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.
Statement of David Murillo, Deputy Commissioner, Operations
Bureau of Reclamation
U.S. Department of the Interior
Committee on Natural Resources
Subcommittee on Water and Power
United States House of Representatives
May 12, 2011
Chairman McClintock and Members of the Subcommittee, I am David Murillo, Deputy Commissioner of Operations of the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation). Thank you for the opportunity to provide the views of the U.S. Department of the Interior (Department) on H.R. 489, legislation specific to lands underlying the C.C. Cragin Dam, Reservoir and utility corridor (C.C. Cragin project) in Arizona. The legislation seeks to clarify federal jurisdiction with respect to the C.C. Cragin project, which includes a dam, reservoir, and 11.5-mile utility corridor containing a transmission line and high-pressure pipeline. The project is located nearly entirely within the Coconino National Forest in north-central Arizona.
Language included in the Arizona Water Settlements Act (AWSA, Public Law 108-451) created questions about the respective jurisdiction of the U.S. Forest Service (Forest Service) and Reclamation related to the C.C. Cragin project. We have come to an agreement that we think can resolve this issue. This legislation is consistent with that arrangement. We look forward to continue working with the Committee on reaching a resolution.
Reclamation and the Forest Service worked closely with the Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District (SRP), the entity that operates and maintains the C.C. Cragin project under the AWSA, and reached agreement in mid-2010 on legislation to clarify jurisdiction of the Federal agencies. The legislation, S. 1080, was considered during the 2ndsession of the 111thCongress. The bill was not enacted during the last Congress, but both H.R. 489 and its companion bill, S. 201, contain the same provisions as S. 1080, as reported.
This legislation accommodates the needs of Reclamation and SRP by ceding exclusive administrative jurisdiction over the lands underlying the C.C. Cragin project to Reclamation and by expressly acknowledging SRP's responsibility for operating and maintaining the C.C. Cragin project pursuant to the AWSA and the 1917 agreement between the Department and SRP. This is a unique situation due to the AWSA. In addition, this approach accommodates the Forest Service by allowing the agency to manage the lands underlying the utility corridor with respect to recreation, wildfire, law enforcement, and other activities consistent with the Forest Service's authorities, responsibilities, and expertise; the AWSA; the 1917 agreement; and the existing right-of-way over the utility corridor held by another party. This approach would allow for integrated management of tens of thousands of acres of ecosystems across National Forest System lands underlying and adjacent to the C.C. Cragin project, including watershed, wildlife habitat, range, and vegetation management. H.R. 489 allows for a workable agreement for both day-to-day activities and other activities that will improve the management and safety of the covered land. The Administration believes that this legislation provides a sound approach for future management of the C.C. Cragin project. Both Reclamation and the Forest Service are committed to working diligently with SRP to ensure needed work for the C.C. Cragin project can be accomplished expeditiously, including any necessary emergency and non-emergency repairs and replacement of improvements, in full compliance with applicable law, including the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act, as provided in the AWSA.
Reclamation's long-standing experience working with SRP over nearly a century has been very productive. SRP has proven to be a responsible and reliable operator and caretaker of U.S. interests and resources. Reclamation and SRP have nearly a century of responsible stewardship in regard to both the technical operation of dams and reservoirs and protection of natural resources. It is our hope that combining that history with the Forest Service's land management authorities and expertise would result in even more effective stewardship.
This concludes my testimony. I will be pleased to answer any questions.