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.
National Park Service to Release Final National Mall Plan/Final Environmental Impact Statement to Public
Last edited 4/25/2016
Washington, D.C. – With the help of community input, the National Park Service has completed a long-term vision for restoring the beauty and ensuring the sustainability of America's front yard, the National Mall. The National Park Service announced the availability of the Final National Mall Plan/Final Environmental Impact Statement (FMNP/FEIS) through a notice in the Federal Register on Tuesday, July 13th, 2010.
“The National Mall is where we celebrate the inauguration of our President, the birth of our nation, and the rights of all Americans to peacefully gather and speak their minds,” said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. “It is also a place where we come to learn about our country, our leaders, and the events that tested us and made us strong. This new vision honors these purposes while understanding that the Mall also serves as a premier year-round venue for outdoor recreation and fun. We appreciate the thoughtful comments and active participation from so many citizens who made this plan possible.”
The planning process has involved 20 federal and local agencies, 23 days of workshops, 12 public meetings and tours, over 30,000 written comments, and presentations to dozens of community organizations and stakeholders.
Key elements of the National Mall plan include the need for:
Flexible, multi-purpose venues with appropriate backdrops and utility connections for stages, tents, and other activities.
Surfaces for jogging and walking, separate bicycle lanes, improved fields for softball, soccer, kickball, and other sports, improved conditions for passive recreation like picnicking, and locating restrooms convenient to recreation.
Improvements to general condition and appearance, additional services such as restrooms, water, information, and refreshments, spaces for cultural activities, and for capturing iconic photographic images.
Highest standards of accessibility and universal design with conveniently located seating and facilities.
Areas where groups can regroup, find shelter, sit, or gather for education or eating without impacting general visitation, and enhanced tour bus drop-off and parking.
Highest standards of recycling and waste management, design for maintenance and efficiency, use special skills teams (turf and irrigation, water features, events management), model sustainable approaches (maximize LEED rating and Sustainable Sites Initiative); improve operational access to all areas; reduce use of potable water; improve monitoring and adaptive management.