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.
Interior Department Releases Updated Strategic Sustainability Plan
Office of the Secretary
Department Exceeds Annual Renewable Energy Goal, Continues to Reduce Carbon Footprint and Water Use
Last edited 4/26/2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of President Obama's Climate Action Plan to cut carbon pollution and lead in clean energy, the Department of the Interior today released its 2013 Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan, which outlines actions planned over the next year to cut energy use and waste in agency operations.
President Obama signed Executive Order 13514 on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance in October 2009, setting aggressive targets for reducing waste and pollution in Federal operations by 2020. The Department of the Interior's 2013 Sustainability Plan builds on four years of progress under the Executive Order and provides an overview of how the agency is saving taxpayer dollars, reducing carbon emissions, and saving energy.
The 2013 Sustainability Plan also will help guide the actions of the department and its bureaus to meet the new goal President Obama set today in a Presidential Memorandum directing the Federal Government to consume 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020 – more than double the current level. Meeting this renewable energy goal will reduce pollution in our communities, promote American energy independence, and support homegrown energy produced by American workers.
Examples of performance reported in Interior's 2013 Sustainability Plan include:
Decreasing certain greenhouse gas emissions by 11.6 percent in FY 2012 relative to the FY 2008 baseline—putting the department on track to meet the reduction goal of 20 percent by 2020.
Reducing potable water intensity by 11.3 percent in 2012, relative to the FY 2007 baseline—putting Interior on track to meet the water reduction goal of 26 percent by 2020; and
Exceeding the FY 2012 renewable electricity goal of 5 percent as a percentage of electricity use.
The 2013 Sustainability Plan also outlines actions planned for the upcoming year to continue progress in meeting the President's goals. It includes Interior's latest Climate Change Adaptation Plan aimed at reducing the vulnerability of each of the department's programs, assets, and investments to the impacts of climate change, such as sea level rise or more frequent or severe extreme weather.
The Department of the Interior developed a Department-wide policy as one of its commitments in its Climate Change Adaptation Plan. The policy outlines principles and responsibilities for incorporating climate adaptation into core mission activities such as protecting and enhancing core conservation areas and wildlife corridors.
The policy and the plan facilitate the Department of the Interior's internal efforts in adapting to natural and cultural resources management activities, accounting for changing conditions and avoiding or minimizing impacts to people and built assets, working with tribes in their adaptation efforts, and providing scientific information and tools to support the range of activities and programs we oversee in the face of climate change.
Federal Agency Strategic Sustainability Performance Plans are available now at sustainability.performance.gov and the Department of the Interior's report and climate adaptation plan are also available here.