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.
Interior Department Honors 2012 “Partners in Conservation” Award Winners
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes today announced the 2012 “Partners in Conservation” Awards to 17 organizations that have achieved exemplary conservation results through public-private cooperation and community engagement. Together, the 17 award recipients represent more than 700 individuals and organizations from across the United States.
“The Partners in Conservation Awards offer wonderful examples of how America's greatest conservation legacies are created when communities from a wide range of backgrounds work together,” said Hayes, who announced the winners at an award ceremony at Interior today. “These awards recognize dedicated citizens from across our nation who collaborate to conserve and restore America's Great Outdoors, to encourage youth involvement in conservation and to forge solutions to complex natural resource challenges.”
The annual award ceremony is an opportunity for the Interior Department to recognize conservation achievements that include collaborative activity among a diverse range of entities, including federal, state, local and tribal governments, and individuals.
This year's award winners include the Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study, which was nominated as a model of collaboration for future watershed planning across the country. The seven Colorado River Basin States, the Bureau of Reclamation, and water users worked together to establish a common factual and technical foundation for resolving future water supply and demand imbalances.
Interior also recognized two initiatives in Florida working to restore the Everglades. The Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge/Conservation Area Partnership is a partnership of federal, state, and local groups working to establish the 150,000-acre refuge to protect key grassland and savanna landscapes and working ranches. The Everglades Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area is a partnership nominated by the National Park Service that uses innovative approaches to protect the Everglades from the impacts of exotic, invasive plant and animal species.
A list of this year's 17 award-winning partnerships is below. Details about each partnership and the organizations involved can be found here.
Global Explorers- Natural Sounds and Night Skies Partnership, Arizona, Colorado, California Nominated by the National Park Service
Everglades Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area, Florida Nominated by the National Park Service
Southern Nevada Agency Partnership: Interagency Law Enforcement Team, Nevada Nominated by the National Park Service
Glacier National Park Ice Patch Archeology and Paleoecology Project, Montana Nominated by the National Park Service
Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area Partnership, Florida Nominated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Alaska Environmental Literacy Plan Working Group, Alaska Nominated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Friends of Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge Partnership, Wisconsin and Illinois Nominated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Central Umpqua-Mid-Klamath Oak Habitat Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative, Oregon Nominated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Phoenix District Youth Initiative, Arizona Nominated by the Bureau of Land Management
Ute Learning Garden, Colorado Nominated by the Bureau of Land Management
Iditarod National Historic Trail Centennial Partnership, Alaska Nominated by the Bureau of Land Management
Office of Surface Mining/Volunteers in Service to America Teams, Nationwide Nominated by the Office of Surface Mining
Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, Appalachian region Nominated by the Office of Surface Mining
Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network (MARINe), Nationwide Nominated by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Hart Mine Marsh Restoration Project, at Cibola National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona Nominated by the Bureau of Reclamation
Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study, Basin-wide Nominated by the Assistant Secretary – Water and Science
Border Security and Environmental Conservation Partnership, nationwide Nominated by the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Safety, Resource Protection, and Emergency Services.
Photos from today's ceremony are available upon request.