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.
The Department of the Interior Property Management Partnership is a professional organization made up of Departmental (Office of Acquisition and Property Management) and bureau officials responsible for the management of real, personal and museum property. The Partnership is created to:
Provide a structure through which bureau officials develop common strategies and agreements to improve systems, operations, services, and information for real, personal and museum property in order to achieve efficiencies and cost effectiveness;
Oversee implementing new processes and procedures, and
Promote the sharing of information and resources
Provide recommendations to the Director, Office of Acquisition and Property Management (PAM) and to appropriate top bureau management.
The Partnership will focus resources at its disposal on improvements that:
Satisfy the customer;
Develop people and expertise for a competent and motivated workforce;
Integrate and streamline business processes and practices; and
Assure proper protection, maintenance, treatment and use of all property.
The Property Management Partnership will consist of one representative from each of the three management areas of real, personal and museum property for each bureau and PAM. The activities of the existing property management committees will be subsumed under the Partnership. Existing property committees (e.g. Property Management Committee and Interior Museum Property Committee) will be reformed as a subcommittee of the Partnership. It will consist of the bureau representatives on the Partnership and such other members as those representatives wish to include. The recommendations of the Partnership will be made to the Director, PAM and to the appropriate top bureau management responsible for real, personal and museum property. Each bureau, the Indian Arts and Crafts Board and PAM has one vote. The Partnership may extend and withdraw the right to vote to other organizational representatives as appropriate. A consensus will be sought on matters that come before the Partnership for decision. If consensus cannot be achieved, a two-thirds vote will be the basis for decision. Recommendations of the Partnership are not binding on bureaus and offices.
A Chairperson and Associate Chairperson will serve for one year, and will be selected from among the Partnership representatives. The Associate Chair will assume the Chair after a one year term of service as Associate. At that time, a new Associate Chair will be elected.
The Partnership recognizes that property management needs to interface with the full range of administrative disciplines: accounting, budget, acquisition, finance, and information resources management. To effectively accomplish its goal, the Partnership will reach out to these disciplines to form expanded Partnership teams to address the overall complex administrative management challenges.
The Partnership will use Project Action Teams (PAT) to address/carry out its initiatives and activities. The bureaus agree to provide the Partnership the resources to carry out the PAT activities. The PATs will be staffed by the bureaus and PAM, and as appropriate POB, PFM and PIR. PAT representatives should have the technical knowledge and expertise to present various positions and requirements (e.g., property managers, system analysts, administrative officers and curators). In general, the PATs will manage the projects (action items) through lead bureaus and will be accountable to the Partnership through their Partnership representatives. Each PAT will select its respective PAT leaders.
Specific responsibility for PAT accomplishments rests with the PAT leader and their respective bureau official on the Partnership. PATs will be formed to meet specific objectives and prepare technical analyses and develop recommendations for presentation to, and consideration by, the full Partnership organization. PATs may also be used to assist in implementing recommendations. All products prepared by the PATs will be submitted to the Partnership Chair for review and decision by the full Partnership.
The Partnership may appoint other special teams, as needed. The Partnership or a Partnership designated official will determine the structure and composition of special teams (e.g. software advisory board).
Roles and Responsibilities
Bureaus The Bureaus may provide the Partnership resources, as available, to carry out its activities and the recommendations of the PATs. Participating organizations will identify Partnership representatives and alternates who will participate in each meeting and who will represent the positions of their respective organizations. Participating bureaus will provide meeting space.
Office of Acquisition and Property Management (PAM) PAM will be a member of the Partnership and participate in Partnership activities including PATs. PAM will also provide timely feedback and facilitate coordination between the Partnership and appropriate top bureau management concerning Partnership recommendations and products.
Other Departmental Offices POB, PFM, PIR, and the procurement and Federal assistance program of the Office of Acquisition and Property Management will participate, when invited, in the Partnership meetings by providing technical and advisory support relative to their functions. Representatives from these organizations will provide updates on issues and problems.
Partnership The Partnership will provide periodic project summaries of Partnership PAT accomplishments to appropriate top bureau management, bureaus and PAM. An annual report of Partnership activities and accomplishments will be submitted to the Director, PAM and to appropriate top bureau management.
Partnership Administration The Chairperson will be responsible for the direction and administration of the Partnership, including:
Developing and maintaining a Management Action Plan for the activities of the PATs;
Coordinating and facilitating the exchange of management information necessary for the Partnership to track each project;
Directing and influencing the activities of the PATs and any special teams, in cooperation with the team leaders and, as appropriate, other Partnerships;
Preparing and distributing periodic reports or summaries of activities;
Representing the Partnership at other Departmental meetings;
Assisting in obtaining the resources necessary to carry out PAT objectives;
Scheduling meetings, developing and distributing agendas, conducting meetings, preparing meeting minutes as appropriate, and distributing meeting minutes to each Partnership representative;
Soliciting comments and recommendations from Partnership representatives; and
Presenting reports and recommendations made by the Partnership to the Director, PAM and to appropriate top bureau management.
Meetings will be held on a regular basis, but at least every other month. The location of the meetings will normally be in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Meetings will be held at field locations when appropriate. PAT and standing sub-committees draft reports will be distributed prior to scheduled meetings.
I concur with the establishment of the Property Management Partnership.