National Wilderness Preservation System
The National Wilderness Preservation System of the United States protects federally managed wilderness areas designated for preservation in their natural condition. Activity on formally designated wilderness areas is coordinated by the National Wilderness Preservation System. Wilderness areas are managed by four federal land management agencies: the National Park Service, the U. S. Forest Service, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management; the term "wilderness" is defined as "an area where the earth and community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain" and "an area of undeveloped Federal land retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human habitation, protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions." As of 2016, there are 765 designated wilderness areas, totaling 109,129,657 acres, or about 4.5% of the area of the United States. During the 1950s and 1960s, as the American transportation system was on the rise, concern for clean air and water quality began to grow.
A conservation movement began to take place with the intent of establishing designated wilderness areas. Howard Zahniser created the first draft of the Wilderness Act in 1956, it took nine years and 65 rewrites before the Wilderness Act was passed in 1964. The Wilderness Act of 1964, which established the NWPS, was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on September 3, 1964; the Wilderness Act mandated that the National Park Service, U. S. Forest Service, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service review all federal lands under their jurisdiction for wilderness areas to include in the NWPS; the first national forest wilderness areas were established by the Wilderness Act itself. The Great Swamp in New Jersey became the first National Wildlife Refuge with formally designated wilderness in 1968. Wilderness areas in national parks followed, beginning with the designation of wilderness in part of Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho in 1970. A dramatic spike in acreage added to the wilderness system in 1980 was due in large part to the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, signed into law by President Jimmy Carter on December 2, 1980.
A smaller spike in 1984 came with the passage of many bills establishing national forest wilderness areas identified by the Forest Service's Roadless Area Review and Evaluation process. The Bureau of Land Management was not required to review its lands for inclusion in the NWPS until after October 21, 1976, when the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 was signed into law. Over 200 wilderness areas have been created within Bureau of Land Management administered lands since consisting of 8.71 million acres in September 2015. As of August 2008, a total of 704 separate wilderness areas, encompassing 107,514,938 acres, had become part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. With the passage of the Omnibus Public Lands Act in March 2009, there were 756 wilderness areas; as of September 2015, the system includes 765 wilderness areas totaling 109,129,657 acres. On federal lands in the United States, Congress may designate an area as wilderness under the provisions of the Wilderness Act of 1964.
Multiple agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the U. S. Forest Service, are responsible for the submission of new areas that fit the criteria to become wilderness to congress. Congress reviews these cases on a state by state basis and determines which areas and how much land in each area will become part of the WPS. There have been multiple occasions in which congress designated more federal land than had been recommended by the nominating agency. Whereas the Wilderness Act stipulated that a wilderness area must be "administered for the use and enjoyment of the American people in such a manner as will leave them unimpaired for future use and enjoyment as wilderness", the Eastern Wilderness Act, which added 16 National Forest areas to the NWPS, allowed for the inclusion of areas, modified by human interference; the Wilderness Act provides criteria for lands being considered for wilderness designation. Though there are some exceptions, the following conditions must be present for an area to be included in the NWPS: the land is under federal ownership and management, the area consists of at least five thousand acres of land, human influence is "substantially unnoticeable," there are opportunities for solitude and recreation, the area possesses "ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, scenic, or historical value."
Wilderness areas are subject to specific management restrictions. During these activities, patrons are asked to abide by the "Leave No Trace" policy; this policy sets guidelines for using the wilderness responsibly, leaving the area as it was before usage. These guidelines include: Packing all trash out of the wilderness, using a stove as opposed to a fire, camping at least 200 feet from trails or water sources, staying on marked trails, keeping group size small; when observed, the "Leave No Trace" ethos ensures that wilderness areas remain untainted by human interaction. In general, the law prohibits logging, mechanized vehicles, road-building, other forms of development in wilderness areas, though pre-existing mining claims and grazing ranges are permitted through grandf
The grizzly bear is a large population of the brown bear inhabiting North America. Scientists do not use the name grizzly bear but call it the North American brown bear. Multiple morphological forms sometimes recognized as subspecies exist, including the mainland grizzly, Kodiak bear, peninsular grizzly, the extinct California grizzly and Mexican grizzly bear. On average bears near the coast tend to be larger; the Ussuri brown bear inhabiting Russia, Northern China and Korea is sometimes referred to as the black grizzly, although it is a different subspecies from the bears in America. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark first described it as grisley, which could be interpreted as either "grizzly" or "grisly"; the modern spelling supposes the former meaning. Classification has been revised along genetic lines. There are two morphological forms of Ursus arctos, the grizzly and the coastal brown bears, but these morphological forms do not have distinct mtDNA lineages. Brown bears originated in Eurasia and traveled to North America 50,000 years ago, spreading into the contiguous United States about 13,000 years ago.
