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.
Leading the Department of the Interior's emergency management efforts to enhance protection and preservation of the lands and resources with which we are entrusted.
The Office of Emergency Management establishes and disseminates policy and coordinates the development of bureau and office programs for an integrated and comprehensive program which spans the continuum of prevention, planning, response, and recovery. The program encompasses all types of hazards and emergencies that impact Federal lands, facilities, infrastructure, and resources; Tribal lands and Insular Areas; the ability of the Department to execute essential functions; and for which assistance is provided to other units of government under Federal laws, Executive Orders, interagency emergency response plans such as the National Response Framework, and other agreements.
The Office of Emergency Management reports to the Deputy Assistant Secretary, Public Safety, Resource Protection and Emergency Services. It is composed of three divisions:
The Department has also established two coordinating activities to integrate and coordinate emergency planning and response activities across the Department
Emergency Management Council. Council members include Emergency Coordinators designated by various bureaus and offices to advise the Director, Office of Emergency Management, and to coordinate Department-wide emergency management policy and activities.
Interior Regional Emergency Coordination Councils. I-RECC members are designated from each bureau and office with capabilities or program equities within a geographic region, and provide a mechanism to coordinate with each regional offices of Federal Emergency Management Agency and other Federal departments and agencies.
Director, Office of Emergency Management Contact:Lisa Branum, 202-208-5673
The Director, Office of Emergency Management, is the principal official responsible for:
Developing emergency management policy consistent with Federal emergency management laws, regulation, guidance, and direction.
Coordinating activities undertaken by the Departmental bureaus and offices during serious emergency incidents.
Serving as principal point of contact with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and other departments and agencies as pertaining to overall emergency management, continuity of operations, and national security emergency programs.
Providing oversight of office and bureau emergency management programs and plans to assure policy compliance, readiness, and effectiveness.
Issuing appropriate policy bulletins to provide updated policy and direction on the Departmental Emergency Management program.
Preparedness and Response Division Division Director: Stacy Peerbolte, 202-208-3721
Develops policies and procedures to plan and prepare for all-hazard response and recovery activities for emergencies that impact Departmental lands and facilities, including Tribal lands and Insular Areas.
Manages Departmental activities related to implementation of Presidential Policy Directive 8: National Preparedness, Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5: Management of Domestic Incidents, and implementation of the National Incident Management System.
Assures effective planning and execution of Departmental responsibilities under the National Response Framework and the National Disaster Recovery Framework, and coordinates the activities of bureaus and offices assigned specific responsibilities under the Frameworks and subsequent Interagency Operations Plans.
Manages planning and preparedness to ensure the performance of Departmental essential functions during incidents which disrupt normal operations.
Develops policy and procedures and provides oversight of continuity planning efforts in bureaus and offices.
Provides testing, training and evaluation for continuity plans.
Supports readiness activities for Departmental support to meet essential defense and civilian needs during any national security emergency
Responsible for the Department's activities related to Homeland Security Presidential Directive 20, National Continuity Policy.
Emergency Operations Division (Interior Operations Center) Division Director: Thomas Taylor, 202-208-4492 Interior Operations Center (24/7): 202-208-4108
Provides situational awareness of emergency activities for senior leadership of the Department.
Establishes policy, procedures and systems to assure timely and accurate information exchange among bureaus, offices, and other departments and agencies.
Serves as the principal focal point for reporting of significant incidents to the Secretary; sharing of emergency information with the National Operations Center, Department of Homeland Security; and the dissemination of alerts, warnings and other emergency information to bureaus and offices.
Manages the emergency and operational information requirements of programs within the Office of Emergency Management and the Office of Law Enforcement and Security.
Integrates emergency information from other bureaus and offices with emergency management activities into a Common Operational Picture to meet Departmental and interagency requirements for information sharing.