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 U.S. Department of the Interior's (DOI) Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Program (NRDA Restoration Program) manages the confluence of the technical, ecological, biological, legal, and economic disciplines and coordinates the efforts of six bureaus and four other offices within DOI to accomplish the mission. The NRDA Restoration Program has a nationwide presence encompassing nearly the full span of natural and cultural resources for which the Secretary of the Interior has trust responsibility and authority.
Each bureau has its unique natural resource trusteeship and brings its expertise to bear on relevant sites. The NRDA Restoration Program is a truly integrated Department-wide program, drawing upon the interdisciplinary strengths of its various bureaus and offices. The five bureaus with Natural resource trust responsibilities include:
The Bureau of Indian Affairs administers and manages over 55 million acres of surface land 57 million acres of subsurface mineral estate held in trust by the United States for American Indians, Indian Tribes, and Alaska Natives and provides assistance to 565 federally recognized tribal governments to help protect water, natural and cultural resources, and land rights.
The Bureau of Land Management administers 245 million acres of surface land and 700 million acres of subsurface mineral estate, located primarily in 12 western states, sustaining the health, diversity, and productivity of these public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.
The Bureau of Reclamation working primarily in the 17 Western States, manages nearly 7.1 million acres of land and easements associated with water reclamation projects to protect local economies by providing electrical power and irrigation water and preserving natural resources and ecosystems through the management and effective use of water resources.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conserves, protects, and enhances fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats and manages the 150-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System for the continuing benefit of the American public, providing trusteeship for migratory birds, anadromous fish, certain marine mammals and most threatened and endangered species.
The National Park Service preserves the unimpaired natural and cultural resources and values of the 84-million-acre national park system and conserves the scenery, natural and historic objects, and wildlife of the park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of current and future generations.
In addition to the five trustee bureaus above, other bureaus and offices within the DOI play key roles in making the NRDA Restoration Program a fully integrated DOI program. The Office of Policy Analysis provides economic analytical expertise to the NRDA Restoration Program at both the national policy and the individual case management levels. The Office of the Solicitor provides legal advice and counsel. The U.S. Geological Survey provides technical scientific support. The Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance provides a link to emergency response and remedial activities associated with oil or hazardous substance releases. The Office of Insular Affairs provides advice in certain U.S. Caribbean and Pacific jurisdictions.