A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Senate Appropriations Committee Approves 2008 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Bill
On Thursday, June 21st, the Senate Appropriations reported out the 2008 Interior appropriations bill today, adopting the subcommittee report with the following amendments.
MMS 98/99 Leases
A Domenici amendment striking the provision that would have prohibited MMS from issuing new leases to holders of leases that do not have limitations on royalty relief. The amendment was passed by a vote of 15 and 14.
A Reed amendment prohibiting the issuance of permits needed to allow the importation of polar bears or polar bear parts passed by voice vote.
The Managers package was adopted that included numerous technical changes, report language direction, and one funding adjustment. The funding adjustment reduced funding for FBMS by $1.0 million to provide $1.0 million for the Eisenhower Commission.
In addition, the following amendments were discussed, but not adopted. These amendments may be raised in floor action.
Secure Rural Schools
Craig withdrew his amendment to extend Secure Rural Schools funding through 2011.
Net Receipts Sharing
Bennett indicated that Domenici (who had to leave the mark up) had intended to propose that the provision re-establishing nets receipts sharing be stricken. The amendment was co-sponsored by Bennett, Allard, and Stevens.
Stevens withdrew an amendment that would have limited the timeframe for filing a lawsuit in opposition to the Tsongas Forest Management plan (Forest Service).