November is Manatee Awareness Month; but no matter what time of year it is, manatees deserve to be celebrated. These amazing creatures fulfill a unique niche by serving as indicator species for ecosystems across the United States. Because of their reliance on the health of their habitat, manatees often act as a signal of their environment’s well-being. NOAA photo by Michael Buchanan.
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.
The Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program) works closely with the tribes to efficiently and effectively achieve tribal land consolidation goals. It is critical that the Buy-Back Program and tribal leaders work together to ensure that landowners are made aware of the opportunity to sell their interests for the benefit of tribal communities.
The Department of the Interior is committed to a transparent process that provides the most opportunity for tribal government involvement and ongoing consultation with Indian Country. The implementation of the Buy-Back Program will best succeed with the active involvement and commitment of tribal communities.
Cooperative agreements provide a flexible mechanism for tribal involvement in the Buy-Back Program. These agreements define each tribe's role in implementing the Buy-Back Program on its reservation.
About 243,000 landowners hold nearly three million fractional interests across Indian Country. The Buy-Back Program has identified 105 locations where land consolidation activities – such as planning, outreach, mapping, mineral evaluations, appraisals or acquisitions – have either already occurred or are expected to take place through the middle of 2021. This schedule reflects the vast majority of the total landowners and fractionated land across Program-eligible locations, representing more than 96 percent of all landowners; and more than 98 percent of both purchasable fractional interests and equivalent acres.
The Program plans to reevaluate its resources and progress by November 2018 to determine if remaining resources exist so that they might be utilized at additional locations or locations where purchase offers have already been sent.