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.
Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDA Restoration) is the process used to determine whether public natural resources have been injured, destroyed, or lost as a result of a release of hazardous substances or oil and to identify actions and funds needed to restore such resources. NRDAR is authorized by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA). These statutes designate Federal, State and Tribal government officials to act as ‘trustees” on behalf of the public to recover damages from responsible parties to restore injured, destroyed, or lost natural resources. Damages can include money for trustee implementation of restoration actions and/or actual work undertaken by responsible parties with trustee oversight.
Every action the NRDA Restoration Program carries out is done with the goal of restoration in mind. The eventual restoration of injured natural resources drives the damage assessment process and provides the basis for the damage claim. Over ninety percent of all funds received from natural resource damage case settlements and judicial agreements are designated as restoration funds. After the development of a publicly-reviewed restoration plan, the Program and co-trustees implement restoration projects, often in partnership with non-governmental groups, local governments, or even the responsible party. Through these actions, injured natural resources and the services they provide are restored at the expense of the responsible party, not the taxpaying public.