Title: bosque pluvial
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099613/00010
 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: Fall 2010
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00099613
Volume ID: VID00010
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text



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Volume IV, Issue 3 Fall, 2010


Camp Santiago A Cultural Cornucopia!


INSIDE THIS ISSUE:


* Forest Supervisor's mes-
sage

* New Signs for El Yunque!
* Notes/Quotes
* 2010 FS Awards!

* Forest Facts/Trivial Pur-
suits!
* Climate Change= Endan-
gered Birds!
* Amigos del Yunque Up-
date
* IPOTLIue


II


U


C amp Santiago, the Puerto Rico Army Na-
tional Guard's Joint Maneuvering and Train-
ing Center in Salinas is an archaeological and cul-
tural cornucopia. Beneath its 12,571 acre terrain,
evidence of past cultures are being carefully uncov-
ered, classified and evaluated by a crew of Forest
Service professionals.


Starting in 2001, a group of experts, supervised by El Yunque Ecosystem Manage-
ment Team's Luis Rivera, with field work performed by Resident Archaeologist Dr.
Hector Torres-Camacho, Cartographic Technician Iris Tirado and Natural Re-
sources Technicians Alexis Diaz Gonzales and Boanerges Perez, has been carry-
ing out terrain survey activities including surface reconnaissance and sub-surface
probes. Their efforts continue a lengthy history of heritage investigation begun in
1983.
The area encircled by Camp Santiago's borders has been
inhabited since at least 400 AC by various cultures in-
Scluding theIgneri/Saladoids (400-600 AC); the Ostionoids
H 'f (600-1200 AC); the Elenoids (600-1200 AC); the Taino
(1200-1500 AC) who produced complex ceramics and
stone implements; the Spanish colonials (1500-1898) who
began arriving after Columbus' second voyage in 1493,
and finally, as a consequence of Spanish/American War
reparations, the US administration (1898-present). The archaeological finds un-
earthed so far have been identified with one or more of these historical eras.
Recently, after more than ten years in the works, the
El Yunque National Forest has signed a program-
matic agreement with the Puerto Rico State Historic
Preservation Office that will facilitate much closer
coordination between the Forest's Heritage Resources
Program and PR-SHPO resulting in more effective
overall cultural resource management.
Since 2005, the GIS office at Camp Santiago has maintained a complete data base
that includes aerial photographs, some dating back to 1936, natural resources man-
agement data regarding watersheds and reforestation and an inventory of all the
camp's infrastructure, firing points and danger zones.







VOLUME IV, ISSUE 3


The Forest Supervisor's Message


A another year comes to an end -
one that brought us many chal-
lenges, some adversities, and plenty
of new opportunities!

Despite limited staff and con-
strained resources, we were able to
successfully address all the issues
that came our way!

Next year is anticipated to be a dif-
ficult one as well; congress is
sharply divided and this fiscal
year's appropriations are under a
continuing resolution, affording a
predictable amount of fiscal uncer-
tainty. President Obama has called
for major austerity within govern-
ment agencies thus, payroll and
hiring freezes are anticipated.

We continue to work with the
Puerto Rico government to secure
the up-keep of the forty-five miles
of public roads contained within our
Forest's boundaries. Most of the
segments of this essential road sys-
tem have reached a critical stage of
disrepair. This lack of attention has
resulted in significant impact to our
resource management.

We have initiated a working group
led by the municipality of Canova-
nas to ultimately obtain the desig-
nation of PR road 186 as a Scenic
Byway. A useful and productive
alliance between the municipalities
of Canovanas and Rio Grande, the
US Forest Service, Puerto Rico De-
partment of Transportation (PR-
DOT) and the Federal Highway Ad-
ministration (FHWA) is in place,
and the Puerto Rico Planning
Board has recently joined this alli-
ance! We all share a dream to con-
serve and protect the natural, sce-
nic and recreation significance of
this attractive Forest byway. The
Scenic Byway designation is also
expected to improve security and
resource protection for the area.


