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.
Salazar Announces $50 Million in Funding for Water Infrastructure Projects in Western United States
Funding includes $30 million to help bring safe and reliable water to tribal, non-tribal residents in rural communities
WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced $50 million in funding for water infrastructure projects in the West – including $30 million in funding for rural water construction projects. The funding will support a variety of efforts – providing financial assistance and construction support for rural water projects, addressing aging infrastructure to maintain system reliability and safety, restoring aquatic habitat and meeting the increasing water demands of the western United States.
"Water is the lifeblood of our communities, and clean, reliable drinking water is absolutely vital to build healthy people and healthy economies – especially in rural areas in the West,” Secretary Salazar said. “Building the infrastructure we need to deliver clean water to our nation's rural and tribal communities will create construction jobs and, when complete, will provide lasting benefits for local economies and public health.”
The six rural water projects, selected by the Bureau of Reclamation as directed by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012, will help advance six infrastructure projects that will deliver clean, reliable drinking water to remote areas. The projects are:
$10.9 million for the Garrison Diversion Unit (Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program) in North Dakota. This will allow the Spirit Lake Tribe to replace an existing water storage reservoir, known as Spirit Lake-Tokio Tank & School Tank Projects, to ensure reliable water service to the West Fort Totten area of the reservation. The funding will also be used to replace poor quality private wells in Logan and McIntosh counties.
$9 million for the Fort Peck Reservation/Dry Prairie Rural Water System (Montana). This project will enable the Assiniboine Sioux Tribe to complete the mainline pipeline from Brockton to the Big Muddy to facilitate the delivery of water to Dry Prairie. The funds will also allow for the completion of the mainline from Big Muddy to Culbertson so that a sufficient amount of water from the new treatment plant will be delivered to Dry Prairie.
$5 million for the Lewis and Clark Rural Water System (South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota). This project will allow for the purchase of water treatment plant tools, vehicles, maintenance equipment, security fencing and installation of approximately three miles of pipeline in Minnesota.
$3.9 million for the Rocky Boy's/North Central Montana Rural Water System (Montana). This funding will allow the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation to complete a portion of Segment 3 of the Core pipeline installation for the Rocky Boys Rural Water System. It will also help to provide an interim water system to three areas in Montana as part of the North Central Montana Rural Water System.
$1 million for the Eastern New Mexico Water Supply Project (New Mexico): This funding will support the construction of an intake structure at Ute Reservoir that will supply water to eight municipalities and three counties in eastern New Mexico.
$200,000 for the Jicarilla Apache Rural Water System (New Mexico). This project will assist the Jicarilla Apache Nation in continuing its on-going work related to the Jicarilla-Apache Water System. This rural water grant will allow construction of new water and waste water facilities in the town of Dulce, New Mexico.
This new funding is in addition to $16.1 million that Reclamation had already identified for construction activity for the Mni Wiconi project in South Dakota that will help build water distribution systems to serve several rural communities, including reservation areas of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.
To allocate fiscal year 2012 funding for rural water projects, Reclamation considered the level of time and financial resources already committed by project beneficiaries, a perspective on regional watersheds, and compelling need – such as water quality, tribal members served, economic impacts and water use efficiency.
The remaining $20 million in Reclamation funding supports:
$5 million for fish passage and fish screens to meet the increasing water demands in the West while protecting the environment and restoring aquatic habitat that has been impacted by historic development.
$6 million for water conservation and delivery studies to promote water conservation and improved water management.
$4 million for environmental restoration and compliance efforts with an emphasis on species recovery and protection.
$5 million for facility operation, maintenance and rehabilitation to ensure system reliability and safety of infrastructure in support of sustainable water management. Funding has been assigned through criteria that identified projects with the most urgent need.
"This funding will allow work on these projects to be accelerated, saving the American taxpayers money," said Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor. "The funding will also stimulate regional and local economies, support the creation of much-needed jobs and provide a stable and reliable water supply to communities throughout the West."
Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. To learn more, visit http://www.usbr.gov.