In the 19th century, the grizzly was classified as 86 distinct species. However, by 1928 only seven grizzlies remained and by 1953 only one species remained globally. However, modern genetic testing reveals the grizzly to be a subspecies of the brown bear. Rausch found. Therefore, everywhere it is the "brown bear". In 1963 Rausch reduced the number of North American subspecies to one, Ursus arctos middendorffiFurther testing of Y-chromosomes is required to yield an accurate new taxonomy with different subspecies. Coastal grizzlies referred to by the popular but geographically redundant synonym of "brown bear" or "Alaskan brown bear" are larger and darker than inland grizzlies, why they, were considered a different species from grizzlies. Kodiak grizzly bears were at one time considered distinct. Therefore, at one time there were five different "species" of brown bear, including three in North America. Most adult female grizzlies weigh 130 -- 180 kg. Average total length in this subspecies is 198 cm, with an average shoulder height of 102 cm and hindfoot length of 28 cm.
Newborn bears may weigh less than 500 grams. In the Yukon River area, mature female grizzlies can weigh as little as 100 kg. One study found that the average weight for an inland male grizzly was around 272 kilograms and the average weight for a coastal male was around 408 kilograms. For a female, these average weights would be 136 kilograms inland and 227 kilograms coastal, respectively. On the other hand, an occasional huge male grizzly has been recorded which exceeds ordinary size, with weights reported up to 680 kg. A large coastal male of this size may stand up to 3 metres tall on its hind legs and be up to 1.5 metres at the shoulder. Although variable in color from blond to nearly black, grizzly bear fur is brown with darker legs and white or blond tipped fur on the flank and back. A pronounced hump appears on their shoulders. Aside from the distinguishing hump a grizzly bear can be identified by a "dished in" profile of their face with short, rounded ears, whereas a black bear has a straight face profile and longer ears.
A grizzly bear can be identified by its rump, lower than its shoulders, while a black bear's rump is higher. A grizzly bear's front claws measure about 2–4 inches in length and a black bear's measure about 1–2 inches in length. Brown bears are found in Asia and North America, giving them the widest ranges of bear species, they inhabited North Africa and the Middle East. In North America, grizzly bears ranged from Alaska down to Mexico and as far east as the western shores of Hudson Bay, it is most found in Canada. In Canada, there are 25,000 grizzly bears occupying British Columbia, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and the northern part of Manitoba. An article published in 1954 suggested they may be present in the tundra areas of the Ungava Peninsula and the northern tip of Labrador-Quebec. In British Columbia, grizzly bears inhabit 90% of their original territory. There were 25,000 grizzly bears in British Columbia when the European settlers arrived. However, population size has since decreased due to hunting and habitat loss.
In 2003, researchers from the University of Alberta spotted a grizzly on Melville Island in the high Arctic, the most northerly sighting documented. In 2008, it was estimated. Population estimates for British Columbia are based on hair-snagging, DNA-based inventories, mark-and-recapture, a refined multiple regression
Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve
Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is a U. S. National Monument and national preserve in the Snake River Plain in central Idaho, it is along US 20, between the small towns of Arco and Carey, at an average elevation of 5,900 feet above sea level. The protected area's features are volcanic and represent one of the best-preserved flood basalt areas in the continental United States; the Monument was established on May 2, 1924. In November 2000, a presidential proclamation by President Clinton expanded the Monument area; the National Park Service portions of the expanded Monument were designated as Craters of the Moon National Preserve in August 2002. It lies in parts of Blaine, Lincoln and Power counties; the area is managed cooperatively by the Bureau of Land Management. The Monument and Preserve encompass three major lava fields and about 400 square miles of sagebrush steppe grasslands to cover a total area of 1,117 square miles; the Monument alone covers 53,571 acres. All three lava fields lie along the Great Rift of Idaho, with some of the best examples of open rift cracks in the world, including the deepest known on Earth at 800 feet.
