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.
Speech: OIA-DOI Museum Brown Bag -- World Heritage: A Made-in-America Achievement
Jonathan B. Tourtellot, Geotourism Editor, National Geographic Traveler; Founding Director, National Geographic Center for Sustainable Destinations; Principal, Focus on Places LLC
Rachel Carson Room, Stewart Lee Udall Department of Interior Building
In 1972, the United States proposed the World Heritage Convention to the international community as the global expression of the national park idea. The U.S. was the first nation to ratify the Convention. Twenty-one natural or cultural heritage sites in the U.S. are recognized for their outstanding universal value in the Convention's World Heritage List.
In his September 12, 2012 presentation, Jonathan B. Tourtellot explained what the World Heritage Program is, how sites are selected for the List, and why World Heritage listings benefit both the U.S. and its international partners. By promoting “geotourism,” a term Tourtellot has coined to describe sustainable visitation that supports and improves natural and cultural resources, he believes the World Heritage Program can help preserve significant areas throughout the world. In his talk, Tourtellot celebrated the role the United States played in creating this important program, and called for continuing U.S. leadership.