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).
DOI-ITAP has provided technical assistance in support of the Environmental Cooperation Agreement under the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement in a number of areas:
Sustainable Tourism Development
The Moroccan government is keen to develop its tourism industry as a way to stimulate economic growth and provide economic livelihoods for its people. The flora, fauna, geology, scenery, folklore, production of local specialties such as argan oil and honey, and delicious cuisine are all attractions for visitors to rural areas. It is important to manage Morocco's natural and cultural resources in a way that minimizes socio-cultural and environmental impacts to maintain a high quality visitor experience. At the same time, tourists need information about the people and places they are visiting, and infrastructure to facilitate sightseeing and recreation. DOI-ITAP works with key government and civil society partners to promote eco-friendly tourism practices and to promote Morocco's unique national parks as a base for sustainable tourism activities.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is a key tool used by nations to protect their biodiversity resources through the regulation of trade in endangered species. DOI-ITAP is working with the Government of Morocco to build their capacity to fully implement CITES and to take other measures to protect their unique resources.
Funding: US Department of State
Oman - Active
Sustainable Tourism Development
Oman is home to a diverse wealth of natural resources, including globally significant populations of endangered sea turtles. Oman's Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA), working with local communities, is in the process of identifying and establishing some 50 new nature reserves throughout Oman. The capacity to manage these protected areas needs to be developed, particularly against the backdrop of increasing tourism. DOI-ITAP works with MECA and other Omani agencies to strengthen Oman's ability to meet these challenges under the U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement.
Funding: US State Department
Jordan - Concluded
The Jordan Parks Project is a five-year DOI-ITAP program that builds on 40 years of collaboration between USAID, DOI (and its component bureaus including the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), Petra Archeological Park and wildlife reserves throughout Jordan. Because Petra, a World Heritage site, was recently named one of the 'New Seven Wonders of the World', tourism to Jordan has increased significantly.
The primary goal of the partnership is to strengthen the capacity of cultural and environmental tourism sites to enhance the visitor experience while assuring that the existing environmental, natural, and cultural resources are protected. The partnership accomplishes this goal by providing:
On-site training courses in Jordan by DOI protected areas managers and law-enforcement officers
One-on-one technical assistance on specific subjects
Visits by Jordanians to relevant U.S. sites and training facilities