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.
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, I am Kris Polly, Deputy Commissioner at the Bureau of Reclamation. I am pleased to be here today to give the Department's views on HR 786, the Los Angeles County Water Supply Augmentation Demonstration Project. The Department does not support this legislation. It is not necessary to specifically authorize a demonstration project under Title XVI of P.L. 102-575, as amended, since Section 1605 already provides authority to participate in demonstration projects. We are already implementing this proposed project using funds appropriated in FY 2008.
The project that HR 786 would involve infiltration of storm water runoff to recharge the groundwater basin in the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Watersheds. The project consists of a neighborhood demonstration project that would demonstrate the potential for infiltration of storm water runoff to recharge groundwater by retrofitting one or more sites in the Los Angeles Area with state-of-the-art best management practices and perform pre-development and post-development monitoring to assess the resulting potential new water supply.
This project was jointly developed by the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council, City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Water Replenishment District of Southern California, City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation, and the City of Santa Monica Environmental Programs Division, with technical input from Reclamation. Project benefits include local drought protection, water quality improvements and reduced dependence on imported water.
HR 786 would authorize Reclamation to participate in planning, design, construction and assessment of a demonstration project. The legislation does not specify an authorization of appropriations amount, but provides that the Federal share should not exceed 25 percent of project costs. However, since Section 1605 of Title XVI already authorizes the Secretary to construct, operate, and maintain demonstration projects, and since Congress has appropriated $492,000 for this demonstration project in Fiscal Year 2008, Reclamation has already initiated participation in this project. Because of other priorities in the President's Budget, we have not included funding for this project in our FY 2009 budget.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my testimony. Thank you for the opportunity to comment on HR 786. I would be happy to answer any questions at this time.