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.
The Riverside-Corona Feeder Water Supply Act of 2007
February 28, 2008
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, I am Robert J. Quint, Director of Operations, Bureau of Reclamation. I am pleased to be here today to present the views of the Department of the Interior on S. 1474, a bill to authorize a water supply project in Southern California. For reasons described below, the Department does not support S. 1474.
This bill would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to participate with the Western Municipal Water District in the planning, design, and construction of a water supply project known as the Riverside-Corona Feeder. It provides for Federal funding for this project of not more than 25 percent of the total project cost (including funding for planning studies), not to exceed $50 million.
This project would withdraw water from San Bernardino Valley groundwater aquifers that are replenished during wet years from local runoff, regulated releases from Seven Oaks Reservoir, and water from the State Water Project. It would consist of a number of wells and connecting pipelines, which would deliver up to 40,000 acre-feet of water annually to communities in western Riverside County. Project benefits include local drought protection, better groundwater management, and reduced dependence on imported water.
The economic and efficient use of water is a priority for the Department of Interior. The Department strongly encourages local water supply efforts.
Mr. Chairman, while the Department encourages the type of resourceful utilization of local water supplies this bill calls for and the potential for reducing the use of imported supplies from the Colorado River and the California Bay-Delta we do not support S. 1474. We understand that feasibility level studies have not yet been completed for this project. Without a proper analysis that adheres to the "Economic and Environmental Principles and Guidelines for Water and Related Land Resources Implementation Studies," and which otherwise meets appropriate Federal guidelines for consideration of project authorization, we cannot support Reclamation's participation in design and construction activities.
Reclamation is currently in consultation with the Western Municipal Water District on the project and providing them guidance on their feasibility analysis and the appropriate level of NEPA compliance that will be needed. In FY 2008 Congress appropriated additional planning funds beyond Reclamation's FY2008 request for continued involvement with the Western Municipal Water District as they finalize their feasibility work. Nevertheless, the Department believes that enactment of this legislation authorizing a new construction project places an additional burden on Reclamation, and could delay the completion of other currently authorized projects. Reclamation must prioritize and allocate funds to projects and programs based on objective and performance-based criteria to most effectively implement Reclamation's programs and its management responsibilities for the water and power infrastructure in the West.
Thank you for the opportunity to convey our concerns on this legislation, and I would be pleased to answer any questions.