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.
AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS: National Park Service to Assist 200 Communities with River and Trail Projects
WASHINGTON—The National Park Service will help local communities implement more than 200 natural resource and recreational projects under the agency's Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA), Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today – part of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors (AGO) initiative to establish a community-based, 21st century agenda for conservation, recreation, and reconnecting Americans to the outdoors.
“One of the major goals of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors initiative is to reconnect Americans to nature by expanding recreational opportunities,” Salazar said. “Through the RTCA program, the National Park Service will provide expertise and assistance to local communities that are building trails and undertaking other conservation and recreation projects."
Under the RTCA program, the National Park Service helps communities and neighborhoods to preserve valuable open spaces, revitalize nearby rivers, and develop trail and greenway networks. This year's projects were selected from the most competitive field of requests ever received by the agency.
Projects are locally conceived and initiated, with RTCA staff supporting community based recreation and conservation leaders. Each year, RTCA project partnerships contribute to the construction of 1,700 miles of trail, conservation of nearly 1,000 miles of river, and protection of more than 50,000 acres of open space.
More than 20 of the projects included in the RTCA project announcement today also were highlighted in the America's Great Outdoors 50-State report released by Secretary Salazar in November. The report listed more than 100 high-priority projects representing what states believe are among the best investments in the nation to support a healthy, active population, conserve wildlife and working lands, and create travel, tourism and outdoor-recreation jobs across the country. Interior is working closely with states and local communities to advance these priority projects as quickly as possible.