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.
Settlements at two different Superfund sites in Connecticut allowed the Department to initiate multiple restoration projects that have led to improvements in fish habitats, streamside habitats, and greater public access. In one case, contaminants from the Yaworski Lagoon Superfund Site near Plainfield, CT, had adversely affected riverine habitat downstream from the Moosup River. At this site, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, working with local partners, utilized a $40,000 settlement to remove an antiquated cast iron pipe that crossed the stream, forming a small dam that blocked upstream and downstream fish passage. The removal of the pipe reconnects more than 5 miles of riverine habitat, benefiting resident fish and other aquatic organisms.
Trustees from the Fish and Wildlife Service also worked with State and local governments and organizations in Connecticut to utilize funds from a settlement with the General Electric Company. The settlement compensates the public for injuries stemming from PCB contamination generated upstream in the Housatonic River watershed near Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The first acquisition, in New Milford, CT, is a 25-acre parcel with over a quarter mile of river frontage. The property will be cleared of invasive plants and become a town park, managed primarily for wildlife habitat and wildlife viewing, as well as flood control. The property contains a floodplain forest and intermittently flooded grasslands, which will also serve as an outdoor classroom for schools and Scout groups. The second acquisition area encompasses 3.5 acres along the banks of the Naugatuck River, a tributary to the Housatonic. Residents of the town of Harwinton overwhelmingly supported the purchase of this riverfront property that was the historic site of early water-powered business development in the region. The property will be managed locally for public fishing access.