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.
ACTING ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, BUSINESS SERVICES, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE,
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS
OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES,
REGARDING S. 2329 AND H.R. 2627, BILLS TO ESTABLISH
THE THOMAS EDISON NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK
IN THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY
AS THE SUCCESSOR TO THE EDISON NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE.
April 9, 2008
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you to present the views of the Department of the Interior on S. 2329 and H.R. 2627, bills to establish the Thomas Edison National Historical Park as the successor to the Edison National Historic Site.
The Department supports enactment of these bills.
Thomas Alva Edison was a prodigious inventor who revolutionized how the Nation communicated, harnessed and distributed power, and translated pure technology into commercial products. Edison National Historic Site, located in West Orange, New Jersey, was Thomas Edison's second research and development facility. After closing his first operation in Menlo Park, Edison established the West Orange laboratory in 1887. The hub of Edison's manufacturing operations until his death in 1931, the laboratory was the most productive of all in terms of sheer quantity of inventions. In fact, more than half of Edison's 1,093 U.S. patents were developed at this location including his improved phonograph, the nickel-iron-alkaline battery, and a fluoroscope used in the first x-ray operation in America. It was here, too, that Edison established his motion picture studio, the "Black Maria", in 1893.
In 1962, Congress designated the Edison Laboratory National Monument and Edison Home National Historic Site as the Edison National Historic Site. Glenmont, the home Edison purchased in 1886, and lived in with his second wife, Mina Miller Edison, is located in nearby Llewellyn Park. The 29-room mansion is built of wood, brick and stone and typifies the eclectic Queen Anne style popular in the 1880s and 1890s. Both Edison and his second wife are buried behind Glenmont.
S. 2329 and H.R. 2627 would redesignate the Edison National Historic Site as the Thomas Edison National Historical Park. We believe this redesignation to be appropriate for two main reasons. First, the term "National Historical Park" generally applies to parks that extend beyond single properties or buildings. This unit of the National Park System includes both the laboratory in West Orange and the separate home established by Edison in nearby Llewellyn Park, one mile away. They are two distinct units with different interpretive themes, resource management issues, and operational challenges.
Second, with completion of the current rehabilitation project at the laboratory complex, the unit's complexity will increase and the term "National Historic Site" no longer adequately reflects the nature of the various themes that will be interpreted to serve the expected increase in visitation. Educational and interpretive programs linking the laboratory and the Edison home will become more sophisticated and are better represented by the term "National Historical Park" to reflect these non-contiguous parcels with a shared link to Thomas Edison.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my statement and I will be happy to answer any questions that you or members of the Committee may have.