November is Manatee Awareness Month; but no matter what time of year it is, manatees deserve to be celebrated. These amazing creatures fulfill a unique niche by serving as indicator species for ecosystems across the United States. Because of their reliance on the health of their habitat, manatees often act as a signal of their environment’s well-being. NOAA photo by Michael Buchanan.
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.
Salazar Announces Fee Free Days in Celebration Of America's Great Outdoors and Earth Day
Office of the Secretary
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON – To mark the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day and to celebrate the launch of the Obama Administration's America's Great Outdoors initiative, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced a schedule of free admission days to many of the lands managed by Interior.
All national parks, national wildlife refuges, and many areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management will offer free admission on June 5-6, August 14-15, September 25 (Public Lands Day), and November 11 (Veterans Day). These dates are in addition to the previously announced free admission at all 392 national parks April 17-25 as part of the celebration of National Park Week.
“President Obama has made connecting Americans to the outdoors and our history a fundamental goal of the conservation initiative announced at Friday's White House Conference on America's Great Outdoors,” said Salazar. “The Interior Department was proud to host that conference and will be even prouder to host Americans who want to get outdoors to visit their public lands.”
America's public lands offer opportunities to engage in healthy, outdoor activities, whether for a few hours or a few days. More details about fee free days and activities are available for:
“What better way to celebrate this Earth Day than to make it easier for all Americans to experience the breathtaking landscapes, amazing creatures, and the stories that make up our shared heritage,” added Salazar. “By getting outdoors, we remind ourselves of our blessings and of the responsibility we all have to pass these lands on to our children and our grandchildren.”