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).
Salazar: IG Report Affirms Direction, Urgency of Interior's Offshore Energy Oversight Reform Agenda
Office of the Secretary
Bromwich: Agency Remains Focused on Strengthening Safety, Environmental Protection, Oversight
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON – A report delivered today by the Department of the Interior's Inspector General (IG) elaborates on the review and analysis of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Safety Oversight Board and identifies many of the issues that lie at the center of ongoing offshore oil and gas oversight reforms already being carried out by Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) Director Michael R. Bromwich, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said today.
In a memo to Secretary Salazar accompanying today's IG report, Acting Inspector General Mary Kendall writes that: “this report does not raise any new issues; rather it expounds upon those issues identified in summary fashion in the Safety Oversight Board report.”
“We remain focused on implementing the strongest safety and environmental protections and tough and effective oversight of offshore oil and gas operations,” said Secretary Salazar. “The recommendations that the IG and the OCS Safety Oversight Board delivered in September are in line with the robust internal reform initiatives Director Bromwich is implementing. The IG has now completed the formal review that I requested, and the report further validates the urgency, direction, and steps we have already taken toward building a transformed regulatory agency with the authorities, resources, and support to provide strong and effective regulation and oversight.”
“When the recommendations contained in this report were presented as part of the Safety Oversight Board in early September, we responded immediately by forming implementation teams assigned specific responsibility to act on those recommendations to improve the operations of the agency,” said Director Bromwich. “Although their work is not mentioned in the report, the implementation teams have been working hard and making good progress. Each of them will provide me with a detailed report by the end of this month.” In response to the OIG report, Director Bromwich provided a letter updating Secretary Salazar on the progress of reforms.
In her memo to Secretary Salazar, Acting IG Kendall also notes that the findings contained in the report are based on information gathered before August, 2010 and that the IG “recognize(s) that many of the recommendations contained in this report are already being addressed by BOEMRE; we commend BOEMRE for the seriousness with which it took the recommendations and the dispatch with which it is acting upon them.”
For information about the reforms BOEMRE has undertaken, click here.
Following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig, Secretary Salazar asked Interior's Inspector General and the newly-established Outer Continental Shelf Safety Oversight Board (SOB) to provide recommendations to strengthen permitting, inspections, enforcement and environmental stewardship. Given the similarity of the two missions, staff from the Office of the Inspector General worked jointly with the Safety Oversight Board to analyze information and develop recommendations for the SOB report which was released on September 8, 2010.
The implementation plan Director Bromwich has established for the recommendations address a range of priority issues, including enhancements and innovations in the inspections program, improvements in the enforcement program, and strengthening environmental protections. Strengthening inspections and enforcement – from personnel training to the deterrent effect of fines and civil penalties – is a major focus of the BOEMRE's reform efforts.