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 Grayford F. Payne, Deputy Commissioner for Policy,
Administration and Budget
Bureau of Reclamation
U.S. Department of the Interior
Before the Subcommittee on Water and Power
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
United States Senate
S. 1224 - Endangered Fish Recovery Programs Improvement Act
June 23, 2011
Madam Chairman and members of the Subcommittee, I am Grayford Payne, Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Administration and Budget at the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation). I am here today to provide the views of the Department of the Interior (Department) on S. 1224: the "Bureau of Reclamation Fish Recovery Programs Reauthorization Act of 2011." The Department strongly supports the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program and San Juan River Recovery Implementation Program and twice testified before the 111th Congress in support of legislation related to S.1224. However, the Department does not support the language of S. 1224 as introduced. We would like to work with the Congress to find a mutually acceptable funding mechanism for this program.
The Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program and San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Program (Programs) share the dual goals of recovering populations of endangered fish while water development continues to meet current and future human needs. Program actions provide Endangered Species Act compliance for more than 2,100 federal, tribal, and non-federal water projects depleting more than 3.7 million acre-feet of water per year in the Colorado and San Juan rivers and their tributaries. The Programs, authorized by Public Law 106-392, as amended, were established under cooperative agreements in 1988 (Upper Colorado) and 1992 (San Juan). Program partners include the states of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming; the Bureau of Reclamation, Western Area Power Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and Bureau of Indian Affairs; Native American tribes; environmental organizations; water users; and power customers.
Public Law 106-392 expressly authorized and capped the use of $6 million per year (indexed for inflation) of Colorado River Storage Project (CRSP) hydropower revenues from Glen Canyon Dam and other CRSP facilities to support the base funding needs of the Programs through 2011. Base funding is used for program management, scientific research, fish population monitoring, fish stocking, control of non-native fish, and operation and maintenance of capital projects. The bill, as introduced, could be interpreted to place the burden of providing annual base funding for anything other than operation and maintenance of capital projects and monitoring on annual appropriations requested by Reclamation. Given Reclamation's extensive water supply, conservation, and mitigation activities, this program would have to compete with other Reclamation priorities for funding.
These Programs have been nationally recognized for their cooperative approach to recovering aquatic native fish species, avoiding litigation, and providing Endangered Species Act compliance to federal and non-federal water users. Should the annual appropriations not materialize, Endangered Species Act compliance for 2,100 water projects and more than 3 million acre-feet of depletions will be in jeopardy. That concludes my written statement. I would be pleased to answer any questions.