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 Interagency Federal Collections Alliance (IFCA) was formed in 1992 as the Interagency Federal Collections Working Group to conduct a national survey of all institutions that might hold Federal museum collections. The IFCA's interest has been in the welfare of collections for which Federal agencies are responsible, whether housed in Federal facilities or in partner institutions [non-Federal entities that hold Federal property]. Federal activities have generated museum collections since this country was founded. Implementation of environmental and cultural protection laws is increasing the quantity of museum collections that are the responsibility of Federal agencies and their partners. The IFCA has not been active since 2003, but its goals and activities are relevant today and deserve to be preserved and made widely available. It is hoped that the IFCA will be reconvened soon.
The Interagency Federal Collections Alliance is committed to enhancing access and use of Federal museum collections by effectively documenting and managing them.
The IFCA will assist Federal agencies, partner institutions, and the American public in recognizing museum collections as resources of national importance. It encourages agencies to recognize that their museum property is integral to fulfilling agency missions, and will identify and share best practices for managing Federal museum collections. It actively supports the following goals and objectives to achieve its vision.
1. Improve recognition and support for Federal museum property collections.
A. Promote and increase communication among Federal agencies and all who share its vision. B. Promote and increase partnerships between Federal agencies and non-Federal repositories that manage Federal museum collections.
2. Encourage use of best practices of the museum profession for managing Federal museum collections.
A. Evaluate existing authorities for managing Federally associated museum property. B. Increase availability of information on best practices among Federal agencies and between Federal agencies and partner institutions.
3. Comply with laws, regulations and other mandates for managing Federal museum collections.
A. Assist Federal agencies in identifying and managing museum collections for which they may be responsible. B. Assist partner institutions in effectively managing Federal museum property for which they may share responsibility.
Federally Associated Collections
Millions of artifacts and specimens collected as a result of Federal activities are held in public trust by more than one thousand Federal and non-Federal institutions throughout the United States. The IFCA encourages agencies and partner institutions to create new and revive old partnerships, and to strengthen strategies for managing Federally Associated collections of all kinds.
The IFCA sponsored training conferences to provide a forum to foster communication and cooperation among Federal agencies and non-Federal institutions.
IFCA sponsored conferences on "Partnership Opportunities for Federally Associated Collections":