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 Highlights Strong Local, State Support for Historic Preservation of Fort Monroe on the Occasion of its Deactivation
Office of the Secretary
WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today reported that the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service are working quickly, and in close coordination with state and local partners, to evaluate the potential inclusion of Fort Monroe in the National Park System. Fort Monroe was closed today as an active military installation.
“We have heard loud and clear from the local community, Commonwealth and federal officials, and stakeholders everywhere that Fort Monroe is a place of unique historical and cultural significance that merits protection – and we agree,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “Fort Monroe helps tell the compelling story of our nation's arc from the Civil War to Civil Rights. With such a rich history, it's no wonder that so many feel passionately about ensuring the site is preserved for future generations. We look forward to continuing to work hand-in-hand with the Commonwealth and local partners as we review the site and its future potential.”
Fort Monroe is a historic fort in Hampton, Virginia that played a pivotal role in both the establishment and abolition of slavery in the United States. Built between 1819 and 1834, Fort Monroe has occupied a strategic coastal defense position since the earliest days of the Virginia Colony. It was the place where Dutch traders first brought enslaved Africans in1619. During the Civil War, the fort remained in Union possession and became a place for escaped slaves to find refuge, thus earning its nickname “Freedom's Fortress.”
The 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission recommended that Fort Monroe cease to be used as an Army installation. There has been strong support from the local community and leaders, including Governor Bob McDonnell, Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner, Congressmen Scott Rigell, Bobby Scott, Rob Wittman, J. Randy Forbes and Gerry Connolly, and Hampton Mayor Molly Ward, to designate the fort as a National Park. Secretary Salazar and the National Park Service have held several public meetings in Virginia to hear directly from the community on their preferred option for the future of the site.
Following today's closure ceremony, the Army will retain ownership and control of Fort Monroe. Once the Army completes its responsibilities under the base realignment and closure process, the majority of the lands will revert to the Commonwealth of Virginia.