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 Issues $5.2 M Civil Penalty to BP America for False Reporting on Tribal Lands
Last edited 4/25/2016
DENVER – The Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEM) announced today that BP America Inc. has been assessed a civil penalty of $5.2 million for submitting “false, inaccurate, or misleading” reports for energy production that occurred on Southern Ute Indian Tribal lands in southwestern Colorado. The civil penalty announced today is not related to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
“It is simply unacceptable for companies to repeatedly misreport production, particularly when it interferes with the auditing process,” said BOEM Director Michael R. Bromwich. “We are committed to collecting every dollar due from energy production that occurs on Federal and American Indian lands, and accurate reporting is crucial to that effort.”
Bromwich praised the work of Southern Ute Tribal auditors who initially discovered the errors during an audit and which the Tribe first brought to BP's attention August 2, 2007. The Tribe's audit was conducted as part of a cooperative agreement with BOEM's Minerals Revenue Management program (MRM). The Tribe was instrumental in documenting the ongoing errors.
Bromwich's sentiments were shared by Southern Ute Tribal Chairman Matthew J. Box. “The Southern Ute Indian Tribe and the MRM have had a highly successful 25-year-long audit relationship,” Box said. “Over the years, this relationship has yielded significant benefits for the Tribal membership. One of the more important aspects of the audit program is to encourage oil and gas companies to accurately report the Tribe's royalties to the MRM.” Box added, “I appreciate the MRM's recognition of its trust responsibility to the Tribe by assessing civil penalties when other means have failed to attain correct and accurate reporting.”
The Southern Ute Tribal auditors and MRM found that BP reported incorrect royalty rates and prices for royalty purposes, and reported well production on leases other than those to which the production is attributable.
After receiving audit issue letters and an order, the company agreed with the auditors' concerns and repeatedly promised to correct the problems, which they attributed to errors in their automated files.
As part of its investigation, MRM and Tribal auditors examined later production reports to determine if BP had resolved the issues, as it had agreed. Bromwich said the same reporting errors were found in the later reviews, “leading us to conclude that BP's continued submission of erroneous reports was knowing or willful.”
Bromwich said the total civil penalty is $5,189,800 through May 15, 2010. The company may challenge the civil penalty assessment through a Department of Interior hearing procedure.