The time has arrived to implement
our long planned and anticipated
Forest re-organization. After a few
years in the designing and planning
stages, our new organization has
been approved and is now ready to
put into operation. We expect that
this new, streamlined organization
will bring future service delivery effi-
ciencies. In addition, the new organi-
zation plan is fiscally aligned with
the recently adjusted Forest recur-
ring budget.

We applaud the dedication of Lu-
quillo's Boy Scout Troop 110 for their
eager willingness to adopt the For-
est's Big Tree Nature Trail, as part of
our newly-launched "Adopt-a-Trail"
program. If you are interested in
finding out more about this program,
please call Delia Gomez at 787 888
5657.

Our relationship with our partner
Amigo's del Yunque was recently
made formal with the mutual signing
of a Memorandum Of Understanding
(MOU). We are very excited and
pleased to have reached this point
after many months of discussion and
negotiation. We look forward with
great anticipation to working side-by-
side with them to help improve and
expand the Forest's service to the
public, and sustain its condition. We
encourage you to become an Amigo's
del Yunque member and participate
in this worthwhile endeavor!

Be sure to check-out the new exhibit
enhancements at the El Portal Rain
Forest Center! Spanish firm MAP-
FRE Inc. has sponsored the display
enrichments which present the works
of renowned Puerto Rican photogra-
pher Victor Nieves. In a recent cere-
mony at El Portal, Victor signed cop-
ies of his new book of stunning El
Yunque photographs, that has just
gone on sale at the Eastern National
store, and which accurately and
beautifully portray the Forest's story!


New exhibit enhancements include
photo interpretations of the El Por-
tal Nature Trail, banners at the
connection pavilion and a collection
of Victor's exciting photographs at
the pavilion's exterior patio.

Although this year's hurricane sea-
son was quite active elsewhere, we
were blessed with no major catas-
trophic impact to our beloved For-
est and the island!

Our staff maintained a very high
and vigilant state of readiness
throughout the season, but with all
the storms that passed-us-by, for-
tunately, only Earl touched us
briefly and left behind some small
degree of damage.

As we approach the year's end, I
would like to express my gratitude
to all of the many volunteers, the
Venture Crew, and our partners
and friends that have collaborated
so selflessly with us and contrib-
uted so much to our vital mission of
"Caring for the Land and Serving
People" we applaud your dedi-
cated interest and passionate ser-
vice.

Thanks to all -- and please accept
my best wishes for a happy and
peaceful holiday season!



K-


PAGE 2


EL BOSQUE PLUVIAL









New Signs For El Yunque!

F or some time now El Yunque's Customer Service Team has been aware of
the pressing need to upgrade many of the Forest's informational signs and add
some new ones many of them contain outdated information and others are
worn and damaged by graffiti and constant exposure to weather and thus re-
quire replacement. The quandary was a lack of funds necessary to accomplish
this essential task.
All that changed recently when funds to start replacing the trail head signs and
orientation maps became available. Customer Service's Interpretation and
Conservation Education leader Blanca Ruiz quickly requested and secured these funds for the purpose and
assembled a panel of experts to determine the scope of the project. They were provided to Forest Service Pur-
chasing, who used them to concoct and publish project specifications for a subsequent public bidding process.
Bids were received from a large selection of qualified applicants, The panel reviewed the bids in depth, finally
selecting the firm of Rosene Creative Services.
The next step was to convene a two-day planning workshop with Rosene
Creative Services' Rosie Ruchman and Faye Coolrick on November 9th
and 10th to determine the changes needed and the overall design concept of
the new and replacement signs. During the workshop and on the next-day,
field inspection tour, key ideas were considered and discussed to guide the
project's design phase. Once final designs are ready, signs construction and
installation will be done. The project will be completed within the next 10 I
months.
Next on the agenda is the replacement of the interpretive signs and displays along the Caimitillo and Big Tree
Trails.