There are excellent examples of every variety of basaltic lava, as well as tree molds, lava tubes, many other volcanic features. Craters of the Moon is in south-central Idaho, midway between Yellowstone National Park; the lava field reaches southeastward from the Pioneer Mountains. Combined U. S. Highway provides access to it. However, the rugged landscape of the monument itself remains remote and undeveloped, with only one paved road across the northern end; the Craters of the Moon Lava Field spreads across 618 square miles and is the largest Holocene-aged basaltic lava field in the contiguous United States. The Monument and Preserve contain more than 25 volcanic cones, including outstanding examples of spatter cones; the 60 distinct solidified lava flows that form the Craters of the Moon Lava Field range in age from 15,000 to just 2,000 years. The Kings Bowl and Wapi lava fields, both about 2,200 years old, are part of the National Preserve; this lava field is the largest of several large beds of lava that erupted from the 53-mile south-east to north-west trending Great Rift volcanic zone, a line of weakness in the Earth's crust.
Together with fields from other fissures they make up the Lava Beds of Idaho, which in turn are in the much larger Snake River Plain volcanic province. The Great Rift extends across the entire Snake River Plain. Elevation at the visitor center is 5,900 feet above sea level. Total average precipitation in the Craters of the Moon area is between 15–20 inches per year. Most of this is lost in cracks in the basalt, only to emerge in springs and seeps in the walls of the Snake River Canyon. Older lava fields on the plain have been invaded by drought-resistant plants such as sagebrush, while younger fields, such as Craters of the Moon, only have a seasonal and sparse cover of vegetation. From a distance this cover disappears entirely, giving an impression of utter black desolation. Repeated lava flows over the last 15,000 years have raised the land surface enough to expose it to the prevailing southwesterly winds, which help to keep the area dry. Together these conditions make life on the lava field difficult.
Paleo-Indians visited the area about 12,000 years ago but did not leave much archaeological evidence. Northern Shoshone created trails through the Craters of the Moon Lava Field during their summer migrations from the Snake River to the camas prairie, west of the lava field. Stone windbreaks at Indian Tunnel were used to protect campsites from the dry summer wind. No evidence exists for permanent habitation by any Native American group. A hunting and gathering culture, the Northern Shoshone pursued elk, American bison and bighorn sheep — all large game who no longer range the area; the most recent volcanic eruptions ended about 2,100 years ago and were witnessed by the Shoshone people. Shoshone legend speaks of a serpent on a mountain who, angered by lightning, coiled around and squeezed the mountain until liquid rock flowed, fire shot from cracks, the mountain exploded. Pioneers traveling in wagon trains on the Oregon Trail in the 1850s and 1860s followed an alternative route in the area that used old Indian trails that skirted the lava flows.
This alternative route was named Goodale's Cutoff and part of it is in the northern part of the monument. The cutoff was created to reduce the possibility of ambush by Shoshone warriors along the Snake River such as the one that occurred at Massacre Rocks, which today is memorialized in Idaho's Massacre Rocks State Park. After gold was discovered in the Salmon River area of Idaho, a group of immigrants persuaded an Illinois-born trapper and trader named Tim Goodale to lead them through the cutoff. A large wagon train met up with more wagons at Craters of the Moon Lava Field. Numbering 795 men and 300 women and children, the unusually large group was unmolested during its journey and named the cutoff for their guide. Improvements to the cutoff such as adding a ferry to cross the Snake River made it into a popular alternative route of the Oregon Trail. In 1879, two Arco cattlemen named Arthur Ferris and J. W. Powell became the first known people to explore the lava fields, they were investigating its possible use for grazing and watering cattle but found the area to be unsuitable and left.
