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.
Seasoned backpacker and adventurer Yang Lu earned the grand prize in the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest with this image of a sunburst captured at sunrise in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah. Yang has made the outdoors part of his daily life and finds deep connection to the land through his lens.
“My photography is not just for recreation, it is to inspire people to explore these areas." -- Yang Lu
Photo by Yang Lu (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Thank you for inviting the Department of the Interior to testify on S. 766, the Devil's Staircase Wilderness Act of 2011.The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) supports S. 766 as it applies to lands we manage.
The proposed Devil's Staircase Wilderness, near the coast of southwestern Oregon, is not for the faint of heart.Mostly wild land and difficult to access, the Devil's Staircase reminds us of what much of this land looked like hundreds of years ago.A multi-storied forest of Douglas fir and western hemlock towers over underbrush of giant ferns, providing critical habitat for the threatened Northern Spotted Owl and Marbled Murrelet.The remote and rugged nature of this area provides a truly wild experience for any hiker.
S. 766 proposes to designate over 30,000 acres as wilderness, as well as portions of both Franklin Creek and Wasson Creek as components of the Wild and Scenic Rivers System.The majority of these designations are on lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service.The Department of the Interior defers to the U.S. Department of Agriculture on those designations.
Approximately 6,830 acres of the proposed Devil's Staircase Wilderness and 4.2 miles of the Wasson Creek proposed designation are within lands managed by the BLM.The Department of the Interior supports these designations.
We note that while the vast majority of the acres proposed for designation are Oregon &California (O&C) lands, identified under the 1937 O&C Lands Act for timber production, the BLM currently restricts timber production on these lands.These lands are administratively withdrawn from timber production by the BLM through various administrative classifications.Additionally, the BLM estimates that nearly 90 percent of the area proposed for designation is comprised of forest stands that are over 100 years old, and provides critical habitat for the threatened Marbled Murrelet and Northern Spotted Owl.
The 4.2 miles of Wasson Creek would be designated as a wild river to be managed by the BLM under S. 766.The majority of the acres protected through this designation would be within the proposed Devil's Staircase wilderness designation, though 376 acres would be outside the proposed wilderness on adjacent BLM lands.
The designations identified on BLM-managed lands under S. 766 would result in only minor modification of current management of the area and would preserve these wild lands for future generations.
Thank you for the opportunity to testify in support of these important Oregon designations.The Department of the Interior looks forward to welcoming these units into the BLM's National Landscape Conservation System.