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 Improves Overall Performance in FY2010 While Delivering Coordinated Response to Gulf Oil Spill
Office of the Secretary
Receives 14th Consecutive Clean Audit
Last edited 4/26/2016
WASHINGTON, DC – While the Interior Department's bureaus and offices were engaged in a full and coordinated response to last year's Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Nation's principal federal conservation agency also significantly improved its overall performance, according to a fiscal year 2010 financial and performance report.
“The unprecedented disaster in the Gulf of Mexico had a significant impact on the Nation and caused a necessary realignment of the Department's plans in order to focus on our response, clean-up, damage assessment and continuing assistance to the region with recovery and restoration,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said in announcing the release of the Summary Performance and Financial Information Report (FY2010). “Yet we also were able to effectively carry on our critical missions, achieving impressive gains in resource use and protection, providing high quality recreational activities and helping American Indian communities build a better future.”
Interior's focus on effective and efficient management was demonstrated by the Department's 14th consecutive clean audit from an independent, certified public accounting firm and the Department's external auditor. This unqualified opinion found no material weaknesses in DOI's financial statements, reflecting Interior's commitment to sound financial management and significant reforms to improve efficiency and services across the board. In 2010, departmental reforms improved effectiveness and efficiency in acquisition, sustainability, asset management, information technology management, and other areas.
In four mission areas – Resource Protection, Resource Use, Recreation and Serving Communities – Interior met 71 percent of its performance targets. The Department's performance for targets in remaining goal areas were challenged by external factors such as litigation, weather factors, and economic impacts. For the five priority goals that set ambitious targets for renewable energy, water conservation, safe Indian communities, youth employment, and climate change, the Department reported positive achievements. Interior's strategic prioritization of resources using its strategic plan and priority goals helped make these accomplishments possible.
The Gulf spill also underscored the urgency of implementing substantive reforms to the Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas program, which were initiated in 2009. Reforms are well underway with the elimination of the Minerals Management Service and the creation of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, and the Office of Natural Resources Revenue. . Ongoing reforms will lead to safer and more
environmentally-responsible offshore oil and gas operations. Lessons learned will help guide our Nation's development of offshore energy resources.
On the economic stimulus and national recovery front, Interior bureaus awarded 100 percent of the Department's 3,942 American Recovery and Reconstruction Act projects, mobilized 96 percent of those projects and substantially completed 45 percent of them by Sept. 30, 2010. “Substantially completed” indicates that 90 percent of the projects' activities had been finished.
Interior also took significant actions in 2010 to address the recommendations of the Office of Inspector General regarding the management challenges facing the Department, including resource protection and restoration, responsibilities to American Indians and insular areas, revenue collections and information technology security.
In addition, the Department, along with the Department of Agriculture and the White House Council on Environmental Quality, hosted the White House Conference on America's Great Outdoors and held 50 public listening sessions across the Country that have helped to shape a conservation vision for the 21st Century. The Department also hosted the second White House Tribal Nations Conference bringing together tribal leaders from across the United States to interact with Administration representatives and develop actions going forward to strengthen the government-to-government relationship with American Indians and Alaska Natives.
The Summary Performance and Financial Information Report (FY2010), required by Office of Management and Budget Circular A-136, Financial Reporting Requirements, describes the Department's performance achievements in common sense language for the public, demonstrating Interior's focus on transparency and accountability.