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.
Seasoned backpacker and adventurer Yang Lu earned the grand prize in the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest with this image of a sunburst captured at sunrise in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah. Yang has made the outdoors part of his daily life and finds deep connection to the land through his lens.
“My photography is not just for recreation, it is to inspire people to explore these areas." -- Yang Lu
Photo by Yang Lu (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Madam Chairwoman and Members of the Subcommittee, I am Kira Finkler, Deputy Commissioner for External and Intergovernmental Affairs at the Bureau of Reclamation.I am pleased to provide the views of the Department of the Interior (Department) on H.R. 325, the Avra/Black Wash Reclamation and Riparian Restoration Project Act.For reasons I will discuss below, the Administration cannot support the bill.
H.R. 325 would amend the Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act (Public Law 102-575, 43 U.S.C. 390h et seq.), commonly called Title XVI, to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to participate in the design, planning, and construction of permanent facilities needed to reclaim, reuse, and treat groundwater and wastewater in the Black Wash Sonoran Desert ecosystem, west of the metropolitan Tucson area in Arizona.The project is being implemented by Pima County.
Pima County is expanding the 1.5 million gallon per day (mgd) wastewater treatment facility to a capacity of 5 mgd.Currently, treated effluent is not reused.The proposed project would provide tertiary treatment and establish procedures to recharge the reclaimed water in ponds and the Black Wash.The treated effluent that was previously evaporated would instead recharge the aquifer, and state law would allow this recharge to be measured and stored as credits to be pumped at a later date.By recharging the water in the channel of Black Wash, riparian and wildlife habitat will be created, preserved and protected.The project includes plans to provide baseline ecological reconnaissance for monitoring of diversity and ecological health of the site.
Reclamation has been working with Pima County to review the technical, regulatory and contractual issues involved in the project but discussions have been preliminary.To date, the steps necessary to prepare a feasibility report that meet the requirements for feasibility of a Title XVI project have only briefly been discussed.Because the technical studies are not complete, the feasibility, environmental impacts and cost effectiveness for this project cannot be determined.
H.R. 325 would authorize the project under Title XVI for Federal funding not to exceed 25 percent of the total project cost or $14 million, whichever is less.
As part of this total, the Department is requesting $20 million for Title XVI projects to be selected using criteria to identify activities most closely aligned with Title XVI statutory and program goals.On March 15, 2010, Reclamation posted an announcement inviting comment on draft funding criteria for Title XVI projects.After these criteria are finalized with comments received up through April 16, Reclamation will review and rank Title XVI project proposals received based on those criteria subject to appropriations in fiscal year 2011.
Separately, in July of 2009, the Department announced the allocation of approximately $135 million in grants for specific authorized Title XVI projects using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or ARRA.We recognize that water reuse is an essential tool in stretching the limited water supplies in the West, and I believe the FY 2011 Budget request on top of the ARRA funding has demonstrated the emphasis placed by this Administration on this Program.However, given that there are 53 already authorized Title XVI projects and numerous competing mission priorities and demands on Reclamation's budget, the Department cannot support the authorization of new Title XVI projects or extensions of existing authorized cost ceilings at this time.
Reclamation will, however, continue to work with project proponents to evaluate the completeness of feasibility studies of their projects.
Madam Chairwoman, this concludes my testimony.Thank you for the opportunity to comment on H.R. 325.I would be pleased to answer any questions at this time.