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 HERBERT FROST, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, NATURAL RESOURCE STEWARDSHIP AND SCIENCE, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS OF THE SENATE ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE, CONCERNING S. 2273, TO DESIGNATE THE TALKEETNA RANGER STATION IN TALKEETNA, ALASKA AS THE WALTER HARPER TALKEETNA RANGER STATION.
JUNE 27, 2012
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to testify on S. 2273, which would designate the Talkeetna Ranger Station in Talkeetna, Alaska, as the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station.
As the 100th anniversary of the 1913 summit climb of Walter Harper approaches, the National Park Service has no objection to S. 2273, which would name the Denali National Park and Preserve's South District Ranger Station in Talkeetna, Alaska, as the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station.
Mr. Harper grew up in Alaska, a child of Arthur Harper, a Scottish trader and prospector, and Jennie Harper, an Athabascan Indian from the Koyukuk region. As a young man, he served as an interpreter and guide for the far-flung ministry of Hudson Stuck, an Episcopal archdeacon.
He joined Stuck on an arduous trip in 1913 to reach the summit of North America's highest peak. For nearly three months, the group moved slowly south from Fairbanks and into the high mountains of the Alaska Range. On June 7, 1913, Walter Harper, 21, became the first man to set foot on the summit of Denali, the Athabascan name for the peak, meaning the High One.The archdeacon's journal described their approach: "With keen excitement we pushed on. Walter, who had been in the lead all day, was the first to scramble up; a Native Alaskan, he is the first human being to set foot upon the top of Alaska's greatest mountain, and he had well earned the honor."
Since 1913, thousands of climbers have aimed for the summit. Unlike Mr. Harper, today the vast majority begin their expeditions with an airplane ride out of Talkeetna on the south side of the Alaska Range. The National Park Service ranger station there serves as an orientation center for climbers and other visitors to the Denali region. The community is proud of its varied history as a railroad town, a jumping off point for miners, and in the past several decades as the take-off point for climbing expeditions.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my testimony, and I would be happy to answer any questions you or other members may have.