U. S. Army Captain and western explorer B. L. E. Bonneville visited
The white-tailed deer known as the whitetail or Virginia deer, is a medium-sized deer native to the United States, Mexico, Central America, South America as far south as Peru and Bolivia. It has been introduced to New Zealand, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, the Lesser Antilles, some countries in Europe, such as Finland, the Czech Republic and Serbia. In the Americas, it is the most distributed wild ungulate. In North America, the species is distributed east of the Rocky Mountains as well as in most of Mexico, aside from Lower California, in southwestern Arizona. IIt is replaced by the black-tailed or mule deer from that point west. However, it is found in mixed deciduous riparian corridors, river valley bottomlands, lower foothills of the northern Rocky Mountain region from South Dakota west to eastern Washington and eastern Oregon and north to northeastern British Columbia and southern Yukon, including in the Montana Valley and Foothill grasslands; the conversion of land adjacent to the Canadian Rockies into agriculture use and partial clear-cutting of coniferous trees has been favorable to the white-tailed deer and has pushed its distribution to as far north as Yukon.
Populations of deer around the Great Lakes have expanded their range northwards, due to conversion of land to agricultural uses favoring more deciduous vegetation, local caribou and moose populations. The westernmost population of the species, known as the Columbian white-tailed deer, once was widespread in the mixed forests along the Willamette and Cowlitz River valleys of western Oregon and southwestern Washington, but today its numbers have been reduced, it is classified as near-threatened; this population is separated from other white-tailed deer populations. Some taxonomists have attempted to separate white-tailed deer into a host of subspecies, based on morphological differences. Genetic studies, suggest fewer subspecies within the animal's range, as compared to the 30 to 40 subspecies that some scientists described in the last century; the Florida Key deer, O. v. clavium, the Columbian white-tailed deer, O. v. leucurus, are both listed as endangered under the U. S. Endangered Species Act.
In the United States, the Virginia white-tail, O. v. virginianus, is among the most widespread subspecies. The white-tailed deer species has tremendous genetic variation and is adaptable to several environments. Several local deer populations in the southern states, are descended from white-tailed deer transplanted from various localities east of the Continental Divide; some of these deer populations may have been from as far north as the Great Lakes region to as far west as Texas, yet are quite at home in the Appalachian and Piedmont regions of the south. These deer, over time, have intermixed with the local indigenous deer populations. Central and South America have a complex number of white-tailed deer subspecies that range from Guatemala to as far south as Peru; this list of subspecies of deer is more exhaustive than the list of North American subspecies, the number of subspecies is questionable. However, the white-tailed deer populations in these areas are difficult to study, due to overhunting in many parts and a lack of protection.
Some areas no longer carry deer, so assessing the genetic difference of these animals is difficult. Some subspecies names, ordered alphabetically: O. v. acapulcensis – Acapulco white-tailed deer O. v. borealis – northern white-tailed deer O. v. carminis – Carmen Mountains white-tailed deer O. v. clavium – Key deer or Florida Keys white-tailed deer O. v. chiriquensis – Chiriqui white-tailed deer O. v. couesi – Coues' white-tailed deer, Arizona white-tailed deer, or fantail deer O. v. dakotensis – Dakota white-tailed deer or northern plains white-tailed deer O. v. hiltonensis – Hilton Head Island white-tailed deer O. v. idahoensis – white-tailed deer O. v. leucurus – Columbian white-tailed deer O. v. macrourus – Kansas white-tailed deer O. v. mcilhennyi – Avery Island white-tailed deer O. v. mexicanus – Mexican white-tailed deer O. v. miquihuanensis – Miquihuan white-tailed deer O. v. nelsoni – Chiapas white-tailed deer O. v. nigribarbis – Blackbeard Island white-tailed deer O. v. oaxacensis – Oaxaca white-tailed deer O. v. ochrourus – northwestern white-tailed deer or northern Rocky Mountains white-tailed deer O. v. osceola – Florida coastal white-tailed deer O. v. rothschildi – Coiba Island white-tailed deer O. v. seminolus – Florida white-tailed deer O. v. sinaloae – Sinaloa white-tailed deer O. v. taurinsulae – Bulls Island white-tailed deer O. v. texanus – Texas white-tailed deer O. v. thomasi – Mexican lowland white-tailed deer O. v. toltecus – rain forest white-tailed deer O. v. truei – Central American white-tailed deer O. v. venatorius – Hunting Island white-tailed deer O. v. veraecrucis – northern Veracruz white-tailed deer O. v. virginianus – Virginia white-tailed deer or southern white-tailed deer O. v. yucatanensis – Yucatán white-tailed deer O. v. cariacou – O. v. curassavicus
United States National Forest
National Forest is a classification of protected and managed federal lands in the United States. National Forests are forest and woodland areas owned collectively by the American people through the federal government, managed by the United States Forest Service, a division of the United States Department of Agriculture; the National Forest System was created by the Land Revision Act of 1891, signed under the presidency of Benjamin Harrison. It was the result of concerted action by Los Angeles-area businessmen and property owners who were concerned by the harm being done to the watershed of the San Gabriel Mountains by ranchers and miners. Abbot Kinney and forester Theodore Lukens were key spokesmen for the effort. In the United States there are 155 National Forests containing 190 million acres of land; these lands comprise 8.5 percent of the total land area of the United States, an area about the size of Texas. Some 87 percent of National Forest land lies west of the Mississippi River in the mountain ranges of the Western United States.
