forest's major rivers and
streams. Soils were formed from vol-
canic ash, and are deep, weathered,
and rich in nutrients. Most nutrients
necessary for plant growth are found
in the top 4 inches (10 centimeters) of
the Forest's soil, typical of wet tropi-
cal forests. Much of the Forest's soil
(<80%) is comprised of clay, while the
remaining sandy soils associated with
the quartz-diorite rock, are concen-
trated on the south side. The combi-
nation of steep slopes and intense
rainfall make Forest soils highly erod-
ible when vegetation cover is re-
moved. Little organic matter accu-
mulates on the soil surface, due to
rapid decomposition, except at upper
elevations, where it is inhibited by
water saturation.

Trivial Pursuits!

Q.: How Many Different Names Has The El Yunque National Forest Had Through The Centuries?
(Trivia question submitted by Forest Engineer Edgardo Martinez)
A.: At least nine! (1) The aboriginal Taino inhabitants of Boriken (Puerto Rico) named one of the Forest's high
peaks Yuke which scholars believe meant "white land" around 300 BC; (2) Later Spanish colonizers who fol-
lowed in Columbus' wake changed the Taino word Yuke into the Spanish EL Yunque: (3) Mariners listed the
mountain peaks on their navigational charts as Sierra de Luquillo named for Taino Cacique (chief) Yukibo
whose village lay at the foot of the mountains; in 1876, Spain's King Alphonso XII proclaimed the Sierra de Lu-
quillo as a 10,000 hectare forest reserve; (4) In 1903, US President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed the Luquillo
Forest Reserve as part of reparations after the Spanish/American War; (5) In 1907 the Luquillo Forest Reserve
became the Luquillo National Forest supervised by the recently formed US Forest Service; (6) In 1935 the Lu-
quillo National Forest was re-named the Caribbean National Forest by President Franklin Roosevelt to reflect
additional land purchases; (7) In 1946 the forest became an Insular Wildlife Refuge: (8) In 1956 it received the
alternate designation of Luquillo Experimental Forest; (9) In 2007, the Forest received its present name El Yun-
que National Forest by proclamation of President George W. Bush the Forest's many names had come full cir-

Q.: For How Many Years Was Gold Mined In The Luquillo Mountains? (Trivia question submitted (and
answered) by Dr. Peter Weaver, International Institute of Trapical Forestry)

A.: Gold was found in the sands of nine of El Yunque's rivers; the first recorded discovery was in 1509, and
placer mining began in the Rio Fajardo and Rio Blanco around 1513. Mining was an important commer-
cial activity in the island's eastern mountains during the early 16th century. Most mining activity ended
around 1530 when Taino indians attacked and burned miners' houses. Sporadic mining continued into the
20th century along several of El Yunque's streams and rivers.

Fascinating Forest Facts and Figures!




Visitors "Say HeHo" To PR Parrot Jacinta at El Portal!

.'pi he public got an unexpected
thrill when Forest Supervisor
Pablo Cruz invited them to visit
the El Portal Rain Forest Center
on Sunday, August 8*, 2010 they
were given the rare chance to "meet
and greet" Jacinta, a live female
Puerto Rican Parrot!

Ricardo Valentin, Puerto Rico De-
) apartment of Natural and Environ-
mental Resources' Rio Abajo State
Forest Parrot Aviary Manager in-
troduced visitors to Jacinta near
the center's water feature, and later
on gave a forty five minute lecture explaining the habits and habitat of Jacinta's endemic
Puerto Rican genus, one of the world's most endangered avian species, in El Portal's air condi-
tioned theater.

The PR Parrot visit and lecture were arranged by El Yunque's Visitor Information Service
Leader, Victor Cuevas, who subsequently wrote this to Mr. Valentin: "Thank you for your
extreme personal dedication to the recovery of the Puerto Rican Parrot. Setting aside time
from your busy schedule to bring us a live "Cotorra" all the way from your Rio Abajo Aviary to
El Portal only serves to further highlight and enhance your commitment to our island's con-
servation education and a better

undoers nding of our cherished

Victor also congratulated the
Customer Service Team's VIS
staff for their hard work, Jacinta I
the PR Parrot for her extreme
patience while she was "meeting
and greeting visitors, DNER >
Ranger Skerrett for taking .
such good care of Jacinta during -f'
the theater lecture and everyone
else who helped to make this ac- .
tivity a resounding success! A s.




Amigos del Yunque Making Its Presence Felt!

Amigos del Yunque was only re-
cently born and it is already starting to

'-0 The U.S. Forest Service's new non-
ze - -- profit partner for the preservation, de-
.. development and promotion of the El Yun-
que National Forest has launched its
first initiative: a visionary alliance with
hotels in eastern Puerto Rico whereby
their guests will contribute $1.00 per
room per night to help fund Amigos
& .. busy agenda. The initiative is also in-
tended to raise awareness among hotel guests and spur additional visits to the rainforest.

