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.
Washington, D.C.—Today is Native American Heritage Day, thanks to legislation signed by President Obama that permanently designates the Friday after Thanksgiving Day each year as a day of honoring American Indian and Alaska Native cultural heritage and tribal sovereignty.
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk thanked President Obama and the Congress for the designation.
“It is fitting that Native American Heritage Day follows Thanksgiving because the holiday is rooted in the tradition of the first meal between European settlers and the Native Americans who taught them how to survive in their new home,'” Secretary Salazar said.
“Native Americans have much to appreciate this year,” said Assistant Secretary Echo Hawk, noting that in addition to signing House Joint Resolution 40, the “Native American Heritage Day Act of 2009,” the President recently issued an Executive Memorandum to the heads of executive departments and agencies that strengthens federal-tribal relationships. He signed the memo at the White House Tribal Nations Conference held at the Department of the Interior on November 5.
Native American Heritage Day can be observed through appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities. It is an opportunity for all Americans to learn about the historical status of Native American tribal governments; the present day conditions of Native American people; their traditions and languages; and their rich cultural legacy.