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.
Secretary Salazar Announces $15 Million Investment in Hazardous Fuel Reduction Projects, Biomass Production on Public Lands
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that the Department would invest $15 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to fund 55 projects that will reduce hazardous fuels on thousands of acres of federal land to protect communities at risk from wildland fires, support local economies and rehabilitate ecosystems damaged by wildfire. The funding is part of $3 billion Interior is investing in the nation's economy under President Obama's recovery plan.
“This investment will create jobs in rural communities in 12 states, boost the Department's hazardous fuels reduction activities and generate biomass for use in wood products or power generation,” Secretary Salazar said. “We will create local jobs on both the front and back ends of this initiative, while reducing threats to homes, businesses and schools and restoring healthy landscapes. Where possible, we will invite young adults to join these efforts to help develop a new generation of natural resource stewards.”
A rigorous merit-based process was used to identify projects from California to Montana to Wisconsin and Oklahoma that met the criteria put forth in the Recovery Act: namely, that a project addresses the Department's highest priority mission needs; generates the largest number of jobs in the shortest period of time; and creates lasting value for the American public.
All the hazardous fuels reduction projects are long-standing priorities of the Department's Wildland Fire Management program that:
Increase firefighter and public safety
Reduce threats to homes, businesses, schools, other valuable infrastructure
and cultural and natural resources
Conserve municipal watersheds
Help preserve jobs dependent on natural resources
Uphold environmental quality
Enhance effective use of Federal, State, Tribal, and local skills and resources
Lower the threat of pollution from particulates
Reduce smoke impacts from wildfire
The final selection criteria ensured project planning and environmental compliance work was complete or substantially complete and that projects have the potential to provide additional economic benefits to support local or regional employment through post-treatment use of biomass in wood products or power generation.
Under the Department's Wildland Fire Management program, fuels reduction treatments thin overgrown woodlands, reduce accumulated deadwood and dense underbrush to lessen the potential for intense wildland fire and post-fire damage, and limit the proliferation and spread of invasive species and diseases.
Secretary Salazar has pledged unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability in implementing the Department's economic recovery projects. The public can follow the progress of each project on the recovery web site and at www.interior.gov/recovery. The website includes an interactive map that enables the public also to follow where and how the department's recovery dollars are being spent.
Secretary Salazar also has appointed a Senior Advisor for Economic Recovery, Chris Henderson, and an Interior Economic Recovery Task Force. Henderson and the Task Force will work closely with the Department of the Interior's Inspector General to ensure that the recovery program is meeting the high standards for accountability, responsibility, and transparency that President Obama has set.