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.
Indian Land Trusts, Environmental Scholarship: HR 2040
Statement ofGeorge Skibine
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development
for Indian Affairs
United States Department of the Interior
At the Hearing before the House Committee on Natural Resources on
"To authorize a process by which the Secretary of the Interior
shall process acquisitions of certain real property
of the Samish Nation into trust,
and for other purposes."
June 3, 2009
Good morning Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee.My name is George Skibine, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development for Indian Affairs.I am pleased to be here to present the Administration's views on H.R. 2040, a bill to authorize a process by which the Secretary of the Interior shall process acquisitions of certain real property of the Samish Indian Tribe into trust, and for other purposes.
Currently, the Department manages approximately 56 million acres of land held in trust.Over 11 million acres belongto individual Indians and nearly 45 million acres are held in trust for Indian Tribes.On these lands, Interior manages over 100,000 leases for individual Indians and Tribes.
The Department opposes H. R. 2040, which would provide the Secretary of the Interior authority to treat any acquisition application by the Samish Indian Tribe within the area described in Section 1 (b) as an on-reservation application under 25 CFR 151.We do not see any justification to exempt these off-reservation parcels from the requirements of 25 CFR 151.11 (which applies to off-reservation lands).The major difference between the regulatory provision applying to on-reservation acquisitions (25 CFR 151.10) and the provision applying to off-reservation acquisitions (25 CFR 151.11) is the weight given to the concerns of off-reservation local communities.In our view, the concerns of non-Indian communities that may be affected by off-reservation trust acquisitions are an important criterion in the Secretary's discretionary decision of whether to acquire off-reservation land into trust, and it should be preserved.
We did note in the bill that the Samish Tribe is also referred to as the "Samish Indian Nation".For purposes of clarity and consistency, we suggest that if the bill were to move forward that it should be amended to refer to the Tribe as the "Samish Indian Tribe, Washington" as it is referred to in the current list of federally recognized Indian tribes.73Fed. Reg. 18,553 (Apr. 4, 2008).
This concludes my prepared statement, I will be happy to respond to any questions you may have.