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.
DOI-ITAP coordinates DOI participation in the Energy Governance and Capacity Initiative (EGCI) a U.S. Department of State-led, U.S. interagency effort to provide a wide range of technical and capacity building assistance to the host governments of select countries that are on the verge of becoming the world's next generation of oil and gas producers. The countries receiving EGCI assistance have world class hydrocarbon resource potential and expect to receive sizable, near-term financial windfalls from the development of their oil and gas resources. EGCI's core objective is to help these countries establish the capacity to manage their oil and gas sector resources responsibly. Although EGCI's goals are country-specific in nature, the program broadly tries to ensure sound and transparent energy sector governance for the benefit of national economic development.
The EGCI program supports a broad range of U.S. foreign policy objectives and is tightly coordinated with our overall bilateral energy relationships. EGCI assistance complements other reform efforts, such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), for which DOI is the lead Federal agency, and aims to coordinate with and leverage the work of other donors to every extent possible. EGCI typically works in four areas of capacity-building:
Technical: understanding the resource through the most appropriate technologies
Financial: responsible management of revenues from the sector
Legal: embedding international best practices into laws and regulations
Environmental: protecting people and the environment from sector impacts
Government-to-Government Support: The EGCI program taps into the U.S. Government's considerable in-house expertise and capabilities in order to provide assistance that is tailored to the specific needs of individual countries. A by-product of this government-to-government engagement is the potential for establishing long-term working relationships that will foster institutional stability and enhancement of the U.S. Government's ability to further diplomacy on critical issues, such as promoting sound energy sector governance.
Sample Programs and Activities: Examples of the types of programs and activities that EGCI undertakes in various countries include: workshops and seminars on leasing, revenue management and regulatory best practices for oil and gas sectors; in-country support for regulatory bodies to provide independent energy sector oversight and management; legal and technical guidance to support the implementation of reforms and policies that will create sustainability in the energy sector as well as a commercial environment conducive to attracting large scale investment; specialized assistance in oil and gas revenue sharing and distribution as well as in related financial and tax management; implementation of financial tracking systems and other measures to reduce corruption; technical training in oil and gas resource identification, resource assessment methodology, and best practices related to geological/geophysical data analysis and management; and capacity-building assistance to boost in-house technical and management skills within energy-related ministries and other governmental entities.