Spring is coming early in 3/4 of national parks, according to a new study. Awesome? Not so much. As flowers bloom earlier every year, it’s disrupting the link between the wildflowers and the arrival of birds, bees, and butterflies that feed on and pollinate the flowers. In Shenandoah, an earlier spring is giving invasive plants a head start, and they’re displacing native wildflowers, leading to costly management issues.
Before the 1960s almost everything about living openly as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) person was illegal. New York City laws against homosexual activities were particularly harsh. The Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969 is a milestone in the quest for LGBT civil rights and provided momentum for a movement.
Vine Creek Ranch at Death Valley National Park. Steady drought and record summer heat make Death Valley a land of extremes. Towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Despite its morbid name, a great diversity of life survives in Death Valley.
Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
The Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee marked the Interior bill June 20 and the full committee completed action on the bill on June 22.
Overall, the Senate-version of the bill provides $7.7 billion for the Interior Department programs funded in the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, $344 million (5%) higher than the funding level provided by the House. The Senate mark is $283 million (4%) above the 2000 enacted level, but is $686 million (8%) below the 2001 request. The Senate Full Committee includes a rescission of travel funds in order to pay for providing $1.891 million more for Tribally Controlled Community Colleges; the impact of this rescission, totaling nearly $1.0 million for Interior, is not reflected in the numbers presented in the following.
The Senate provides funding for almost all bureau fixed costs, except for the Office of the Solicitor.
Lands Legacy. The Interior portion of the President's Lands Legacy Initiative receives only $189 million, or slightly more than one quarter of the total Interior request of $735 million in the Senate.
Federal land acquisition receives $104 million, $145 million (58%) below the 2000 enacted level, $216 million (68%) below the request, and $18 million (15%) below the level provided in the House bill. Federal land acquisition for BLM, FWS and NPS is reduced $50 million, $66 million and $100 million below the request, respectively.
LWCF stateside receives $40 million, $9 million above the House level, but $110 million below the request of $150 million.
Neither the Senate nor the House provides any of the $100 million requested for FWS State non-game grants or the $50 million requested for USGS state planning partnerships. The Senate funds the North American Wetland and Cooperative Endangered Species portions of Lands Legacy slightly above the 2000 enacted level, at $16.5 million and $26.9 million, respectively.
The Senate, like the House, provides $2 million for UPARR, $18 million below the request.
BIA. The BIA operations account is funded at 1.7 billion. This is $47 million above the House, but $90 million below the request.
Indian Trust Programs. The Senate funds the Office of the Special Trustee at the request of $82.6 million. The Senate funds the land consolidation account at $10.0 million, $5.0 million over the House mark and $2.5 million below the request. The Senate provides $10.5 million of the $35.1 million increase for BIA trust programs, $5 million less than the House.
Land Management Operations. Overall, the Senate provides almost $3 billion for land management operations for BLM, FWS and NPS, $178 million (6%) above the 2000 level, $36 million (1%) below the request:
BLM: Receives $797.4 million, $54.4 million above 2000, $26.3 million above the House; and $22.1 million below 2001.
FWS: Receives $758.4 million, $43.9 million above 2000, $27.0 million above the House; and $3.5 million below the 2001 request. Within this total, the Senate provides a program increase of $4.4 million (of the $11.7 million increase requested) for FWS law enforcement, which includes $400,000 for costs associated with Senate bill language requiring the Secretary to designate Anchorage, Alaska as a port of entry for import and export of fish, wildlife, and plants (Senate Section 128).
NPS: Receives $1.444 billion, $80.0 million above 2000, $58.3 million below the House; and $10.3 million below 2001. The Senate accepts the new budget structure for Park Police and fully funds the request.
Interior Construction Program: The Senate provides $618.2 million for Interior's construction program, $130 million (27%) above the 2000 enacted level, and $16.9 million (2.8%) above the 2001 request level.
Land Management Construction. The Senate funds the BLM, FWS, and NPS construction programs $10.1 million, $6.4 million and $66.1 million above the House levels, respectively.
BIA/Indian School Construction. The Senate mark fully funds all six schools on the BIA priority school construction list. The House only provides partial funding for the six schools. The Senate does not fund the $5.0 million requested for planning and design.
Science Programs. The Senate provides $847.6 million for Interior science programs. While this is $47.8 million (5.3%) below the FY 2001 request, it is $34.2 million (4.2%) above the FY 2000 enacted level and $30.9 million above the level provided in the House. Within the total, the Senate provides $8.0 million above the 2000 enacted level for USGS science centers.
Alaska Subsistence. The Senate provides $12.6 million of the $12.9 million requested for Alaska subsistence.
OSM. The Senate funds OSM at $302.5 million, $10.8 million above the 2000 enacted and $6.7 million below the 2001 request. Regulation and Technology is funded at $100.8 million, with regulatory grants to states and Tribes increased by $3 million. AML activities are funded at $201.4million, including an increase of $2 million in available funds for the Appalachian Clean Streams Initiative. The mark includes an additional $1 million, to be matched by DOE, for the State of Kentucky to fund reforestation demonstration projects at AML sites.
MMS. The Senate funds MMS at $140.1 million, $23.8 million above 2000 enacted and $9.9 million above the request.
Prohibition on Establishing Kankakee NWR. The Senate includes the same provision as the House prohibiting funds for the establishment of the Kankakee NWR in Illinois and Indiana.
Grazing. The bill includes a provision requiring the renewal by the BLM of grazing permits and leases expiring in 2001 until the Secretary completes processing of the permit or lease. This provision is identical to the provision contained in the House committee version of the bill that was modified on the House floor to provide discretionary authority to the Secretary.
Rec Fee Demo Program. The Senate includes a provision extending the authority to collect fees under the recreational fee demonstration program through FY 2002 (the program was set to expire at the end of FY 2001). Authority to use the fees was extended by one year as well -- from FY 2004 to FY 2005.
MMS - RIK Language. The Senate does not include language contained in the House version of the bill that provides MMS greater flexibility in operating the royalty-in-kind pilot program.
Tribal Priority Allocation Redistribution. The Senate bill contains a provision that requires TPA funds for Tribes in Alaska with less than 25 members to be provided to the Alaska Native Regional Non-Profit Corporation instead of directly to the Tribe.