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.
Trustees Settle Natural Resource Damage Claims at 3 Mining Sites in Grant County, New Mexico
Last edited 4/26/2016
The Santa Rita open pit at the Chino Mine site in Grant County, New Mexico, is one of the largest copper mines in the world. This mining site is one of the three mines in southwestern New Mexico subject to the settlement agreement. Photo credit: Russ MacRae, FWS.
On February 21, 2012 the State of New Mexico and the Department of the Interior, acting through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in their role as natural resource trustees, settled natural resource damage claims against Freeport-McMoRan Corp. and four subsidiaries. The settlement, embodied in a Consent Decree entered by the Federal District Court of New Mexico, resolves claims against the companies arising from the release of hazardous substances – such as lead, arsenic and sulfuric acid – at 3 mining sites in New Mexico. These mining sites are the Chino, Cobre and Tyrone mines in Grant County, in the southwestern corner of the State.
The natural resource trustees determined that hazardous substances released from the mining sites caused injuries to groundwater, surface water, sediments, soils, terrestrial habitats, terrestrial receptors and migratory birds,
The settlement calls for Freeport-McMoRan to:
Pay $5,500,000 in natural resource damages;
Pay $59,750.99 for past assessment costs; and,
Convey the deed to 715 acres of land south of City of Rocks, New Mexico, currently owned by Freeport McMoRan Chino Mines Co., to the State of New Mexico.
The transferred land, which is adjacent to City of Rocks State Park in the Mimbres Valley, will be managed for conservation by New Mexico State Parks Division. The land is representative of high Chihuahuan desert grassland habitat.
The State of New Mexico, as the sole trustee for groundwater, separately reached a $13 million settlement with Freeport-McMoRan for injured groundwater at the mining sites on February 11, 2011.
The natural resource trustees will now develop a Draft Restoration Plan which will propose various restoration projects to be funded by the settlement. This Draft Restoration Plan will be made available for public review and comment in the near future.