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.
This collage features some of those in Indian Affairs who have shown their commitment toward FBMS throughout the deployment. (From top, left to right: Michael Sciortino (FBMS lead) at IA's Albuquerque FBMS Road Show; Rocky Mountain planning session; Albuquerque Road Show audience; Stanley Speaks kicking off the Road Show; Northwest Regional Office celebrating the end of FFS; and FBMS logo.)
On Nov. 5, 2012, after 18 months of deployment preparations, the Financial and Business Management System went live at Indian Affairs (Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Indian Education). FBMS is one of the largest information technology system deployment projects currently underway in the federal government and the largest ever to be undertaken by the Department of the Interior and IA. IA's FBMS deployment is the seventh of eight DOI FBMS deployments.
Many of us may look at FBMS as a large IT system that simply manages the inner workings of the department. But FBMS is much more than that. At IA, FBMS will help us serve our 566 tribes and native communities better than ever before, a community of more than 1.9 million American Indian and Alaska Natives. Whether is it ensuring 42,000 children receive their school books and supplies on time or that the roads and bridges across 55 million acres of land are safe and regularly maintained, FBMS is a “people focused initiative” that will help IA more efficiently and effectively meet mission requirements.
IA's successful on-time launch of FBMS was made possible by IA employees who recognized the importance of change and came together to overcome complex — sometimes daunting — business challenges. More than 300 IA employees, including supervisors and managers, subject-matter experts and representatives of IA programs, offices, and regions, from across the country worked tirelessly, including many nights and weekends, to ensure IA business requirements were incorporated into the new system. This article contains a collage of just some of those in IA who have shown their commitment toward FBMS throughout the deployment.
There is still a lot to be done over the weeks and months ahead, but the significance of this milestone should not be understated. On behalf of the department, we send a big thank you to everyone at IA for helping make FBMS a success.