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: Salazar Announces New Initiative to Support Coalition-Based Conservation
Office of the Secretary
Highlights Economic Benefits of Landscape-Level Partnerships in Speech to “Conserving the Future” Conference
MADISON, WI -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced a new initiative that will spur collaborative efforts to protect vital wildlife habitat through community-based coalitions of private landowners, conservation groups, and state and federal agencies.
The Landscape Stewards program, a partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, will leverage up to $200,000 to support coalition-based conservation efforts beginning next year. Each grant will be matched by equal contributions from the coalition partners.
“By stretching limited resources and partnering with communities and other organizations, we can find innovative ways to encourage wise stewardship across entire landscapes,” said Secretary Salazar.
“In recent decades, we've seen inspiring examples of ranchers, farmers and other private landowners working with government to ensure protection of large, rural landscapes and the abundance of fish and wildlife,” he said. “These types of community-driven efforts can generate tremendous results, and can be an economic engine for rural communities and businesses that benefit from hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation.”
Salazar made the announcement during remarks to “Conserving the Future” Conference, a gathering of 1,200 professional and citizen conservationists to ratify a new vision to guide the National Wildlife Refuge System for the next decade.
The Landscape Stewards program is part of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors initiative to create a 21st Century conservation ethic and reconnect Americans, especially young people, to the natural world.
In his remarks, Salazar noted that coalitions have had significant success in protecting broad landscapes that cross jurisdictional boundaries. Many issues facing national wildlife refuges — from invasive species to the protection of threatened and endangered species — cross individual property lines as well as county and state lines.
Salazar said the program aims to replicate the success of award-winning coalitions such as the Blackfoot Challenge, which unites more than 50 partners — including federal agencies, foundations and corporations — in protecting the natural resources and rural lifestyle of the Blackfoot River Valley in western Montana.
The 1.5-million-acre watershed, including prairie grasslands, sagebrush steppe, coniferous forest and wetlands, provides habitat for wildlife that inhabited the area when Lewis and Clark traveled up the Blackfoot River in 1806. Challenge partners have reintroduced native species, restored stream tributaries and removed hundreds of miles of fish passage barrier. The protected area includes the Blackfoot Valley Conservation Area, comprised of lands entirely protected by perpetual conservation easements acquired from willing sellers.
Salazar's remarks as prepared for delivery to the “Conserving the Future” conference can be accessed here.