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 Gets First-Hand View of Energy Potential, Challenges on Alaska Trip
Office of the Secretary
Stops include visit to North Slope Production Facility, Aerial Tour of Proposed Energy Developments in Beaufort, Chukchi Seas
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA—Today Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar concluded his multi-day visit to Alaska with U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Jack Reed and Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes. Secretary Salazar's visit, made at Senator Murkowski's invitation, focused on developing a commonsense path forward for safe and responsible development of Alaska's energy resources. Tuesday and Wednesday's itinerary included a visit to the North Slope for updates on energy exploration and development projects, followed by stops at Barrow's new Indian Health Service hospital and Denali National Park.
Salazar, Hayes, Murkowski, and Reed began Tuesday in the North Slope with an aerial tour of the Beaufort and Chukchi Sea coast to observe current and proposed oil and gas production sites, including Alaska's National Petroleum Reserve. Following the aerial tour, the delegation received updates on Conoco-Philips' proposed CD-5 project and Shell's proposed exploration activities for the Beaufort Sea.
“Alaska is blessed with natural resources and raw beauty that are unmatched,” Salazar said. “This trip has been an invaluable opportunity to see and hear first-hand about the opportunities and challenges that come with energy development in this unique place. I am confident that, guided by science, innovation and the voices of the Alaska Natives and local communities, we can safely and responsibly harness Alaska's enormous energy potential while also protecting its land, water, and wildlife for future generations of Americans.”
“Significantly increasing energy production in Alaska would provide incredible benefits to the entire country. We have tremendous reserves, the technological know-how, and strong public support,” Murkowski said. “Additional development in Alaska would help address many of our most pressing challenges – it would help us create tens of thousands of new jobs, generate hundreds of billions of dollars in new tax revenues, reduce our harmful dependence on foreign oil and improve our trade balance.”
On Tuesday, Salazar, Hayes, Murkowski and Reed also visited Barrow where they toured an Indian Health Services (IHS)-funded hospital currently under construction and were briefed on efforts to address challenges associated with delivering quality health care to remote locations. When built, the two-story hospital will accommodate 10 inpatient beds, 15 outpatient exam rooms, 10 dental operatories and provide service to approximately 5,200 people throughout Alaska's North Slope region.
The delegation's final stop was a visit on Wednesday to Denali National Park and Preserve to discuss public access issues, youth employment opportunities, and sustainable energy opportunities in the remote sections of the park. The Secretary and Senators visited the Eielson Visitor Center and were briefed by National Park Service officials on the status of a proposed visitor center for South Denali, which was identified as the State of Alaska's priority project for the America's Great Outdoors program. While at the park, Secretary Salazar also heard from park officials about youth programs that help accomplish trail and other priority work and reconnect our young people to the great outdoors. In recognition of their contributions to Denali National Park, the Secretary and Senators made a special achievement presentation to the Student Conservation Association.
“Continued investment in Denali National Park will pay dividends by improving visitor experience, spurring economic opportunities and encouraging additional public-private partnerships to take root,” added Secretary Salazar. “With visitation numbers steadily on the rise, Denali continues to be one of Alaska's most popular tourist attractions and a strong economic engine for the state.”