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.
Enhancing Quality Assurance in the Award and Administration of Financial Assistance Transactions
December 28, 2006
Financial Assistance Communication Liaison Policy Release: 2007 - 1
To: Financial Assistance Communication Liaisons
Subject: Enhancing Quality Assurance in the Award and Administration of Financial Assistance Transactions
The purpose of this policy issuance is to provide bureau/office financial assistance programs with additional quality assurance tools for immediate use, and to reiterate the requirements found in Part 505, Section 2 of the Departmental Manual (DM) regarding:
selection of the appropriate award instrument, i.e., grant, contract, or cooperative agreement;
the need for clear legal authority for entering into financial assistance agreements; and
increased competition, where appropriate, and transparency in all financial assistance transactions.
For the purpose of this policy, financial assistance awards are defined as grants and cooperative agreements.
In an effort to ensure that Department of the Interior financial assistance awards are made in accordance with Office of Management and Budget policy and 505 Departmental Manual (DM) requirements, all financial assistance awards must include a completed Financial Assistance Agreement Review Sheet (attached). This checklist must also be used in the conduct of management reviews of financial assistance transactions. A copy of the checklist was also provided to bureaus/offices with the December 5, 2006, Fiscal Year 2007 Internal Control/Departmental Functional Review Guidance for Acquisition, Financial Assistance, and Property Management.
In completing the checklist, financial assistance officials must ensure that they address the applicability and extent of competition for each transaction awarded.
A flowchart mapping the process bureaus offices should use when determining proper award instrument selection is also attached for immediate use and reference.
Please contact Kate Oliver of my staff at 202-208-3345 if you have any additional questions.
Debra E. Sonderman, Director Office of Acquisition and Property Management