All posts by jwoods

The Corps and Fido

By Erin Jimenez

Labor Day is almost upon us and you all know what that means…fun in the sun! While everyone is gearing up to set off with their families to fun vacation locales, here at the Corps we often get questions about our pet policy. Because we understand how important your fur babies are to you, we wanted to take a quick moment to advise you of our pet policy.

Corps parks are an exceptional natural resource for people across the nation. As such, the Corps has certain rules in place in order to ensure that all visitors have a fantastic time. While many pet owners would like to take their animals to as many places as they can, certain areas within the parks are off limits to furry friends.

These areas include swim beaches, playgrounds, and sanitary facilities. The only exception to this rule would be service animals. In addition, in order to ensure that both dog owners and those without dogs have a good experience pet owners need to pick up after their animals. Dogs are also not allowed to run around off leash and the leash cannot be greater than 6 feet long, they are not to be left unattended, they cannot bark excessively, and owners must maintain control over their pets at all times. All this information is in accordance with Title 36 CFR 327.11.

An animal must meet certain classification requirements as stipulated under Federal regulations in order to be allowed in public areas. The 3 most common classification types are: service animals, emotional support animals, and therapy animals.

Water safety isn’t just for humans, it’s for pets too!

Service Animals

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, service dogs are defined as dogs that have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability.  The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability.

ESA and Therapy Animals

According to the ADA, animals under this classification provide comfort just by being with a person; they have not been trained to perform a specific job or task. So they would not be considered service animals.

We want everyone to enjoy Labor Day weekend at our parks, so whether you are coming with a dog or not, please be courteous and be safe.

To view Title 36 CFR 327.11 please visit: https://ecfr.io/Title-36/pt36.3.327#se36.3.327_111

For more information about Service, ESA, and Therapy animals please check out the following sites:

https://usaservicedogregistration.com/service-animal-emotional-support-animal-therapy-animals-difference/

https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/service_animal_qa.html

 

Little Rock District Employee Spotlight: Alan Griffin

Bio Stats: 49 years old, married to my beautiful wife and we are a blended family of six.  I have four children, two sons and two daughters, ages 14 to 22.

Alan Griffin, Deputy Operations Manager, Mountain Home Project OfficePosition: Deputy Operations Project Manager, Mountain Home Project Office

Years with SWL: 25

Hometown: I lived in three different places growing up and I consider them all to be my hometown:  McCrory, Arkansas, Heber Springs, Arkansas and Navarre Beach, Florida

Education:  Gulf Breeze Florida High School, Bachelors of Science in General Science (Biology)/Kinesiology (Double Major), University of Central Arkansas

Hobbies: Spending time with family, hunting, and fishing

Q:  How many years have been with the district and how has your job changed over the years?

A:  I have been with Little Rock District for 25 years. It seems like the need for information has sped up tremendously over the years. Technology, that we take for granted today, has really increased the speed that we are able to and expected to share information with others.  Social media has put everything we do in the spotlight.  I advise the rangers to remember that everything you do and say, when dealing with a member of the public, probably is being recorded or videoed.

Q:  What positions have you held in the district? 

Co-op park ranger at Greers Ferry from June 1993 – April1997

Park ranger at Millwood Tri-Lakes, De Queen Field Office, from April 1997 – Feb. 2000

Natural resource specialist, Mountain Home Project Office from Feb. 2000 – March 2016

Chief ranger, Mountain Home Project Office, March 2016 – July 2018

Deputy Operations Project Manager, Mountain Home Project Office, July 2018 – present

Q: What was your favorite job position and why?

A: I have really enjoyed all of the positions that I have held through the years.  I do believe that my current position as the deputy operations project manager will be the most challenging as well as the most rewarding position that I have held.  As the deputy OPM, I am involved in all of the business lines and get to have input and direction on the overall mission of the Mountain Home Project Office.  I truly believe that we are responsible for managing our tremendous resources to ensure that the future generations get to enjoy them just as much as we do today.  As a public servant, I feel that we have been entrusted by the public to manage all of resources for the greater need of all Americans, not for just a select few.   That is what I see as the most rewarding part of my job.

Q:  What are your short and long term professional and personal goals?

A:  Professional – My short term goals are to get fully involved in the Hydropower and Flood Reduction Management business lines in order to learn all that I can about them.  They are a huge part of our mission at the Mountain Home Project Office and I need to be able understand and represent those missions at a high level.

My long term goal is have the opportunity to serve as the Operations Project Manager at one of the great projects that we have in the Little Rock District.

A:  Personal – My short term goals are to continue to be a supportive husband and dad at home.  I have two kids in college right now and will have two more in college in the next four years.  I want to ensure that they all have the opportunity to get the education required for what they decide as the future careers.

My long term goals are to continue to improve my walk with God and to grow old with my beautiful wife.  I would not be where I am today, personally or professionally, without God and my wife!!!!

Q:  What do you do to share your veteran knowledge with new employees?

A:  I make it a point to spend a lot of time with not only new employees, but all employees, sharing all of things that I have learned over the years.  This includes discussing work related items as well as personal life items.  I believe that to be a great leader and manager, you have to invest time and take an interest in all aspects of your employees’ lives.  I want to share with them about mistakes that I have made both professionally and personally in hope that I can prevent them from making some of the same ones.  Also I believe this lets them know that when you do make mistakes it is not the end of the world and that as humans we are going to make mistakes, the key is picking yourself back up and moving past those mistakes.

Alan Griffin, Deputy Operations Manager at the Mountain Home Project Office, speaks to camp ground volunteers at the Mountain Home Project Office.

Q:  What do you enjoy most about your job?

A:  I really enjoy serving the public and managing the tremendous resources that we have for future generations.  I want my grandkids, grandkids to enjoy these beautiful lakes as much as we do today.

Q:  What projects are you working on now and what are some of the challenges?

A:  Budget, budget, budget………  The budget drives everything.  Funding for federal projects is getting more competitive.  Therefore we must find ways to manage our resources and infrastructure in ways that make us more competitive for funds.  We have to be good stewards of the American citizen’s money and ensure that we are providing the highest level of services possible with limited money.

Q:  What has been your favorite project you have worked on?

A:  I would say that being involved with updating the shoreline management plans for Bull Shoals and Norfork lakes has been one of my favorite projects over the years.  I believe without a doubt that the updates we were able to make to these plans over the last 15-20 years, have helped ensure that these beautiful lakes will be enjoyed by many future generations.

Q:  What ways have you found to balance your home life with the busy schedule you have at work?

A:  I am a very involved husband and dad as well as a very involved employee/supervisor.  This can make it hard to find that perfect balance. I don’t know if you can ever truly find the “perfect” balance because there are times where you have to devote all of your time to a family need and then there are also going to be emergencies at work that are going require your full attention.  The time off that we get as Federal Employees is one of the best tools that can help you get close to that perfect balance.

Q:  Tell us something about yourself we don’t know?

A:  My favorite place to vacation is Navarre Beach, Florida.  This is one of the few places that I can totally unplug and relax.