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 by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on the Sage-Grouse Rider in the FY15 Omnibus Bill
Last edited 4/26/2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell issued a statement regarding a rider in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015 affecting potential Endangered Species Act listing decisions for sage-grouse.
The rider prohibits the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from writing and issuing rules related to sage-grouse. For example, the language impedes the Fish and Wildlife Service's ability to finalize a 4(d) rule related to the Gunnison Sage-Grouse in Colorado, which was listed as threatened earlier this year. The consequence of this rider is that it prevents the Service from finalizing a rule that would provide certainty to landowners, giving them assurance that they can continue economic activities compatible with the conservation of the species, such as properly managed livestock and ranching activities.
It has no effect on ongoing efforts to develop and implement federal and state plans that conserve sagebrush habitat or to completing the requisite analysis for potential rulemaking.
Statement from Secretary Jewell:
“The Obama Administration is still moving full steam ahead, and will continue to work with urgency alongside our federal, state and local partners to put conservation measures in place to protect important sagebrush habitat and avert the need to list the greater sage-grouse. The rider has no effect on our efforts to develop and implement state and federal plans and to build partnerships to incentivize conservation.
“The Omnibus continues funding for Interior and USDA to conserve sagebrush habitat and to advance the unprecedented collaboration happening across 11 Western states. The Fish and Wildlife Service will continue to collect data and conduct analysis, and the agency will reach a decision as to whether listing is warranted or not.
“It's disappointing that some Members of Congress are more interested in political posturing than finding solutions to conserve the sagebrush landscape and the Western way of life. Rather than helping the communities they profess to benefit, these members will only create uncertainty, encourage conflict and undermine the unprecedented progress that is happening throughout the West.
“We are more determined than ever to work with the states, ranchers, energy developers and other stakeholders who are putting effective conservation measures in place with the shared goal of reaching a ‘not warranted' determination by the end of the fiscal year.”