Notable Notes & Quotable Quotes Around The Forest


I Ana Gloria Parilla, mother of Eastern National's Shirley Medina and a former Senior
Program (SCEP) enrollee who served in the Forest for 15 years, passed away on December lc
2010. She was loved and respected by us all May she rest in peace.


> El Yunque's entire staff congratulate Maria Falc6n and Geoambiente del Caribe for win-
ning the prestigious Suncoast EMMY Award for their film "El Yunque; Journey to a
Rainforest" at recent ceremonies in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida The short film acquaints visitors
with the Forest at the El Portal Rain Forest Center.


> Forest Supervisor Pablo Cruz has signed an agreement with Luquillo
Boy Scout troop 110 to "adopt" El Yunque's popular Big Tree Nature
Trail-a first-of-its-kind agreement under El Yunque's new "Adopt-a-Trail"
program! One saturday each month, Troop 110 Scoutmaster Santos Lopez
will bring members from one of the troop's three patrols to do trail mainte-
nance and monitor trail conditions from end-to-end. For more information
on El Yunque's "Adopt-a-Trail" program contact Jaime Valentin at: jvalentin@fs.fed.us

> The El Yunque NF shared this year's Special Regional Forester's Award for successfully
implementing a number of Forest improvement projects funded by the administration's
American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA).


VOLUME IV, ISSUE 3


PAGE 3


EL BOSQUE PLUVIAL





EL BOSQUE PLUVIAL


2010 Forest Supervisor's Awards


O n December 16th 2010,
Forest Supervisor Pablo
Cruz announced the annual
El Yunque National Forest,
Forest Supervisor's
Awards for 2010 at an "all
hands" assembly in the con-
ference room of the Forest's
Catalina Service Center.

The award categories and the
names of those exceptional
individuals who were
honored by the Forest Super-
visor for their exemplary
service are:

Excellence in safety and
Occupational Health:

Edgardo Martinez

Ecosystem Management
Group Award:

Felipe Cano
Iris Tirado
Luis Rivera

Leadership Award:

Lucy Cruz

Excellence in Providing
Business Operations Sup-
port Award:

Jose Baltar


Volunteer Hosting
Award:

Delia Gomez

Partnership Award:

Pedro Rios

Customer Service -
Individual Award:

Cynthia Manfred

Law Enforcement
Award:

Aymat Verdejo

Management Initiative
Award:

Pedro Rios

Heroism And Emer-
gency
Response Award:

Angel Tosca


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PAGE 4


VOLUME IV, ISSUE 3







EL BOSQUE PLUVIAL


Fascinating Forest Facts and Figures!


T he rain that falls on the El
Yunque National Forest is
orographic in nature. When the
moisture-laden wind encounters
the Forest's mountain slopes, it is
forced upward. The resulting rise
in elevation cools the air, causing
the moisture to condense, forming
raindrops. The Trade Winds that
form off the west coast of Africa
and sweep westward across the


Atlantic to the Caribbean bring
most of the rainfall that occurs be-
tween May and November. Depend-
ing on moisture content and veloc-
ity, these winds can bring anywhere
from a few clouds to several days of
cloudy weather and even occasional
tropical storms and hurricanes. In
winter months, from November
through April, cold fronts can sweep
southward from southeastern North
America bringing rain to Puerto
Rico. Rain also occurs as local show-
ers and thunderstorms during peri-
ods of hot weather when the land-
mass heats up more quickly than
the surrounding sea. Cool air in the
form of onshore wind then rushes in
over the land to replace the hot air
that rises and rapidly cools, produc-
ing afternoon clouds and thunder-


showers. Average yearly tempera-
ture and rainfall in the El Yunque
National Forest varies according
to altitude. At around 500 feet
(150 meters), at the El Portal
Rain Forest Center the tempera-
ture averages 73 degrees F.
(22 C.), while rainfall is typically
70 to 100 inches (170 to 250
centimeters) per year. At the For-
est's higher elevations, above
2,000 feet (600 meters), atop El
Yunque and El Toro peaks, aver-
age temperatures are much
cooler, while rainfall can reach as
much as 250 inches (635 centime-
ters)!


