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.
Secretary Salazar Commends President Obama's Nomination of Kevin K. Washburn as Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today lauded President Obama's nomination of Kevin K. Washburn, a member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, to serve as Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior.
“Kevin Washburn has a keen understanding of the many issues that affect Indian Country,” Salazar said. “His strong professional and academic experience will be a key asset to the Department as we continue to strengthen the integrity of the government-to-government relationship with Indian tribes and empower Native American and Alaska Native communities. He will be an excellent addition to our team.”
Washburn is currently serving as Dean at the University of New Mexico School of Law where he teaches courses in criminal and gaming law. He serves on numerous state boards, chairing the Judicial Selection Commission and the Judicial Compensation Commission for the state of New Mexico. He previously taught courses as a professor of law at the University of Minnesota Law School, Harvard Law School, and the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law.
Prior to his current position, Washburn served as General Counsel to the National Indian Gaming Commission. He also served as an Assistant United States Attorney in New Mexico where he handled prosecutions in the violent crime division. As a trial attorney for the Department of Justice under the Clinton Administration, Washburn litigated affirmative cases on behalf of the United States in its role as trustee for Indian tribes.
Washburn received his J.D. from Yale Law School and his B.A. from the University of Oklahoma.