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.
Statement of Secretaries Salazar and Chu on the Permanent Plugging of Macondo well
Office of the Secretary
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, DC — Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Energy Secretary Steven Chu today issued the following statement regarding the permanent plugging of BP's Macondo well.
“With the successful first intercept by the relief well and our confirmation through pressure tests that the cement plugs are secure, we can now declare BP's Macondo well effectively dead. At the direction of President Obama and under the leadership of National Incident Commander Thad Allen, we have worked tirelessly and relentlessly as a US Team to reach this point and to provide oversight and direction to the source control effort.”
“We are proud of our government team which played such a key role in ensuring the successful killing of the Macondo well, including USGS Director Marcia McNutt, former Sandia National Laboratories Director Tom Hunter, the many leading scientists from our National Labs, academia, and the private sector, along with the professionals of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, who have been working non-stop since April 20th. The best minds in the public and private sectors came together to ensure that science and sound regulatory oversight guided every step of the well control efforts, and that redundancies and safeguards were in place to protect against further damage to the environment or additional risks to human life.”
“Though our source control mission is complete, President Obama has made it clear the administration will not rest until all the oil is cleaned up and the Gulf Coast is restored.”
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEM) has confirmed that the cementing operation on the Macondo well was successful, that the well has been permanently sealed with cement plugs, and that pressure tests verify integrity of the plugs.
Oversight of the well now transitions from the National Incident Command to BOEM under a process laid out in the National Response Framework.
The Department of the Interior and BOEM will oversee the continuing decommissioning of the Macondo well and its associated relief wells.
The relief wells will be plugged and decommissioned accorded to the regulatory guidelines that require the setting of multiple cement plugs and testing of plugs. More information about those regulations can be found here: www.boemre.gov
Before proceeding with the decommissioning of the relief wells, BP will be required to submit to BOEM an Application for Permit to Modify (APM) for approval that outlines its procedures to permanently plug the relief well.