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).
The Hatch Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 7321-7326, restricts Federal employee involvement in partisan political activity. Violation of the Hatch Act may result in removal from Federal employment or a suspension, without pay, of not less than 30 days. There are four different classes of employees under the Hatch Act:
Career SES, Administrative Law Judges, Administrative Appeals Judges, and those who serve on the Contract Appeals Board are the most restricted group.
GS and WG employees are in the lesser restricted group.
Noncareer SES, Schedule C, and most other employees are in the moderately restricted group. This group may participate in certain partisan political activity but only in a purely private capacity.
Presidentially appointed by the Senate confirmed personnel (PAS) are the least restricted group. PAS employees are subjected to some restrictions, but they are less constrained in terms of where and when they can engage in political activity because of their 24-hour duty status.
HATCH ACT RULES
Off Duty, Off Premises Rule: Applies to everyone but PAS employees. "Off duty" means you may only engage in political activity while on annual leave or during non-duty hours. "Off premises" means you may not engage in political activity in buildings owned or leased by the Federal Government. No campaign buttons or posters for current political candidates may be displayed by Federal employees in a Government building. However, you may display a political bumper sticker on your personal car, even if it is parked in a government garage. PAS employees may engage in political activity during work hours, but the campaign must pay for all their expenses.
No Use of Subordinates Rule: You may not solicit the participation of subordinates in political activity. For example, if a non-career SES employee is invited to a political event but cannot go, he or she should not request a subordinate employee to attend on his or her behalf.
No Use of Title Rule: You may not allow your title or your affiliation with DOI to be used in conjunction with any partisan political activity.
No Fundraising Rule: You may not solicit others to contribute to candidates for political office. You may attend fundraising events and may even speak, provided neither your title nor your affiliation is used, but you can't solicit money either verbally or in writing. Also, you may not collect, accept, or receive political contributions on behalf of a partisan candidate.
No Uniform/No Government Vehicle Rule: You may not engage in political activity while wearing an official uniform or using a Government vehicle. You may not display a political bumper sticker on a Government vehicle.