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.
Interior Department Receives Honors for Financial Reporting
Office of the Secretary Policy Management and Budget
WASHINGTON -- The Association of Government Accountants (AGA) recently awarded the Department of the Interior their Certificate of Excellence in Accountability Reporting, the group's highest form of recognition in Federal government management reporting. This follows on the Interior Department receiving, for the 14th consecutive year, a favorable audit opinion from KPMG LLP (KPMG), an independent certified public accounting firm and the Department's external auditor.
“One of Secretary Salazar's top goals is sound financial management, so this is a proud moment for the Department,” said Interior Assistant Secretary Rhea Suh, who also serves as Interior's Chief Financial Officer (CFO). “Not only have we been reviewed very favorably by our external auditor, we now have an independent agency reaffirming, for the eleventh year in a row, our commitment to financial reporting excellence and our high standards of accountability, transparency, and ethics.”
Of particular interest to the AGA was Interior's comprehensive, yet concise, high-level discussion of key performance measures, goals, results, reasons for shortfalls and costs. Also noteworthy was the high level of cooperation among the Department, its external auditor KPMG, and all the bureaus within the Department, including the National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Bureau of Reclamation, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement, Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management and Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as Departmental Offices. By consolidating the audit at the Department level, Interior reduces costs and achieves improved integration.
The Interior Department manages the Nation's public lands and minerals including providing access to public lands and the Outer Continental Shelf for renewable and conventional energy; is the steward of 20 percent of the Nation's lands including national parks and national wildlife refuges; is the largest supplier and manager of water in the 17 western States and a supplier of hydropower energy; and upholds Federal trust responsibilities to American Indian tribes and Alaska Natives. It is also responsible for migratory wildlife conservation, historic preservation, endangered species conservation; mapping, geological, hydrological and biological science for the nation; and financial and technical assistance for the insular areas.