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.
Interior Settles Natural Resource Damage Claims Arising from August 2008 Oil Spill in Wayne County, Illinois
Last edited 4/26/2016
Aerial view of oil spill response operations in August 2008 during the Marathon Pipe Line LLC pipeline crude oil spill in Wayne County, Illinois, showing the affected surrounding habitat. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service worked with Marathon during this emergency response to select the locations of temporary roads and equipment staging areas to avoid harming the endangered Indiana bat and migratory birds. Photo credit: Mike Coffey, FWS.
On February 15, 2012, the U.S., on behalf of the Secretary of the Department of the Interior, settled natural resource damage claims against Marathon Pipe Line LLC for injuries to natural resources and natural resource services caused by an August 10, 2008 crude oil spill from a pipeline near Mount Erie, in Wayne County, Illinois. Department of the Interior, acting through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was the only natural resource trustee involved in this incident. This settlement was embodied in a Consent Decree entered by the U.S. District Court for the District of Southern Illinois, Benton Division.
The oil spill released an estimated 5,000 barrels of crude oil from a subsurface pipeline into the floodplain of Elm Creek. Natural resources injured by the incident include freshwater wetland habitat and the plant and wildlife species using that habitat.
The Consent Decree calls for Marathon Pipe Line LLC to:
Finance and implement the restoration projects as specified in the Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan; and,
Pay $90,629.03 to Department of the Interior for past assessment costs and future costs for oversight and monitoring of restoration projects.
The publicly-reviewed Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan, entitled “Natural Resource Damages Assessment and Restoration Planning (DARP) Report,” has been incorporated in the Consent Decree as Appendix A. The restoration projects to be implemented, beginning this spring, include: restoration of 7.1 acres of palustrine forested wetlands directly impacted by the oil spill; restoration of 14.2 acres of adjacent agricultural fields owned by Marathon Pipe Line LLC; and, installation of two bat houses for endangered Indiana bats and ten nesting boxes for migratory wood ducks.