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, Jarvis Announce $1.66 Million in Grants Under Native American Graves and Repatriation Act
WASHINGTON -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis today announced that the National Park Service is awarding $1,663,382 in grants to assist Native American tribes, Alaska Native villages and museums with implementation of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), which assists in the return of human remains and cultural objects to their native people.
“Returning cultural items to their inheritors and human beings to their descendants so they may be interred with dignity is unequivocally the right thing to do,” Secretary Salazar said. “With these grants, I am pleased that we are continuing to take steps to right a historic wrong.”
“The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act is one of the most important tools we have to address violations of human rights against native nations, individuals and their ancestors,” said Director Jarvis. “I am proud that the National Park Service plays a key role in implementing this policy of protection for American Indian and Native Hawaiian peoples and culture.”
Of the total Fiscal Year 2012 grant allocations, the Park Service is awarding $1,559,888 to 21 recipients for projects to support the efforts of museums, Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations in the documentation of NAGPRA-related objects (consultation/documentation grants), while the remaining $103,494 is going to 10 recipients for costs associated with the return of the remains and objects to their native people (repatriation grants).
Today's funding is in addition to FY12 grants announced in February that will assist in the repatriation of over 150 individuals and over 15,000 sacred objects, objects of cultural patrimony and funerary objects back to the tribes.
Enacted in 1990, NAGPRA requires museums and federal agencies to inventory and identify Native American human remains and cultural items in their collections, and to consult with culturally affiliated Indian tribes, Alaska Native villages and corporations, and Native Hawaiian organizations regarding the return of these objects to descendants or culturally affiliated tribes and other organizations. The Act also authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to award grants to assist in implementing provisions of the Act.
Projects funded by the grant program include consultations to identify and affiliate individuals and cultural items, training for both museum and tribal staff on NAGPRA, digitizing collection records for consultation, consultations regarding culturally significant unaffiliated individuals, as well as the preparation and transport of items back to their native people.
FY2012 NAGPRA Consultation Grant Recipients
Anthropological Studies Center, Sonoma State University
Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona
Ball State University
Bear River Band of Rohnerville Rancheria
Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, University of Washington
Delaware Tribe of Indians
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians
Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, City of Fort Collins
Museum of the American Indian
Museum of Natural History, University of Colorado
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Heritage Program
Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University
Smith River Rancheria
State University of New York
University of Denver Museum of Anthropology
University of Montana, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Subtotal – consultation grants
FY2012 NAGPRA Repatriation Grant Recipients
Cheyenne and Arapahoe Tribes
Pratt Museum (Homer Society of Natural History, Inc.)