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 Interior Regional Emergency Coordination Councils (I-RECCs) provide DOI bureaus and offices a mechanism to communicate and maintain liaison and coordination between I-RECC members and with each Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) region, including Regional Interagency Steering Committees (RISCs) and Regional Resource Coordination Centers (RRCCs). I-RECCs give DOI the ability to coordinate emergency activities across bureaus and offices. Members of the I-RECC are designated from each bureau/office that has capabilities or program equities within the region. Membership on the I-RECCs are coordinated through each Bureau's Emergency Coordinator and members have broad knowledge of their bureau's capabilities within the region.
The I-RECCs emergency management activities are coordinated with other Federal agencies as well as with State, local, and tribal governments. The I-RECCs are coordinating mechanisms and do not supplant the authority of bureaus or offices to manage resources within the region. The chairman of each I-RECC coordinates with I-RECC members to assure Departmental participation in regional emergency planning and response activities, and dissemination of information regarding these activities to all I-RECC members. At a minimum, I-RECCs meet quarterly.
Interior Regional Emergency Coordination Councils (I-RECCs) are located in the ten FEMA regions and in Alaska. The I-RECCs serve as a coordinating mechanism for emergency planning and response activities among the Interior bureaus which have lands or offices in the region, and provide points of contact for liaison with FEMA and other Federal, State, tribal and local agencies.