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.
DOINews: Arctic Interagency Visitor Center Enlists 'Ice Road Truckers' for National Public Lands Day Cleanup
(Editor's note: By late September, the weather in much of Alaska is chilly or even snowy, so Alaska holds many of its National Public Lands Day events earlier in the summer.)
On August 17, 2012, the Arctic Interagency Visitor Center in Coldfoot, Alaska, enlisted 'star power' for its Adopt a Highway cleanup project on the Dalton Highway, Alaska's only road connection to the Arctic Ocean. Visitor center staff and local volunteers were joined by three Carlile Transportation Systems truckers who have been featured on the History Channel's reality television show "Ice Road Truckers." These truckers know the Dalton Highway inside out, and as you'll learn in the video below*, they are strong advocates for keeping the highway and surrounding public lands litter-free.
Despite drizzly weather the event drew 20 people, who picked up trash along a section of the highway about 70 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The volunteers also helped dedicate the highway's first recycling containers, which will be installed at the visitor center next spring.
Volunteers at the Arctic Interagency Visitor Center's National Public Lands Day cleanup event gather for a group photo. Photo by BLM.
Karen Deatherage manages the staff at the award-winning visitor center, operated each summer by the BLM and its partner agencies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service. "Our National Public Lands Day event was an opportunity to bring together the wonderfully diverse members of this unique Arctic community," Karen says. "We showed that through collective effort, we can keep the Dalton Highway and landscape a great place to live, work and visit."