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 Celebrates Important Steps in San Antonio's Great Urban Park Vision
Office of the Secretary
Announces Interior Will Pursue Prestigious World Heritage Site Designation for San Antonio Spanish Missions
SAN ANTONIO, TX — Joining a celebration of the progress in restoring the San Antonio River, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced that Interior will actively pursue a nomination for the distinguished World Heritage Site status for the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park.
“San Antonio National Historical Park preserves the four missions that not only represent the cultural roots of this great city, but also the single largest concentration of Spanish Colonial resources in the United States and perhaps in the Western Hemisphere,” Secretary Salazar said. “This exceptional site merits the same international designation already given to places like the Statue of Liberty, Independence Hall, and Yellowstone National Park.”
Today's announcement will initiate an official process whereby the National Park Service will propose the nomination to the 21-nation World Heritage Committee during the next available round of nominations. World Heritage listing is a prestigious designation that acknowledges the historical, cultural or natural value of a site, as well as the commitment of the sovereign nation and the site's owners to its long-term protection and management.
The announcement came today during the grand opening for the first phases of the Mission Reach project which seeks to restore the San Antonio River and connect it to the city's cultural treasures, the Spanish Colonial Missions. With Phase 1 and 2 complete, the restoration currently links the Downtown Riverwalk to Mission Concepcion in the Park.
When completed, the project will create an unbroken urban park encompassing more than 2,000 acres of federal, state, county, and city parks and with more than 12 miles of hiking and biking trails.
“San Antonio is truly a shining example of what communities can do as we seek to establish a new generation of safe and accessible great urban parks,” Salazar said. “This type of locally-led initiative is at the heart of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors initiative.”
The America's Great Outdoors (AGO) Initiative seeks to develop a recreation and conservation ethic for the 21st Century and to reconnect Americans – especially our young people – their natural and cultural heritage. An important component of AGO is increasing Americans' access to the outdoors through great urban parks and river ways.
In his remarks, Salazar noted the strong economic benefits offered by the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. Attracting more than 1.6 million visitors a year, the Park supports nearly $63 million in local revenue annually. Those dollars translate into over 1,000 jobs for the local San Antonio community. A National Parks Conservation Association report estimated that a $1 investment in the park yields $20 in local economic activity.