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.
Seasoned backpacker and adventurer Yang Lu earned the grand prize in the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest with this image of a sunburst captured at sunrise in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah. Yang has made the outdoors part of his daily life and finds deep connection to the land through his lens.
“My photography is not just for recreation, it is to inspire people to explore these areas." -- Yang Lu
Photo by Yang Lu (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Federal Natural Resource Trustees announce next step in BP Deepwater Horizon spill Gulf restoration
Following spill, Resource Trustees seeking multiple rounds of public input
Last edited 4/26/2016
WASHINGTON D.C. -- To advance the ongoing natural resource restoration planning process following the BP Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, NOAA and the Department of the Interior (DOI) today announced plans to develop a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) in cooperation with state co-trustees as part of the ongoing Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA). The first step in the PEIS process will be public scoping meetings in each of the affected Gulf Coast states.
In a notice published in the Federal Register, NOAA, DOI, DOD, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas are taking the next step in the ongoing effort to restore the Gulf of Mexico environment to its pre-spill condition. This comes as scientists from those agencies are conducting a comprehensive assessment of the injury to the Gulf Coast region's fish, wildlife and habitats caused by last year's oil spill. The public scoping process will evaluate a range of activities and alternatives that could restore, rehabilitate, or replace injured resources and compensate the public for the loss of human uses of those resources.
"The overall goal of this process is to hold the parties responsible for the spill fully accountable to restore, rehabilitate, replace or acquire the equivalent of natural resources and services injured by the oil spill," said Jane Lubchenco, PhD, under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. "The PEIS will build a framework for future restoration actions, ensuring that the public's voice is incorporated into those designs."
At these PEIS meetings, members of the public will learn about the environmental impacts of the spill, get an early picture of the region's natural resource restoration needs, and may submit comments on the types of programs and projects they would like to see incorporated in future restoration strategies in response to the oil spill. Members of the public also may submit their comments online at www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov, where the full meeting schedule will be posted by the end of February.
"This is a really important time for the public to become fully engaged in the restoration planning process," said Chris Doley, director of the NOAA Restoration Center. "By sharing their views on types of restoration efforts they feel are appropriate to address resource impacts, the public can help define the overall shape of the plan that will restore the Gulf to its pre-spill conditions."
"This represents the latest step in our shared commitment to closely involve the public in the restoration of the Gulf Coast ecosystem," said Cindy Dohner, the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Southeast regional director who is serving as the Secretary of the Interior's authorized official for the Deepwater Horizon NRDA. "These natural resources make up one of the world's most diverse and complex ecosystems and are a vital part of the region's tourism economy and citizen's way of life. That's why this engagement is so important."
The comments provided during scoping will help define the parameters of a draft PEIS on which the public will again be invited to comment later this year. In addition to providing an avenue for initial comments, the scoping meetings will give the public the opportunity to learn more about various aspects of the damage assessment.
NRDA is the legal process authorized by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and other laws, to determine the type of environmental restoration needed to compensate the public for harm to natural resources as a result of a spill. The PEIS is part of the overall NRDA effort, whose final restoration plans will be enacted by BP and the other parties responsible for the spill with no expenditure of taxpayer funds. The NRDA process is separate from the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force, announced by President Obama last October. While separate, it will work to coordinate its planning with the final NRDA Restoration Plan.