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 Distributes $11.2 Billion in Energy Revenues to State, Tribal and Federal Governments
Policy Management and Budget
FY2011 receipts a $2 billion increase over previous year
WASHINGTON – The Department of the Interior collected $11.16 billion from energy production on public lands and offshore areas in fiscal year 2011 – a $2 billion increase over the previous year – and disbursed those revenues among federal, state and tribal governments, while funding reclamation, conservation and preservation accounts.
“These revenues reflect significant domestic energy production and are a critical revenue stream for governments and American Indian communities, particularly in light of current economic conditions,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said in announcing the totals. “The revenues will also support much-needed projects that create American jobs, such as power and water development in the West, land and water conservation efforts throughout the United States, critical infrastructure improvements and funding for education.”
More than $6 billion went directly to the U.S. Treasury to fund programs for all Americans – making the Department's mineral revenue disbursements one of the nation's largest sources of non-tax revenue.
Nearly $2 billion was disbursed to 37 states as their cumulative share of revenues collected from oil, gas and mineral production on federal lands located within their borders, and U.S. offshore oil and gas tracts adjacent to their shores.
The state of Wyoming again led all states in FY2011 by receiving more than $971 million as its share of revenues from mineral production on federal lands within its borders, including oil, gas and coal production. New Mexico received more than $434 million. Disbursements to other top energy-producing states included $156 million to Colorado; more than $149 million to Utah; $88 million to California; $43 million to Montana; and more than $29 million to North Dakota.
A complete list of states receiving revenues through fiscal year 2011 is available on the Office of Natural Resources Revenue's website at www.onrr.gov.
About $538 million was disbursed to 34 American Indian Tribes and about 30,000 individual Indian mineral owners. By comparison, $407 million was disbursed to American Indian Tribes and individual Indian mineral owners during FY 2010.
Tribes apply the revenues to healthcare, infrastructure, education and other critical community development programs, such as senior centers, public safety projects and youth initiatives. Some revenues also are distributed to tribal members. Individual Indian mineral owners use the revenues, which often serve as a major source of primary income, to support their families and fund business initiatives and capital investments.
The FY2011 revenue disbursements also funded programs that promote state and local water, recreational and conservation efforts, including $1.53 billion to the Reclamation Fund; $892 million for the Land and Water Conservation Fund; and $150 million for the Historic Preservation Fund. Receipts deposited in the Reclamation Fund are made available by Congress through annual appropriation acts for authorized water management and efficiency programs and related projects that benefit 17 Western States.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund, established by Congress in 1964, provides grants to state, federal and local governments to acquire land, water and easements for recreation use and the protection of natural treasures. The fund has helped state agencies and local communities acquire nearly seven million acres of land and easements, developed popular recreational areas such as Harper's Ferry in West Virginia, California's Big Sur Coast and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in Montana, and helped to build and maintain thousands of local playgrounds, soccer fields, and baseball diamonds.
“Investment in conservation is an investment not only in our quality of life but also in our economy,” said Secretary Salazar. “Every dollar of oil and gas royalties that is reinvested in parks, open space and rivers through the Land and Water Conservation Fund returns more than $4 in economic value.”
The Historic Preservation Fund provides matching grants to help state and tribal historic preservation offices preserve cultural and other historic resources. Since its inception in 1970, the fund has provided more that $1 billion in assistance.
Interior's Office of Natural Resources Revenue is responsible for collecting and disbursing revenues from energy production that occurs onshore on federal and American Indian lands and offshore on the Outer Continental Shelf. Under the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget, ONRR makes disbursements on a monthly basis from royalties, rents and bonuses it collects from mineral companies.