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.
HR 3222-National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Bills
STATEMENT OF PEGGY O'DELL, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS, FORESTS AND PUBLIC LANDS OF THE COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES CONCERNING H.R. 3222, A BILL TO DESIGNATE CERTAIN NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM LAND IN OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK AS WILDERNESS OR POTENTIAL WILDERNESS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
December 2, 2011
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to present the Department of the Interior's views on H.R. 3222, a bill to designate certain National Park System land in Olympic National Park as wilderness or potential wilderness, and for other purposes.
The Department supports H.R. 3222.The legislation would designate approximately 4,100 acres of land currently within the boundary of Olympic National Park as additions to the existing Olympic Wilderness.It would also designate approximately 11 acres as potential wilderness.
On October 5, 2011, the Committee on Natural Resources reported H.R. 1162, a bill to provide the Quileute Indian Tribe tsunami and flood protection, with an amendment that deleted the wilderness designation section of the legislation.The wilderness designation proposed by H.R. 3222 is the same wilderness designation that was originally found in H.R. 1162.While the Department is very supportive of the need for providing the Quileute Tribe with land to relocate its housing, offices, and school outside of the tsunami and flood zones, the deletion of the wilderness provisions of the carefully balanced agreement in H.R. 1162 was unfortunate.
On September 15, 2011, the Department expressed its support for H.R. 1162 at a Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands hearing.We noted that the Olympic National Park lands to be transferred to the Tribe are 275 acres of elevated "uplands", of which approximately 220 acres are designated as wilderness, and are located in the park but adjacent to the current reservation's southern boundary.The lands would be transferred in trust to the United States for the benefit of the Quileute Tribe and the boundaries of the reservation and the park would be changed to accommodate the transfer.This transferred upland tract would allow for relocation of tribal buildings outside of the tsunami and flood zones.However, this loss of prime wilderness land was to have been offset by the designation of other lands as wilderness in an agreement among all involved parties including the tribe.
H.R. 3222 would designate approximately 4,100 acres along Lake Crescent as wilderness.The wilderness boundary along the lake would be set back a sufficient distance to allow management of the historic World War I Spruce Railroad grade as the Olympic Discovery Trail, and to allow for operation and maintenance of the existing county road.Another parcel of approximately 11 acres in Boulder Creek would be designated as potential wilderness.When conditions in the Boulder Creek Addition are no longer incompatible with the Wilderness Act, and notification of such has been published in the Federal Register, the potential wilderness will become designated wilderness.The Department agrees that tsunami and flood protection for the Quileute tribe is an important goal, as is resolution of its long-standing boundary concerns.Wilderness protection is also an important goal.This bill, together with H.R. 1162, represents an appropriate way to accomplish these objectives.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my statement.I would be pleased to respond to any questions you or the other members of the subcommittee may have.