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.
HANOI, Vietnam – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today concluded an official visit to Vietnam where she met with senior government officials, including Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, to discuss ways the United States and the South Asian country can work together to combat the world’s growing trade in illegal wildlife, which threatens to push to extinction species ranging from elephants and rhinos to marine turtles, tigers and pangolins.
“Both Vietnam and the United States have a role to play in shutting down illegal trade in wildlife, and it is critical that we collaborate in our mutual efforts to crack down on poaching and trafficking by international criminal organizations,” said Jewell. “We had productive meetings and leaders of both nations recognize that we must take swift, effective action if we are going to shut down this trade that threatens to wipe out species around the globe.”
This year marks the 20th anniversary of normalized diplomatic relations between the United States and Vietnam. In addition to Prime Minister Dung, Jewell held meetings with Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen Minh Quang; Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat; and Minister of Public Safety Tran Dai Quang.
Jewell also held a roundtable discussion with NGO leaders on wildlife trafficking and met with members of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative, U.S. President Barack Obama’s signature program to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia. She also visited Cuc Phuong National Park to tour the Endangered Primate Research Center, Pangolin Conservation Program and Turtle Conservation Center.
Jewell will travel to China this week to hold meetings with Chinese officials on wildlife trafficking and also promote efforts to boost Chinese tourism to the United States in anticipation of next year’s Centennial of the National Park System.