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 Establishes Committee to Oversee Implementation of U.S. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative
Policy Management and Budget
Requests nominations for participants from industry, government and public
WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the establishment of a national committee to guide and oversee U.S. implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (USEITI), a voluntary, global initiative designed to increase transparency, strengthen the accountability of natural resource revenues, and build public trust for the governance of these vital activities. Interior is seeking nominations for the committee from industry, civil society, and other stakeholders.
Today's announcement marks a significant step in President Obama's commitment and leadership in promoting the principles of the Open Government Partnership, a global initiative that supports efforts to promote global institutions that are more transparent, effective, and accountable to the people.
“The United States is fully committed to leading the charge and helping to secure concrete commitments from governments around the globe to promote transparency, increase civic participation, fight corruption, and harness new technologies that make government more open, effective and accountable when it comes to developing energy resources,” said Salazar. “This transparency initiative will also help to ensure that American taxpayers receive every dollar due for the extraction of these valuable public resources.”
The committee will oversee the U.S implementation of EITI, which commits participating countries to disclose to an independent reconciler certain revenues obtained for oil, gas and mining development. It also commits companies to make parallel disclosures regarding payments to the government. The reconciled figures are then made public. The design of each nation's EITI framework is country-specific and developed jointly by a Multi-Stakeholder Group comprised of members of the public, government and industry through a multi-year, consensus-based process. The Committee established today will serve as the initial Multi-Stakeholder Group for USEITI implementation.
In September 2010, President Obama challenged the members of the United Nations General Assembly to make all governments more open. Soon afterward, spearheaded by the United States and Brazil, groups of governments and civil society organizations around the world formed the Open Government Partnership. In September 2011, President Obama announced the U.S. commitment to domestic implementation of EITI, a key element of the President's Open Government Partnership commitments, and soon after appointed Secretary Salazar to lead the U.S. implementation.
The committee will be convened as a new federal advisory group established under the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The committee will consist of approximately 21 members to represent a range of interests concerned with the implementation of USEITI. Members will include non-federal representatives from the extractive industry and the public, and may ultimately include representatives from state, local, and/or Tribal governments.
Nominations for membership on the committee must be received by August 27, 2012, and should be made by the following methods:
Mail or hand-carry nominations to Ms. Shirley Conway; Department of the Interior; Office of Natural Resources Revenue; 1801 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 400; Washington, DC 20006.
Nominations should describe and document the proposed member's qualifications for membership to the committee, and include a resume listing their name, title, address, telephone, e-mail and fax number.