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 STEVEN E. WHITESELL, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FOR PARK PLANNING, FACILITIES, AND LANDS, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS, COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, CONCERNING S.779, A BILL TO AUTHORIZE THE ACQUISITION AND PROTECTION OF NATIONALLY SIGNIFICANT BATTLEFIELDS AND ASSOCIATED SITES OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR AND THE WAR OF 1812 UNDER THE AMERICAN BATTLEFIELD PROTECTION PROGRAM
May 11, 2011
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to present the views of the Department of the Interior on S. 779, to authorize the acquisition and protection of nationally significant battlefields and associated sites of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 under the American Battlefield Protection Program.
The Department supports S. 779. This legislation would expand the American Battlefield Protection Program to include both the War of 1812 and Revolutionary War battlefields in addition to Civil War battlefields, which are covered under the current program. It would authorize $10 million in grants for Revolutionary War and War of 1812 battlefield sites, as well as $10 million in grants for Civil War battlefield sites, for each of fiscal years 2012 through 2022. The American Battlefield Protection Program is currently authorized through fiscal 2013.
In March 2008, the National Park Service transmitted the Report to Congress on the Historic Preservation of Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 Sites in the United States, which identified and determined the relative significance of sites related to the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.The study assessed the short and long-term threats to the sites.Following the success of the 1993 Civil War Sites Advisory Commission Report on the Nation's Civil War Battlefields, this study similarly provides alternatives for the preservation and interpretation of the sites by Federal, State, and local governments or other public or private entities.
The direction from Congress for the study was the same as for a Civil War sites study of the early 1990s.As authorized by Congress for this study, the National Park Service looked at sites and structures that are thematically tied with the nationally significant events that occurred during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.The result was a more thorough survey that represents twice the field effort undertaken for the Civil War study.
Building upon this study, S. 779 would create a matching grant program for Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 sites that closely mirrors a very successful matching grant program for Civil War sites.The Civil War acquisition grant program was first authorized by Congress in the Civil War Battlefield Protection Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-359), and was reauthorized through FY 2013 by the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-11).That grant fund has been tremendously successful in allowing local preservation efforts to permanently preserve Civil War battlefield land with a minimum of Federal assistance.
With the release of the Report to Congress on the Historic Preservation of Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 Sites in the United States, communities interested in preserving their Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 sites can take the first steps similar to what the Civil War advocates began doing nearly two decades ago.If established, this new grant program can complement the existing grant program for Civil War battlefields and, in doing so, become a benefit to the American people by providing for the preservation and protection of a greater number of sites from the Revolutionary War and War 1812. All funds would be subject to NPS priorities and the availability of appropriations.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my testimony.I would be pleased to respond to any questions from you and members of the committee.