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.
FROM: Carolyn M. Burrell, Assistant Director Complaints Processing and Adjudication
SUBJECT: Transmittal of Files to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for Hearings
It has recently come to our attention that since the Bureaus have begun transmitting complaint files for hearing to the Administrative Judges (AJ's) in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions (EEOCs) field offices, the AJ's have been sending their findings and conclusions (decisions) and case files (in some instances) to the Bureaus. Decisions have been sent to both the headquarters and field offices of Department of the Interior (DOT) bureaus. In some cases, upon receipt of such, the bureaus have neither notified the Office for Equal Opportunity (OEO) of having received the AJs decisions, nor, transmitted the decisions and files to us for preparation of the Final Agency Decision (FAD). This has resulted in the Office for Equal Opportunity, oftentimes, not being aware that decisions had been issued by the AJ, and, therefore, not issuing the FAD in a timely manner. Several times recently, we have only become aware that an AJs decision had been issued upon receipt of notification of a complainants appeal from EEOC.
From a regulatory standpoint, the Director, OEO has 40 days after receipt of the AJs decision in OEO to issue a final decision. In cases where an appeal has been filed and we become aware that a decision was issued by the AJ without benefit of one being issued by the Director, OEO, we must prepare the FAD while also preparing the Departments comments on the appeal brief.
In order to avoid this happening in the future; effective upon receipt of this Directive, we are requesting that you place the following language in your letters to the EEOC transmitting case files for hearing:
Upon completion of the hearing, please transmit the Findings and Conclusions and the hearing transcript to:
Ms. E. Melodee Stith
Director, Office for Equal Opportunity
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20240
Finally, because EEOC field offices do not always return the complaint files to DOI along with the decisions, please provide OEO with a copy of the Report of Investigation and complaint (correspondence) file concurrent with their being submitted to EEOC and the Solicitors office for hearing. This will avoid our having to delay submission of our comments on appeals to EEOC because we did not have the accompanying files to send. As we have indicated to you previously, the EEOC is no longer accepting written comments from OEO on appeals without the complaint files.
Please share the information in this Directive with equal opportunity officials in your field organizations who have responsibility for processing formal complaints of discrimination.
DISTRIBUTION: Bureau and Office Equal Opportunity Managers
INQUIRIES: Carolyn M. Burrell, Assistant Director, Complaints Processing and Adjudication, (202) 208-3442