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.
Good morning, Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee.My name is George Skibine. I am the Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior (Department).Thank you for the opportunity to provide testimony on behalf of the Department on H.R. 4445, a bill to amend Public Law 95-232 to repeal a restriction on treating as Indian country certain lands held in trust for Indian Pueblos in New Mexico.
H.R. 4445 involves the definition of certain lands already held in trust by the federal government for the benefit of 19 Indian pueblos in New Mexico. The Department acknowledges that Congress is the federal entity that has the authority to repeal the restriction on the trust lands referred to in H.R. 4445.President Obama committed to work with federally recognized Indian tribes on a government-to-government basis on matters that affect such federally recognized Indian tribes.It is in the spirit of this commitment that the Department looks forward to the opportunity to work with members of Congress, the 19 Indian Pueblos in New Mexico, the state of New Mexico and the City of Albuquerque on H.R. 4445.
H.R. 4445 would amend Public Law 95-232 by striking certain language that currently precludes the subject land from being defined as "Indian country" under section 1151 of title 18, United States Code.The Department supports H.R. 4445, provided that the state of New Mexico and the City of Albuquerque concur with the purposes of H.R. 4445, and the with the addition of language clearly stating that the subject lands are "Indian country" for the purposes of section 1151 of title 18 of the United States Code.
Public Law 95-232 was signed into law by former President Jimmy Carter on February 17, 1978, and provided for the conveyance of land to the United States and to be held in trust for the Indian pueblos in New Mexico.The language in Public Law 95-232 states that "such land shall be held in trust jointly for such Indian pueblos and shall enjoy the tax-exempt status of other trust lands, including exemption from State taxation and regulation.However, such property shall not be "Indian country" as defined in section 1151 of title 18, United States Code."If enacted, H.R. 4445 would strike the "However," language in Public Law 95-232, and the Department believes that removing this language would result in the subject property currently held in trust for the Indian pueblos to be defined as "Indian country" under section 1151 of title 18 of the U.S. Code.If the intent of the bill is for the subject property to be considered "Indian country" under section 1151 of title 18 of the U.S. Code, the Department recommends that the bill include such language to ensure that there is no ambiguity as to Congress's intent.
This concludes my prepared statement.I will be happy to answer any questions the Committee may have.