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.
Neil Kornze was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the Director of the Bureau of Land Management on April 8, 2014. Prior to assuming the role of Director, Kornze served the agency in a number of capacities, including as Principal Deputy Director, Acting Deputy Director, and Senior Advisor.
Kornze now oversees the nation’s largest natural resources organization, with responsibility for more than ten percent of the land in the United States and one-third of the country’s minerals. The Bureau of Land Management has nearly 10,000 employees and an annual budget of $1.3 billion.
Under his leadership, the agency has undertaken major reforms of the nation’s energy programs. Substantial updates to the federal oil and gas program have been made, and a three-year, top-to-bottom review of the federal coal program was launched in early 2016. Kornze also played a key role in the development of the Western Solar Plan, which has helped guide the agency’s approval of more than 15,000 megawatts of clean energy production, which is enough to power 5 million homes.
Kornze has been a leader on major conservation efforts including the creation of the west-wide plan to protect the Greater Sage Grouse. He has also raised awareness of the National Conservation Lands, the nation’s newest and wildest system of protected areas that include 9 new national monuments designated by President Barack Obama.
Kornze emphasizes the agency’s twin missions – multiple use and sustained yield – and the importance of making balanced and forward-looking natural resource decisions. He also highlights that the agency’s success is rooted in finding practical local solutions, while also ensuring that programs are operating at a similar level of excellence nationwide.
Before coming to the Bureau of Land Management, Kornze worked as a Senior Advisor to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. Kornze has also served as an international election observer in Macedonia, the Ukraine, and Georgia. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Politics from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington and a master’s degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics.