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 DANIEL N. WENK, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS, SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, CONCERNING H.R. 1047, A BILL TO AUTHORIZE THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR TO CONDUCT A STUDY TO DETERMINE THE SUITABILITY AND FEASIBILITY OF DESIGNATING THE SOLDIERS' MEMORIAL MILITARY MUSEUM LOCATED IN ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, AS A UNIT OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM
April 26, 2007
Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to present the Department of the Interior's views on H.R. 1047, a bill to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study to determine the suitability and feasibility of designating the Soldiers' Memorial Military Museum located in St. Louis, Missouri, as a unit of the National Park System.
The Department opposes H.R. 1047, which is identical to legislation the Department opposed in the 109th Congress. While it is an architecturally beautiful structure, the St. Louis Soldiers' Memorial (Memorial) is not distinguished beyond that of many other war memorials in cities all over the United States. The Memorial is currently listed as eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, but at this time has not been nominated. Therefore, it is not known whether it meets the criteria for national significance, which is the minimum standard a memorial must meet for inclusion in the National Park System. Finally, in a time of tight budgets and a refocusing on the core mission of the National Park Service, we believe that funding should be directed toward completing previously authorized studies.
The Soldiers' Memorial is a tribute to and a cultural resource center for all veterans located in the greater St. Louis area, including southern Illinois. In 1923, the residents of St. Louis voted to purchase a memorial plaza and construct a memorial to commemorate the citizens of St. Louis who lost their lives in World War I. A seven-block site was purchased and the construction of the Soldiers' Memorial began on October 21, 1935. President Franklin D. Roosevelt officially dedicated the site on October 14, 1936 and the building was opened to the public on Memorial Day in 1938. H.R. 1047 would authorize a study of the Soldiers' Memorial Military Museum at 1315 Chestnut Street in the greater St. Louis area to determine its eligibility to become a unit of the National Park System. The study would be conducted in accordance with the criteria contained in Section 8(c) of Public Law 91-383 (16 U.S.C. 1a-5(c)).
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my prepared testimony. I would be pleased to answer any questions you or the subcommittee may have.