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.
WASHINGTON – Department of the Interior (DOI) today announced the winners of the Department's 2011 Environmental Achievement Awards. Winners included three individuals and ten teams of DOI employees who demonstrated extraordinary commitment to sustainable practices and environmental remediation at DOI sites.
The winners were diverse, and included: an initiative that cleaned up and recycled thousands of pounds of metal, tires and other debris from wildlife refuge lands; an innovative construction project that earned a LEED Gold certification; a revamped business system that allows coal industry auditors to operate in a completely paperless environment; and a “Sustainability Hero” who goes above and beyond to keep an Alaska office facility weather-tight and energy efficient through the harsh Northern winter.
An award was also presented to Xanterra, a concessioner in Grand Canyon National Park, which transformed the operation of the Grand Canyon Railway to be as environmentally sustainable as possible by retrofitting the inefficient 19th-Century steam locomotive to run on waste vegetable oil.
“Environmental Achievement Award recipients and honorable mentions represent the Department's most valuable resource: our creative, dedicated and resourceful employees. I am honored to present these awards to outstanding DOI professionals from various disciplines and locations who took the initiative and put in the extra work to make our lands and facilities cleaner and greener,” Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget Rhea Suh said. “My heartiest congratulations to this year's award recipients and honorable mentions—DOI appreciates their service and is proud of their leadership.”
The DOI awards convey high-level recognition to DOI employees and partners for DOI projects in the following categories: Sustainability Hero; Green Innovation; Lean, Clean, and Green; Good Neighbor; Green Dream Team; Building the Future; and Environmental Remediation.
The awards recognize departmental employees and partners who have attained exceptional achievements under Executive Order 13514 “Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance” and for cleaning up contaminated land.
The award selection panel of environmental and procurement experts from DOI bureaus and offices, selects recipients and honorable mentions for recommendation to DOI's Senior Sustainability Officer. All nominations are screened to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
The scope of the DOI environmental achievement awards and categories reflect those of the GreenGov Presidential Award program. Only recent DOI award recipients and honorable mentions may be nominated for the GreenGov Award.
For more information about the award recipients and to review the honorable mentions, please visit www.doi.gov/greening.