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.
Fact Sheet: Preparations for Tropical Storm Karen Updated October 8, 2013
Tropical Storm Karen formed over Gulf of Mexico on Thursday, October 3. Karen never reached expectations of developing hurricane strength. At the height of its intensity, Karen’s peak winds were 50 mph. While Karen did not produce major damage, there was some localized flooding due to storm surge and rain along portions of the Gulf Coast as the storm passed near the coastline of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
Despite the Federal government-wide shutdown, Department of the Interior bureaus and offices were engaged in preparedness efforts across the Gulf Coast to protect life and property:
Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). BSEE tracked reports from industry on the evacuations of personnel from off-shore rigs and platforms, as well as shut-in energy production at these facilities. At the height of the storm, on Saturday, October 5,
271 platforms were evacuated and 20 drilling rigs were evacuated.
Shut-in oil production reached 866,807 barrels of oil per day (BOPD), or 61.91% of the total Gulf of Mexico oil production.
Shut-in natural gas production was 1,830 million cubic feet per day (MMCFD) or 48.18% of the total Gulf of Mexico gas production.
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). BIA coordinatedwith Tribes in the storm’s path, including the Chitimacha, Poarch Creek and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. None of the three Tribes had to issue evacuation orders nor did they have any unmet needs.
Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Asmall team was mobilized to monitor a BLM-permitted oil and gas production facility with 60 wells in Plaquemines Parish, LA. In addition, BLM activated staff at the Piney Woods Holding Facility in central Mississippi to ensure the safety, health and well-being of approximately 150 wild horses and burros.
Bureau of Reclamation (BOR). BOR coordinated with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding potential support requirements for Emergency Support Function (ESF)-3 (Public Works and Engineering) under theNational Response Framework. No missions were issued.
Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The FWS Southeast Region Management Team (SRMT) coordinated with units at coastal locations and recalled Federal employees to duty to secure watercraft, motor vehicles, trailers, equipment and structures against possible storm damage or loss. Regional Refuge Law Enforcement Officers, Special Agents, Dam Safety Officers and warranted contracting officers were placed on standby to deal with contingencies.
National Park Service (NPS). NPS implemented Hurricane Action Plans at both the Gulf Island National Seashore and Jean Lafitte National Park and Preserve. Law enforcement rangers enforced storm closures at both parks. Gulf Islands experienced some flooding, high surf and sand over the roadway. NPS coordinated with FEMA but did not receive any requests for interagency assistance for Emergency Support Function (ESF)-9 (Search and Rescue) or ESF-13 (Law Enforcement) support under theNational Response Framework.
Office of Wildland Fire (OWF).OWF coordinated with the U.S. Forest Service regarding potential support requirements for interagency support under Emergency Support Function-4 (Firefighting) under theNational Response Framework. No resources were required.
United States Geological Survey (USGS). USGS personnel in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida maintained streamflow gages needed for National Weather Service (NWS) river flood forecasting, monitoring equipment used for reservoir management, as well as the steam gages required for local flood warning. USGS continues to provide hazard data and information by maintaining only those websites necessary to protect lives and property at the USGS homepage at http://www.usgs.gov/. No storm surge data or water-quality samples were collected. Available satellite and aerial imagery was posted for use by first responders and the public on the HDDS (Hazard Data Distribution System).