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.
This page points to items of interest concerning the Department of the Interior's budget. You may track the progress of this budget request through the Congressional appropriations process from this page.
Department of the Interior "Budget in Brief" highlights and describes details of the fiscal year 2009 request.
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Testimony from 2009 Budget Hearings
Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.
Statement of Dirk Kempthorne, Secretary of the Interior before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies on the 2009 President's Budget Request - February 7, 2008 (PDF Format)
Statement of C. Stephen Allred Assistant Secretary, Land and Minerals Management and Randall B. Luthi Director, Minerals Management Service United States Department of the Interior Before the Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies United States Senate - February 26, 2008 (PDF Format)
Statement of Henri Bisson, Deputy Director Bureau of Land Management U.S. Department of the Interior Before the House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Hearing on the FY 2009 Budget Request of the Bureau of Land Management - February 27, 2008 (PDF Format)
Statement of Mark D. Myers, Director U.S. Geological Survey Department of the Interior Before the Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies U.S. House of Representatives - February 28, 2008 (PDF Format)
Statement for the Record H. Dale Hall Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies - February 28, 2008 (PDF Format)
Statement of Carl J. Artman Assistant Secretary Indian Affairs Accompained by Ross O. Swimmer Special Trustee for American Indians Before the House Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies on the Fiscal Year 2009 President's Budget Request for Indian Programs - March 5, 2009 (PDF Format)
Statement of Mary A. Bomar, Director, National Park Service, Before the Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies of the House Appropriations Committee Concerning the Fiscal Year 2009 Budget Request for the National Park Service - March 6, 2008 (PDF Format)
Statement of Dirk Kempthorne, Secretary of the Interior Before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies on the 2009 President's Budget Request - April 15, 2008 (PDF Format)
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.
Statement of Dirk Kempthorne, Secretary of the Interior Before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on the 2009 President's Budget Request - February 13, 2008 (PDF Format)
Statement of Dirk Kempthorne, Secretary of the Interior Before the House Committee on Natural Resources on the 2009 President's Budget Request - February 14, 2009 (PDF Format)
2009 House Omnibus Appropriations Bill (H.R. 1105)
Summary: On March 10, 2009, the Senate passed the 2009 Consolidated Appropriations Act by a voice vote and was signed into law by the President on March 11, 2009. The House passed the bill on February 25, 2009 by a vote of 245-178. This Consolidated bill includes appropriations for the two bills that fund Interior programs - the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill and the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill. The bill incorporates the House and Senate Appropriations Committee's agreement on the 2009 appropriations and would fund all agencies that do not currently have an enacted appropriations bill for 2009. The attached summary provides information on Interior programs funded in the bill.
Fiscal Year 2009 Continuing Resolution On Friday, March 6, 2009, the House passed by a vote of 328 to 50 an extension of the continuing resolution providing funds for fiscal year 2009 through March 11, 2009. The Senate cleared the resolution by voice vote. The extension was signed by the President (P.L. 111-6).
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Summary: On February 12, 2009 the House passed the Conference bill for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act by a vote of 246-183. The Senate passed the conference bill on February 13, 2009 by a vote of 60-38. The President signed the bill on February17, 2009.
2009 Energy and Water Development Appropriation Summary: Department of the Interior Highlights of House and Senate Committee Action on the Fiscal Year 2009 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bills. The House Appropriations Committee reported its bill on June 25, following the Energy and Water Development Subcommittee's 2009 markup on June 17. The Senate reported its bill on July 10, 2008, following the Energy and Water Development Subcommittee's 2009 markup on July 8. It is unknown when either chamber will take up floor action on the bills.
PL 110-343, was signed into law by the president on Friday, October 3, 2008. The bill includes a few provisions impacting Interior bureaus. Title IV converted the Payment in Lieu of Taxes account from discretionary to mandatory for fiscal years 2008 through 2012. This conversion means Interior can make the fully authorized level of payments to counties since the funding is no longer constrained by annual appropriation limits. The payments will now total over $300 million versus the most recent appropriated level of $232.5 million. Another provision is the extension of the Secure Rural Schools Act allowing BLM to continue payments to Oregon counties into 2011. These payments serve as "safety net" funding to these counties to fund governmental services. Timber production declined in the 1980s due to environmental constraints reducing counties' revenue-sharing payments. Safety net payments, in various forms, have been in place since the early 1990s. The 18 O&C counties received about $117 million in 2008. Under the "bailout" bill, the counties will receive 90% of that amount and in each subsequent the amount will decline to 73% of current levels. Under this provision, the USFS will continue its payments to States and to counties which totals well over $500 million annually.
Fiscal Year 2009 Continuing Resolution The measure passed the House Wednesday, September 24, by a 370-58 vote, and passed the Senate Saturday, September 27, by a 78-12 vote. The President signed the bill into law on September 30. The resolution funds most of the government through March 6, 2009, at current levels and provides $22.9 billion in disaster aid. It also carries three full-year fiscal 2009 appropriations at increased levels for the Defense, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs Departments.
The following Interior issues are addressed in the bill:
Service First authorities are extended through March 6.
Ability to issue grazing permits is extended through March 6.
$2 million is provided to NPS for inaugural expenses.
The OCS moratoria and the prohibition on developing and issuing oil shale regulations are suspended.
Authority to proceed is granted for the one-mile bridge Tamiami Trail Mod Water project.
$135 million is provided for wildland fire, including $110 million for suppression and $25 million for burned area rehabilitation.
$75 million is provided to FWS for construction in response to hurricane and natural disaster damages.
Within the 2008 level of funding is included a 3.9% pay raise for 2009.
Summary of Congressional Action on the Fiscal Year 2009 Department of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Act The House Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill was reported out of Subcommittee on June 11, 2008. The full bill and report are not available, however, some details of the mark-up are provided below. Following Subcommittee markup, full Committee action was not scheduled. At a June 19 Appropriations Committee markup of the Labor-HHS-Education and Agriculture bills, the minority proposed through amendment to insert the Interior bill, including an amendment to delete a long-standing provision relating to Outer Continental Shelf activities. The markup was ended and since that time there has been no further action on the 2009 Interior appropriation bill in the House.
Senate markup of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill scheduled for July 23- 24, 2008, was postponed and not rescheduled. Senate Democrats will attempt to bring up the supplemental in September.
House Committee action on the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill took place June 25, 2008. Senate Committee mark-up took place on Thursday July 10, 2008. For Reclamation, the House provides $1.035 billion compared to the Senate markup of $1.085 billion. The House bill is funded in part with an offset of $120 million from funding provided in the Farm Bill for Desert Terminal Lakes. The Senate does not propose the rescission but instead includes a reduction of $21.6 million in under financing. Water for America is funded at $31.9 million, the request level, by both House and Senate. CALFED is funded at $37 million in the House mark and $42 million in the Senate.
House Subcommittee Markup
On June 11, the House Interior Subcommittee approved the 2009 bill which provides $27.9 billion for agencies in the bill, including $10.5 billion for programs under the Department of the Interior, $577 million or nearly 6 percent over the 2008 enacted level, including:
$1 billion for the Bureau of Land Management.
$1.4 billion for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, $469 million of which would be allocated to the National Wildlife Refuge System.
$2.6 billion for the National Park Service, $2.1 billion of which would be allocated to Park Service operations.