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.
Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor Appointed to Migratory Bird Conservation Commission
Office of the Secretary
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced that Senator Mark Pryor has been appointed to the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission. The Commission, which is chaired by Secretary Salazar and includes members of Congress and cabinet secretaries, reviews and approves the purchase of wetlands and other areas of vital wildlife habitat for inclusion in the National Wildlife Refuge System.
“Senator Pryor will be a tremendous asset to the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission,” said Salazar. “His leadership and support for conservation throughout his home state of Arkansas is evident, and he will play a major role in helping the Commission preserve America's great outdoors.”
In addition to voting on land acquisition projects for migratory bird habitat at National Wildlife Refuges, the Commission also approves project funding under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA). NAWCA provides Federal funding for public-private partnership projects that protect, enhance, restore, and manage wetlands and other associated habitats across North America.
“I am pleased and honored to join the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission,” said Pryor. “Arkansas' natural resources are a defining feature of our state, and preserving these habitats is important to wildlife, hunters, and the surrounding communities. I look forward to working with the bipartisan members of the Commission and ensuring Arkansas interests are well represented.”
The Commission usually convenes three times per year during the months of March, June, and September, or as needed to approve land acquisitions and easement purchases, NAWCA projects. Since the Commission's establishment, more than six million acres have been acquired by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for addition to the National Wildlife Refuge System. The Service administers the Commission on behalf of the Secretary.
Land projects that come before the Commission for consideration are funded from the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund. There are two major sources of money for the Fund. The most well-known source is the revenue received from the sale of Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps, commonly known as Duck Stamps. The other major source is import duties collected on arms and ammunition In addition to Sen. Pryor, Commission members include:
Chairman - Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior
Thad Cochran, Senator from Mississippi
John D. Dingell, Congressman from Michigan
Robert J. Wittman, Congressman from Virginia
Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture
Lisa Jackson, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency
Secretary - A. Eric Alvarez, Chief, Division of Realty, Fish and Wildlife Service