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.
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FOR VISITOR AND RESOURCE PROTECTION, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE,
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS, FORESTS, AND PUBLIC LANDS
OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES,
CONCERNING H.R. 3265,
TO AUTHORIZE THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR
TO CONDUCT A SPECIAL RESOURCE STUDY
OF THE HARRY S TRUMAN BIRTHPLACE STATE HISTORIC SITE IN LAMAR, MISSOURI
October 30, 2007
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to present the views of the Department of the Interior on H.R. 3265, a bill to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study to determine the suitability and feasibility of including the Harry S Truman Birthplace State Historic Site in Lamar, Missouri, as part of Harry S Truman National Historic Site or as a separate unit of the National Park System.
The Department does not object to the enactment of H.R. 3265. However, we believe that priority should be given to the 35 previously authorized studies for potential units of the National Park System, potential new National Heritage Areas, and potential additions to the National Trails System and National Wild and Scenic River System that have not yet been transmitted to the Congress.
H.R. 3265 authorizes the Secretary to conduct a special resource study of the Harry S Truman Birthplace State Historic Site, which would provide alternatives for the appropriate way to preserve, to protect, and to interpret these sites and resources in consultation with other Federal, State, or local governmental entities, private and nonprofit organizations or any other interested individuals. Those alternatives would examine whether the area could be included as a new unitof the National Park System, as part of the Harry S Truman National Historic Site, or determine if the Federal government is the most appropriate entity to manage the site. The study also would identify the costs associated with the acquisition, development, interpretation, operation, and maintenance associated with the alternatives. Studies of this type take approximately three years to complete after funds are made available. We estimate the cost to complete the study would be approximately $250,000 to $300,000.
President Harry S Truman was born in the small, white frame house in Lamar, Missouri on May 8, 1884. The Truman family lived there until March 3, 1885 and then sold the property and moved to Harrisonville when Harry was approximately 11 months old. The site was purchased by the United Auto Workers of America in 1957 and given to the people of Missouri. The house has been restored and redecorated to reflect the time period when the Trumans occupied the residence. President Truman last visited the site on April 19, 1959, the day the site was dedicated and officially opened to the public. The birthplace is currently a State Historic Site operated and maintained by the Division of Parks and Recreation of the State of Missouri. Besides the house, there is a woodshed, or smokehouse, a hand-dug, 36-foot deep cistern, and a privy in the back on the site. There is also an information station and sales outlet facility at the site.
The Harry S Truman National Historic Site operates two units, the Truman Home in Independence and the Truman Farm Home in Grandview, from the operational center in Independence. The birthplace site in Lamar is approximately 120 miles one way from the national historic site in Independence. Mr. Truman's birth in Lamar is currently being included in interpretive programs at both the Truman Home and the Truman Farm Home as part of the larger Truman story.
That concludes my testimony. I would be happy to answer any questions you or other members of the subcommittee may have.