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 NRDA Restoration Program funds a portion of damage assessment cases undertaken. The funding for these cases comes from annual appropriations and from reimbursed costs recovered from responsible parties in other settled cases. In addition to the appropriated funding for damage assessment, the Program utilizes an average of $2.0 million annually in recovered funds to initiate new and supplement ongoing assessment needs. Co-Trustees (other federal agencies, states, Indian tribes or foreign governments), potentially responsible parties and the National Pollution Funds Center can also provide funding.
Once projects are funded, the NRDA Retoration Program makes use of project performance information to inform future funding decisions. Funding decisions are weighted towards cases that show progress along the damage assessment continuum towards settlement and eventual restoration. Cases that stall or fail to progress are considered a lesser priority, but are given direction to make course corrections at a stable or reduced funding level. The Program requires its case teams to document their respective assessment costs and attempt to recover those costs from the potentially responsible parties when negotiating settlements.