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.
All DOI employees, including Special Government Employees, are subject to conflict of interest restrictions. Specific DOI employees based on their position are required to file either a public or confidential financial disclosure report. These reports are among the primary tools used by ethics personnel to determine whether employees who are required to file a financial disclosure report are in compliance with the ethics and standards of conduct provisions. Depending on your official position, grade, and employment status, you may be required to file either a public financial disclosure report (OGE Form 278) or a confidential financial disclosure report (OGE Form 450). (See 5 C.F.R. § 2634)
OGE Form 278 (Public Financial Disclosure Report)
OGE Form 278s must be filed by Senate-confirmed Presidential appointees, Senior Executive Service (SES) employees, Senior Level (SL) employees, Professional (ST) employees, Schedule C employees, certain Special Government Employees (SGEs) and Certain Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) employees.
OGE FORM 450 (Confidential Financial Disclosure Report) and OGE OPTIONAL FORM 450-A (Certificate of No New Interests)
OGE Form 450s (and OGE Optional Form 450-As) must be filed by employees whose positions are designated by their office or bureau as requiring confidential financial disclosure reporting, using the criteria in 5 C.F.R. § 2634.904, certain Special Government Employees (SGEs) and Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) employees who are not required to file OGE 278s.
Compliance with financial disclosure requirements is a condition of employment for employees who are required to file. Employees who fail to file in a timely manner may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including removal from Government service. An employee who willfully falsifies the information on his or her report, willfully omits information, or willfully fails to file his or her report may be subject to civil penalties and/or criminal prosecution by the Department of Justice.
The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act requires all employees who file public financial disclosure reports (OGE Form 278) to meet the following requirements: (1) file reports of reportable transactions not later than 45 days after the transaction. Reportable transactions are those that are normally captured on the OGE Form 278; and (2) report in writing to the Designated Agency Ethics Official all negotiations for employment and agreements for future employment or compensation within three business days, along with a written recusal if there is a conflict of interest. (STOCK Act 3-Day Notice Form.) In addition, the STOCK Act requires employees appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate to report mortgages secured by a personal residence.
If an employee who is required to file an OGE Form 278 or a Periodic Transaction Report required by the STOCK Act files more than 30 days after the statutory deadline (and any extension periods), he or she is subject to a $200 late fee. This is a statutory requirement the Department must enforce. Only in the rarest of cases may a late fee be waived by the Designated Agency Ethics Official.