Trivial Pursuits!

Q.: Have "Aliens" visited the El Yunque National Forest?

A.: There is no scientific evidence that "aliens" have "visited" the El Yunque National Forest, however lo-
cal folklore has kept this story alive for years. The most reasonable explanation for any "alien sightings" in
the forest is easily explained. From the early 1960's until quite recently the US Navy maintained an Elec-
tronic Tracking Facility on Pico del Este (East Peak) a part of the El Yunque National Forest that over-
looks many of Puerto Rico's major northeastern roadways and towns, and the Federal Aviation Agency
continues to use the site as a "flight follow" facility for commercial aircraft landing at San Juan's Mufioz
Marin International Airport. At night the lights of the facility, seen from below during can cast an eerie
glow over the mountain peak, which most probably add fuel to the legend. However, only the forest ani-
mals know the full story behind these supposed nocturnal "alien visits" and so far they're not telling us!


Q.: Does it actually "rain frogs" in the Forest?
A.: This interesting El Yunque forest legend involving Puerto Rico's indigenous Coqui froEleutherodacty-
lus Coqui) is actually based on scientific fact! During those times of the year when the humidity is high,
the tiny Coqui frogs will climb to the forest canopy, sometimes as high as 100 feet (30 meters). Predators
such as the Tarantula anticipating this behavior, lay in wait for the frogs. Many frogs are caught by the
predators during their ascent. Instead of returning to the ground by the same dangerous path, the surviv-
ing frogs prefer to launch themselves into the air, thus bypassing their predators on the way down. The
tiny frogs are almost weightless so that they float to the forest floor unharmed. If you are lucky enough to
be sitting under a tree when this is happening, you may indeed be "rained upon" by tiny frogs!


VOLUME IV, ISSUE 3


PAGE 5








Climate Change = Endangered Bird Species!




By Felipe Cano, Forest Biologist

T here is an old adage in the Forest Service that
states: "The only thing that stays the same is
Changee, which underlies the constant adjustments
that our agency goes through as it practices adap-
tive management of the 190 million acres of our na-
tion's forest and grassland.
Although we say this jokingly, the herculean land
management task we face due to impending climate
change is rapidly becoming a reality.
S'The El Yunque National Forest has endangered and
threatened bird species that are perceived to be very susceptible to this global phenomenon. Endan-
gered birds such as the Puerto Rican Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus brunnescens) is consid-
ered a "habitat generalist" because it encompasses different forest types (e.g.: Palo Colorado and Tabo-
nuco types). On the opposite end of the spectrum is the Elfin Woods Warbler (Dendroica angelae),
which was first found solely in the Forest's high elevation Elfin Woods/Dwarf Forest.
The degrees of predicted climate change are as diverse as the many number of theoretical models of
regional climate trends and local habitat modifications in the Caribbean region. However, these ranges
of expected change to El Yunque's rain and temperature patterns raise some serious concerns about
how best Forest administration can manage those habitats used by endangered bird species.

Changing conditions have led to several discomforting changes in the behavior of some of the Forest's
endangered birds. For example, the local populations of the Broad-winged Hawk and Elfin Woods War-
bler have been in decline since the late 20th century, when they were first designated as protected spe-
cies. Monitoring and scientific studies have shown altering habitat occurrence for the Elfin Woods
Warbler, which is now found to also occur in the lower Palo Colorado forest type. For unidentified rea-
sons, the Broad-winged Hawk has recently been disappearing from formerly known habitat locations.
The hawk's uncertain future in the El Yunque Forest is compounded by possible deviations to the eco-
system's components. For example the potential gradual loss of El Yunque's Palo Colorado forest type
may have grave implications for these two bird species, which depend on these trees for shelter and
food resources. In addition, the increase in populations of certain insects due to more beneficial condi-
tions, such as the parasitic Botfly (Philomus spp.) will certainly lead to additional loss of immature
nestling birds.
As the aforementioned saying implies; constant change emphasizes a need for active scientific steward-
ship to ensure that the highest land resource conservation priority take precedence. Only long-term
climate change planning, continued adaptive management, and cooperation will provide a chance to
keep these bird populations viable.
For additional information on Climate Change, see http://www.fs.fed.us/climatechange/ or http://
climate.nasa.gov/.