Alaska has 12 percent of all National Forest lands. The U. S. Forest Service manages all of the United States National Grasslands, around half of the United States National Recreation Areas. There are two distinctly different types of forests within the National Forest system; those east of the Great Plains in the Midwestern and Eastern United States were acquired by the federal government since 1891, may be second growth forests. The land had long been in the private domain and sometimes logged since colonial times, but was purchased by the United States government in order to create new National Forests; those west of the Great Plains in the Western United States, though established since 1891, are on lands with ownership maintained by the federal government since the U. S. acquisition and settling of the American West. These are lands that were kept in the public domain, with the exception of inholdings and donated or exchanged private forest lands. Land management of these areas focuses on conservation, timber harvesting, livestock grazing, watershed protection and recreation.
Unlike national parks and other federal lands managed by the National Park Service, extraction of natural resources from national forests is permitted, in many cases encouraged. However, the first-designated wilderness areas, some of the largest, are on National Forest lands. There are management decision conflicts between conservationists and environmentalists, natural resource extraction companies and lobbies, over the protection and/or use of National Forest lands; these conflicts center on endangered species protection, logging of old-growth forests, intensive clear cut logging, undervalued stumpage fees, mining operations and mining claim laws, logging/mining access road-building within National Forests. Additional conflicts arise from concerns that the grasslands and forest understory are grazed by sheep, and, more rising numbers of elk and mule deer due to loss of predators. Many ski resorts and summer resorts operate on leased land in National Forests. List of U. S. National Forests United States National Grassland National Forests of the United States topics State forest National Forest Management Act of 1976 Protected areas of the United States USDA Forest Service USDA Forest Service - The First Century 100 Years of Federal Forestry
The northwestern wolf known as the Mackenzie Valley wolf, Alaskan timber wolf, Canadian timber wolf, or northern timber wolf, is a subspecies of gray wolf in western North America. It ranges from the upper Mackenzie River Valley; this wolf is recognized as a subspecies of Canis lupus in the taxonomic authority Mammal Species of the World. The subspecies was first written of by Scottish naturalist Sir John Richardson in 1829, he chose to give it the name occidentalis in reference to its geographic location rather than label it by its color, as it was too variable to warrant such. According to one source, phylogenetic analyses of North American gray wolves show that there are three clades corresponding to C. l. occidentalis, C. l. nubilus and C. l. baileyi, each one representing a separate invasion into North America from distinct Eurasian ancestors. C. l. occidentalis, the most northwestern subspecies, is descended from the last gray wolves to colonize North America. It crossed into North America through the Bering land bridge after the last ice age, displacing C. l. nubilus populations as it advanced, a process which has continued until present times.
Along with C. l. nubilus, C. l. occidentalis is the most widespread member of the five gray wolf subspecies in North America, with at least six different synonyms. Northwestern wolves are one of the largest subspecies of wolves. In British Columbia, five adult females averaged 42.5 kg and ten adult males averaged 51.1 kg, with a weight range for all adults of 38.6 to 61.4 kg. In Yellowstone National Park, adult females were reported to average 41 kg and adult males averaged 50 kg, with a mean adult body mass in winter of 43.4 kg. More recent studies have reported the average height and weight of males and females in the north-west of the United States, where the males were between 68 and 91.5 cm tall and weighed between 45 and 66 kg, while the females were between 35 and 50 cm and weighed 36-59 kg. Based on known reported adult average body masses, this would make the northwestern wolf the largest-bodied wolf subspecies, in comparison the mean adult weights of its two nearest rivals in size, the Eurasian wolf and the Interior Alaskan wolf, was reported as 39 kg and 40 kg, respectively.