"Our mission includes engaging the entire community around El Yunque in the shared task of protect-
ing and promoting the Forest, and this is one natural way to do it," said Angelita Rieckehoff, Ami-
gos' President and Chairwoman. "Not only do we want to engage the hotels themselves, including
their management and employees, but their guests as well, so their visits to El Yunque become more
sustainable and far more of a learning experience on the rich biodiversity of the forest and the need to
preserve forests in general."

Amigos has also begun designing new tours of El Yunque to further enhance the visitor's learning and
experience. "We've identified certain niches we can fill to augment El Yunque's offering to visitors, and
we're in the process of creating highly engaging and educational tours people can take when they visit
the Forest," she added. "If all goes according to plan, the tours will be ready for the start of the tourist
season on December 15."

Yet another important contribution is Amigos' role in coordinating the vital work of El Yunque's many
volunteers, as well as turning more visitors and area residents into new volunteers. "We're working
very closely with the Forest Service staff at El Yunque to get this done. The work of the volunteers has
always been crucial in everything from keeping the forest clean to providing guided tours and engaging
the community. We see them all as the best 'amigos' we can have in Amigos del Yunque, and we invite
anyone who wishes to join the cause to drop us a note at amigosdelyunque@yahoo.com."


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,
teexdu ean o all rao msr)f a Tio ipiroh o
require alternate means for communication of program informa-
tion (BraiHe, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's
TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (Voice and TDD.) To file a com-
i tts R omri3 i i eB 1 g 0 d neden Ive-
nue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call 202-720-5964 (Voice
and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity employer and provider.

Pablo Cruz Forest Supervisor
El Yunque National Forest
Telephone 787 888 1810
Fax 787 888 5668
e-mail peruz01@fs.fed.us

n this issue osque uvia shines the

SPOTUG MT on El Yunsue s multi-
to ented information Receptionist Mgrna

Tiredo. An only child, Marns was born in

agamonon anuary)th, I9J+toMgrna
Govas and fablo Tiredo. Marns attended
Academia San Jose in Villa Capers from

pre-schoo to her senior year.

Alan Mowbray Editor

El Beoshqoune PI i7al888 5654
Fax 787 888 5622
e-mail amowbray@fs.fed.us

Graphics Aurea Moragon
Photos: USDA Forest Service

El Yunque National Forest
Telephone -778877888888568850/I880
Web www.fs.fed.us/r8/elyunque
Mail USDA Forest Service
El Yunque National Forest

Ri ra P 00745-9625

uring those ears, she spent much a her t me around ber cousins at her
rancimother's home, earning househo ci cluties and sharing cooing recipes,
rna cedidn't le summer camp" so she wor ec most summers on government

program. She gmelusteel from Migh School in 1,9z anel during that year she
a so served as a vo unteer/escort at the rand Regatta Co on. Mgrna en-
ro ed in the Socid Sciences program at the university of Yuento Rico,

Cagey campus ma oring in sycho ogy. Ta ing a brea from her studies, she
began to wor in the ami9 transportation business, we coming tourists at the

airport and cruise ship terminal s, guiding them to beauti u location whi e show-
ing them the magnificent attractions of our is and. Strengthened networking
re ationships and a special interest in the tourism inclustry provided her with an

opportunity to return to co ege at Secrecl More university in Santurce
were she grac uated Magna cum Laude with a BA in Tourism, with electives
in rench and to lan language. After graduation Marns interned with the
rincess Cruise ines, coordinating transportation services for passengers from

many countries and guiding them through ember ation procedures. That same
ear she accepted an appointment to a ar uicle position with the Nationa

ark Service at the San Juan NationsI Mistoric Site, where she furthemel her
assion for uerto Rico's history whi e provic ing tours for tourists and 's
nc ucling such uminaries as the resident of anama and arbara a ters. n

u9 ZOOl, she oineci the US forest Serv ce at the El Yunsue NT as an
information Receptionist since then she has cchaci the opportunity to earn
rom different orest units visitors a I J incis of information ranging from
driving directions to be (ng them identify a orest tree or insect 've been
ab e to assist in emergencies and special events such as the forest's Centen-
nia and Name Change Ceremony"

n ZOOZ, Myrna was married to Raul Santingo whom she first met over the
internet. They have two childrens Lorenzo (y) and Sergio (7 months). She
vo unteers in her oca community, ee ing a website and deve oping activities
For children.

rna en oys spend ng time wit er am[ and istening to music 5 e es to
cook and hel, others.

e are indeed ortunate to ave suc an -..ll* I and mu t[~ta ented person as
our front ine ambassadors


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