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.
AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS: Salazar, Vilsack Announce Members of Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council
Office of the Secretary
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the appointments of 18 members of the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council, an advisory group they established in 2010 to advise them on wildlife conservation, habitat conservation, and hunting.
“During its inaugural term, members of the Council provided important recommendations on conserving wildlife habitat and water resources that are so important to America's hunting and angling heritage, as well as enhancing access to the great outdoors,” said Salazar. “I am confident that today's appointments will provide a strong voice to the nation's conservation and sportsmen communities and ensure that the next generation enjoys a thriving wildlife heritage.”
“America's rural communities and rural economies depend on healthy soil, water and air and America's hunters and anglers – our nation's first conservationists – have long fought to conserve those precious resources,” said Vilsack. “These appointees are uniquely qualified to advise us on the full range of issues addressed by the Council while reflecting the true conservation spirit of our nation's outdoor traditions.”
The secretaries announced the appointment of the following individuals to serve on the council for a three-year term:
Robert Fithian (Alaska Professional Hunters Association, Inc.)
Jonathan Gassett (Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources)
Thomas Franklin (Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership)
Winifred Kessler (The Wildlife Society)
Robert Manes (The Nature Conservancy)
Frederick Maulson (Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission)
Tommy Millner (Cabela's)
Robert Model (Boone and Crockett Club)
Joanna Prukop (former New Mexico Secretary of Energy, Minerals & Natural Resources)
Stephen Sanetti (National Shooting Sports Foundation)
Larry Schweiger (National Wildlife Federation)
Christine Thomas (College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin)
George Thornton (National Wild Turkey Federation)
John Tomke (Ducks Unlimited)
Howard Vincent (Pheasants Forever)
Steve Williams (Wildlife Management Institute)
The council is an official advisory group established under the Federal Advisory Committee Act that helps promote and preserve America's wildlife and hunting heritage for future generations. It provides advice about conservation endeavors that: benefit wildlife resources; encourage partnership among the public, the sporting conservation organizations, the states, Native American tribes, and the Federal Government; and benefit recreational hunting.
The six federal agencies playing a key role in supporting and maintaining America's outdoors heritage – the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, and Farm Service Agency – and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, will also appoint organizational members to the council.