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.
Seasoned backpacker and adventurer Yang Lu earned the grand prize in the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest with this image of a sunburst captured at sunrise in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah. Yang has made the outdoors part of his daily life and finds deep connection to the land through his lens.
“My photography is not just for recreation, it is to inspire people to explore these areas." -- Yang Lu
Photo by Yang Lu (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Secretary Jewell Releases Landscape-Scale Mitigation Strategy to Encourage Dual Objectives of Smart Development and Conservation
Office of the Secretary
Strategy seeks to provide clarity and consistency to more effectively avoid, minimize and compensate for impacts on public lands
Last edited 4/26/2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – To advance landscape-scale, science-based management of America's public lands and wildlife, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today released a strategy to implement mitigation policies and practices at the Department that can more effectively encourage infrastructure development while protecting natural and cultural resources.
“This strategy outlines the key principles and actions we need to take to successfully shift from a reactive, project-by-project approach to more predictable and effective management of the lands and resources that we manage on behalf of the American public,” Secretary Jewell said. “The goal is to provide greater certainty for project developers when it comes to permitting and better outcomes for conservation through more effective and efficient project planning. Through advances in science and technology, advance planning, and collaboration with stakeholders, we know that development and conservation can both benefit – and that's the win-win this mitigation strategy sets out to achieve.”
Under the principles of mitigation, the first priority is to avoid and minimize project impacts through attention to siting and design features during the planning phase. For impacts that cannot be avoided or minimized, the strategy seeks to protect or restore resources of similar function and value with a focus on key conservation priorities in a region, where mitigation investments can have a greater impact. As part of the strategy, Interior will work closely with states, tribes, other federal agencies, and other stakeholders to identify regional conservation priorities that can benefit from coordinated landscape-scale mitigation.
The approach builds on initiatives that have begun across the country to avoid development conflicts and improve conservation outcomes, like the Western Governors' Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (CHAT). The CHAT provides a high-level overview of important wildlife habitat in 16 Western states that will help project proponents during the pre-planning stage and, ultimately, reduce costs, conflicts and surprises during development while ensuring wildlife values are better incorporated into land use decision-making.
“We've seen this common-sense approach evolve over time with increasing success. We need to build on those successes to construct a clear, consistent and effective set of policies for the Department that will allow for the kind of clarity and forward thinking that the American people expect,” added Jewell.
The strategy released today outlines four priority areas of ongoing and future work, including geospatial assessments, landscape-level strategies, compensatory mitigation programs, and monitoring and evaluation. The strategy also identifies near-term actions that the Department will take to put the report's recommendations into practice.
Jewell called for the strategy in her first Secretarial Order in October 2013 (Improving Mitigation Policies and Practices of the Department of the Interior), which directed an evaluation of Interior's existing mitigation policies and practices and development of a coordinated Department-wide strategy to effectively offset impacts of large development projects of all types through the use of landscape-level planning.
The strategy is the result of extensive outreach to industry, states, tribes, conservation groups, and other stakeholders. The effort reflects the Administration's commitment (Presidential Memorandum) to more efficiently permit large infrastructure projects, while achieving improved outcomes for communities and the environment.