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 Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program) is committed toensuring that Indian landowners will receive fair market value for their fractional lands.
With the massive scope of the properties involved (more than 93,500 tracts on approximately 150 reservations), the Buy-Back Program plans to use mass appraisal techniques in which values are assessed simultaneously for many properties within a particular geographic area. This efficient and cost-effective process for valuations will be used to appraise homogenous, non-complex, vacant lands that have comparable land sales available. At the same time, recognizing that data limitations, non-homogeneous property types, and unique characteristics of specific properties may limit the use of mass appraisals, the Buy-Back Program will also employ project appraisals and property-specific appraisals as appropriate.
This strategy has been reviewed by The Appraisal Foundation (TAF), a non-profit, non-partisan organization that has been authorized by Congress to issue national appraisal standards and appraiser qualifications, and has previously provided the Department with guidance regarding valuation methods and techniques.
In addition to its determination that the Department's Valuation Plan, developed by theOffice of Appraisal Services in the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians,represents a methodologically sound approach to meeting the requirements of the Buy-Back Program, TAF also provided a set of recommendations to further strengthen the program. The Department responded to those recommendations, which have been adopted and incorporated into the Valuation Plan.
In 2015, The Appraisal Foundation reviewed the implementation of the Program's appraisal method, which concluded that appraisals are being conducted appropriately and effectively.