Mount Rushmore National Memorial under construction.
The workers had to endure conditions that varied from blazing hot to bitterly cold and windy. Each day they climbed 700 stairs to the top of the mountain to punch-in on the time clock. Then 3/8 inch thick steel cables lowered them over the front of the 500-foot face of the mountain in a "bosun chair." Despite the dangers, no one was killed during the project.
Otters in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska.
The sea otter population of Glacier Bay has increased dramatically in the past 20 years. Ecologists consider sea otters a keystone species here. Otters consume vast quantities of clams, urchins, crabs, and other invertebrates and their presence creates ripples through the ecosystem. NPS photo.
Every day someone like you becomes a wildland wildfire fighter, a teacher, a trail-builder, a museum curator, or a park ranger. Discover your opportunities in national parks. Come to play. Come to learn. Come to serve. Develop your environmental leadership skills. Find a job. Be the next generation to preserve and protect these great places.
With more than 80% of Americans living in urban areas, urban parks are more important than ever. The father of American landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted, said of urban parks:
It is one great purpose of the Park to supply to the hundreds of thousands of tired workers, who have no opportunity to spend their summers in the country, a specimen of God's handiwork that shall be to them, inexpensively, what a month or two in the White Mountains or the Adirondacks is, at great cost, to those in easier circumstances.
Summary: Conference Action on the FY 2002 Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill
Conferees met to complete work on the 2002 Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations bill on October 10, 2001, and filed a conference report on Thursday, October 11, 2001. House and Senate floor action are expected to occur very soon.
In total, the Interior bill provides $19.1 billion, compared to the $18.7 billion Senate bill and the $18.9 billion House-passed bill. The conference bill is $185.9 million or one percent over the 2001 enacted level of $18.9 billion and $1.0 billion or 5.6 percent over the 2002 President's budget request of $18.1 billion. The bill provides a total of $2.2 billion for Interior and Forest Service to implement the National Wildland Fire Plan, including $400.0 million in contingent emergency funding.
For the Department of the Interior, the conference bill provides $9.4 billion. This is $268.7 million or 2.9 percent above the President's budget, and $48.8 million or 0.5 percent above the 2001 enacted level. The 2001 enacted level includes $72.4 million in supplemental funding. Excluding this supplemental funding from the comparison, the 2002 conference bill is $121.2 million or 1.3 percent above the 2001 enacted funding level.
For the priorities requested in the President's budget, the conference bill provides the following:
$144.0 million for Land and Water Conservation Fund State Grants. The Congress did not adopt the President's budget proposal for an expanded LWCF grants program funded at $450.0 million, but reduced funding for State grants and restored funding to a number of wildlife grant programs and the Urban Parks and Recreation Recovery program.
$50.0 million for Landowner Incentive and Stewardship Grants. Th is a reduction of $10.0 million from the President's budget request of $60.0 million, the level included in both the House and Senate marks.
$455.9 million is included in the conference bill for NPS construction and repair and rehabilitation, $16.3 million higher than the President's budget request.
$49.5 million for the NPS Natural Resource Challenge. This includes an increase of $20.0 million over the 2001 enacted level, consistent with the President's budget and the House and Senate marks.
$292.5 million for Bureau of Indian Affairs education construction, $3.0 million less than the Senate and the same as the House and the budget request. This includes $122.8 million for six replacement schools, the same as the House and Senate and the President's budget.
$545.1 million for BIA education programs, the same as the Senate and an increase of $2.0 million above the House mark and the President's budget request. The $2.0 million increase is for tribal community colleges.
$60.9 million for Indian land and water settlements, the same as the President's budget request and the amount included in both House and Senate bills.
$228.6 million for trust reform including $118.4 million in BIA programs and $110.2 million in the Office of the Special Trustee. This is the same as the amount requested in the President's budget.
$29.0 million in increases over the 2001 level for energy programs including an increase of $19.0 million for BLM and $10.0 million for MMS' Outer Continental Shelf program.
$678.4 million for wildland fire management. This includes $20.0 million above the request in the President's budget for burned area rehabilitation. The appropriation for wildland fire management includes $54.0 million in contingent emergency funding.
A comparison of funding levels in the conference bill for bureaus is provided as Attachment 1. Attachment 2 provides a comparison of key numbers in the conference mark.
The conferees provided $9.0 million for endangered species listing, an increase of $524,000 above the President's request, and adopted House language establishing a separate spending 'subcap' for critical habitat designation. This differs from bill language proposed in the President's budget to allow FWS to expend listing funds to comply with existing court orders and according to a biologically-based priority system.
The bill includes $1.32 billion for the Conservation Spending Category. This is $112 million more than last year and $62 million more than the President's request. Within this amount there is a total of $1.0 billion for Interior programs, including:
$144 million for LWCF State grants;
$279.2 million for Federal land acquisition;
$85.0 million for State wildlife grants of which $5.0 million is for competitive Tribal grants;
$30.0 million for Urban Parks and Recreation Recovery;
$43.5 million for the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund;
$74.5 million for NPS historic preservation including $30.0 million for the Save America's Treasures program;
$50.0 million for the new FWS Landowner Incentive and Stewardship programs; and
$96.2 million for the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund.
A summary of funding for CSC is provided in Attachment 3.
The conferees fund Payments in Lieu of Taxes at $210.0 million, $60.0 million above the President's request of $150.0 million.
The conference bill funds Departmental Management at $67.7 million. At this funding level, the $9.0 million cut made in House floor action is restored, and an increase of $3.6 million over the
President's budget is provided for fixed costs.
The conferees agree to funding increases for operational programs, including:
Bureau of Land Management operations are funded at $880.8 million, an increase of $23.5 million over last year.
Fish and Wildlife Service's Resource Management programs are funded at $850.6 million, an increase of $43.8 million over last year.
National Park Service operations including the U.S. Park Police are funded at $1.5 billion, an increase of $76.5 million over 2001.
The conferees agreed on a two-year extension, through 2004, of the Recreation Fee Demonstration program.