Sir John Richardson described the northwestern wolf as having a more robust build than the European wolf, with a larger, rounder head and a thicker, more obtuse muzzle. Its ears are shorter, its fur bushier. In Yellowstone National Park, artificially relocated northwestern wolves have been well-documented feeding on elk, they stampede the herd using pack teamwork to separate the younger elk from the adults. They will charge young calves separated from their parents. Winter-weakened or sick elk play an important part of Yellowstone wolf diets and it is estimated that over 50 percent of winter-weakened or sick elk in Yellowstone are killed by wolves. Of these, about 12 percent of carcasses were scavenged by other predators, including ravens, bald eagles, black bears, grizzly bears, coyotes. In the same national park, wolves prey on bison, though such attacks involve sick animals or calves, as bison can kill wolves with their hooves, they are present in Canadian or British safari parks including Longleat and Parc Omega
In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders. Four states use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names. States are divided into counties or county-equivalents, which may be assigned some local governmental authority but are not sovereign. County or county-equivalent structure varies by state, states may create other local governments. State governments are allocated power by the people through their individual constitutions. All are grounded in republican principles, each provides for a government, consisting of three branches, each with separate and independent powers: executive and judicial.
States possess a number of rights under the United States Constitution. States and their residents are represented in the United States Congress, a bicameral legislature consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives; each state is entitled to select a number of electors to vote in the Electoral College, the body that directly elects the President of the United States. Additionally, each state has the opportunity to ratify constitutional amendments, with the consent of Congress, two or more states may enter into interstate compacts with one another; the tasks of local law enforcement, public education, public health, regulating intrastate commerce, local transportation and infrastructure have been considered state responsibilities, although all of these now have significant federal funding and regulation as well. Over time, the Constitution has been amended, the interpretation and application of its provisions have changed; the general tendency has been toward centralization and incorporation, with the federal government playing a much larger role than it once did.
There is a continuing debate over states' rights, which concerns the extent and nature of the states' powers and sovereignty in relation to the federal government and the rights of individuals. The Constitution grants to Congress the authority to admit new states into the Union. Since the establishment of the United States in 1776, the number of states has expanded from the original 13 to 50. Alaska and Hawaii are the most recent states admitted, both in 1959; the Constitution is silent on the question of whether states have the power to secede from the Union. Shortly after the Civil War, the U. S. Supreme Court, in Texas v. White, held; the 50 U. S. states, in alphabetical order, along with each state's flag: As sovereign entities, each of the 50 states reserves the right to organize its individual government in any way deemed appropriate by its people. As a result, while the governments of the various states share many similar features, they vary with regard to form and substance. No two state governments are identical.
The government of each state is structured in accordance with its individual constitution. Many of these documents more elaborate than their federal counterpart; the Constitution of Alabama, for example, contains 310,296 words – more than 40 times as many as the U. S. Constitution. In practice, each state has adopted the three-branch frame of the federal government: executive and judicial. In each state, the chief executive is called the governor, who serves as both head of state and head of government. All governors are chosen by direct election; the governor may approve or veto bills passed by the state legislature, as well as push for the passage of bills supported by their party. In 44 states, governors have line item veto power. Most states have a plural executive, meaning that the governor is not the only government official in the state responsible for its executive branch. In these states, executive power is distributed amongst other officials, elected by the people independently of the governor—such as the lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, others.
The constitutions of 19 states allow for citizens to remove and replace an elected public official before the end of their term of office through a recall election. Each state follows its own procedures for recall elections, sets its own restrictions on how and how soon after a general election, they may be held. In all states, the legislatures can remove state executive branch officials, including governors, who have committed serious abuses of their power from office; the process of doing so includes impeachment, a trial, in which legislators act as a jury. The primary responsibilities of state legislatures are to enact state laws and appropriate money for the administration of public policy. In all states, if the governor vetoes a bill, it can still become law if the legislature overrides the veto by a two-thirds vote in each chamber. In 49 of the 50 states the legislature consists of two chambers: a lower house (termed the House of Representati