PAGE 6


EL BOSQUE PLUVIAL


VOLUME IV, ISSUE 3









Amigos And El Yunque NF Sign Memo Of Understanding!



s p i- recently, Forest Supervisor
2 Pablo Cruz and Amigos del Yun-
MI que President and Chairwoman,
SAttorney Angelita Rieckehoff
., signed a Memorandum Of Under-
standing (MOU) which will serve to
further cement the vital, continuing
relationship between the two entities.

d te Forest Supervisor Cruz stated:
"The El Yunque National Forest ap-
:"r nw plauds this important partnership
with this talented and dedicated
group of professionals Amigos del
Yunque is perfectly positioned to per-
form in areas where the Forest Ser-
vice and El Yunque are limited, both
by resources and facilities by work-
ing with our neighboring communi-
ties and businesses and by augmenting our volunteer and customer service components their commitment to help
us provide invaluable Forest conservation and visitor services is irreplaceable. As I see it the sky is the limit for
Amigos del Yunque's future contributions!"


Meanwhile, this innovative non-profit partner, dedicated to the preservation, development and promotion of the
El Yunque National Forest has implemented a farsighted alliance with hotels in eastern Puerto Rico in which
hotel guests will voluntarily contribute $1.00 per room each night of their occupancy, to facilitate Amigos' key
agenda.

Additionally, the initiative is designed to raise awareness about the Forest among hotel guests and spur further
visits to the rainforest.

"Our mission includes encouraging communities and businesses surrounding El Yunque to share in the worth-
while task of protecting and promoting the Forest" says Ms. Rieckehoff, "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 Yun-
que become more sustainable and provide more of an opportunity to learn about the rich biodiversity of our
Forest and the need to preserve forests in general."

Another important contribution is Amigos' role in coordinating the vital work of El Yunque's many vol-
unteers, 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 al-
ways 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."


PAGE 7


EL BOSQUE PLUVIAL


VOLUME IV, ISSUE 3









EL BOSQUE PLUVIAL oRNIT POTLCUT


Pablo Cruz Forest Supervisor
El Yunque National Forest
Telephone 787 888 1810
Fax 787 888 5668
e-mail pcruz0 @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: USDA Forest Service





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


Sn i this issue, L

iosque fluvial
S shines the
9POTLIGUT on

I ysunque'l 5
capable Forest
Engineer ui-
liermo Aponte.
uillermo was
born and raised
in the local municipality of Luquillo. He attended high School
at Colegio 5antiago Ap6stol in nearby V ajardo. Aftergracu-

ating from High 5kcool, guillermo studied at the LUniversitt of
Puerto Rico's Maeaguez campus, where he subsequently gradu-
ated with a bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineer-

ing, and became licensed as a Certified electrical E engineer b-
the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

He was employed for a number of years as an Electrical ngi-
neerwith the Department of the Navg at Naval station Roo-
sevelt Roads in Ceiba. until that facility closed. ne then began
his career wit the U5 Forest Service when e joined the staff
of the FI yunque National Forest in ZOO+.

Cuillermo is currently managing a number of important ARKA

(American Reinvestment and Recovern t Act) projects involving
trail and facility reconstruction and improvement. e is also over-
seeing several building renovation projects at the 5abana Re-
search Facilitg of the International Institute of Tropical For-
estrJ, as well as directing other facilities improvements to EL

yunque's various administration buildings.

Suillermo and his lovely wife Carol were married in 200-- tlhe
live in Lucuillo where tihe are busyj setting-up their new house -
for entertainment the. enjo. going out to dinner and a movie..

We are extremely fortunate that such a multi-talented and dedi-

cated professional engineer is a vital part of El Yunque's staff!


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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