November is Manatee Awareness Month; but no matter what time of year it is, manatees deserve to be celebrated. These amazing creatures fulfill a unique niche by serving as indicator species for ecosystems across the United States. Because of their reliance on the health of their habitat, manatees often act as a signal of their environment’s well-being. NOAA photo by Michael Buchanan.
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.
AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS: Secretary Salazar Designates Thirteen New National Historic Landmarks
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the designation of 13 new National Historic Landmarks in nine different states, including a site associated with the famed Apache scouts, the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in the world, and an early 18th-century parish church.
“Each of these landmarks teaches us about the history of our land, our people, and our nation - from pictographs dating back two millennia to a World War II warship,” Secretary Salazar said. “By designating these sites as National Historic Landmarks, we are ensuring that future generations will know these important chapters in our nation's story and expand opportunities for tourism that generate economic returns for our local communities."
National Historic Landmarks are nationally significant historic places that possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States. The program, established in 1935, is administered by the National Park Service on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior.
“These new listings will join approximately 2,500 other sites in the National Historic Landmark Program,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “These places not only showcase our rich and complex history – from prehistoric time right up to the modern era – but they help drive tourism and boost local economies.”
The new National Historic Landmarks include the following sites:
Among seacoast lighthouses still in existence, the Montauk Point Lighthouse (Long Island, New York) was the most important for the nation's foreign trade during the first eight decades of the United States lighthouse service;
Located in Midtown Manhattan, the Town Hall (New York City, New York) represents the history of American radio broadcasting during the golden age of network radio from the 1930s through the 1950s;
The destroyer escort USS Slater (Albany, New York) is a rare and extraordinarily intact example of an important class of mass-produced warships designed for convoy protection during World War II;
Constructed in 1888-89 by a wealthy Troy couple as a memorial to their only child, the Gardner Earl Memorial Chapel and Crematorium (Troy, New York) is the most architecturally sophisticated example of early public crematoria in the United States. The building is an example of Romanesque Revival architectural composition with a rich detailed interior design that reflect its memorial nature;
Built in 1888-1889, the Braddock Carnegie Library (Braddock, Pennsylvania) is the oldest intact library building in the United States funded by Andrew Carnegie;
The Fort Apache and Theodore Roosevelt School (Fort Apache, Arizona) was one of the 14 former U.S. Army forts redeveloped as a school as part of Federal Indian policy that sought to assimilate Native Americans through education following tribes' confinement on reservations. Today the school district a unique resource that reflects several decades of highly complex and dynamic interactions between the U.S. federal government and Native Americans throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries;
Deer Medicine Rocks (Rosebud County, Montana) is a sandstone rock formation in Montana's Rosebud Valley that is associated with the Great Sioux War of 1876-1877. Numerous Native American petroglyphs cover the walls, including a representation of the Battle of the Little Big Horn, as well as various anthropomorphic and religious drawings;
The akima Pinšiwa Awiiki (Fort Wayne, Indiana) is a rare surviving example of a treaty house in the U.S. Built as part of the terms of the 1826 Treaty between the Myaamia (Miami) and the United States, it is associated with Pinšiwa, the akima (civil chief) of the Myaamia, a nationally significant American Indian statesman and leader;
St. Peter's Parish Church (New Kent County, Virginia) is an exceptional example of early 18th-century brick architecture from the Chesapeake Region;
Eyre Hall (Northampton County, Virginia), a rare vernacular architectural ensemble and rural landscape of the Colonial and early Federal periods, is a significant physical remnant of Chesapeake society, which was economically and socially based on slavery;
Meadow Brook Hall (Rochester, Michigan) is a large early twentieth-century country estate which includes a large mansion inspired by British architectural precedents along with smaller residential buildings constructed in the same style;
The campus of Florida Southern College (Lakeland, Florida) contains the largest “integrally designed” grouping of buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright on a single site anywhere in the world; and
The Carrizo Plain Archeological District (San Luis Obispo County, California) represents a unique concentration of pre-contact sites, art, and artifacts, the outstanding significance of which has been recognized for almost a century by anthropologists, archeologists, artists, and novelists.
Secretary Salazar also announced the acceptance of a boundary clarification and updated documentation for Fort Benton Historic District in Fort Benton, Montana which was designated in 1961.
The National Park Service works with preservation officials and other partners interested in nominating a landmark. Completed applications are reviewed by the National Park System Advisory Board, which makes recommendations for designation to the Secretary of the Interior. If selected, property ownership remains the same but each site receives a designation letter, a plaque, and technical preservation advice.
Additional information on the designations can be found at www.nps.gov/nhl.