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).
AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS:Secretary Salazar, Governor O'Malley to Host Ceremony Designating New River Trails in Five States
Trails Connect to Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – On Wednesday, May 16, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis and other state, local, and tribal leaders and representatives of the conservation community will participate in a ceremony to designate four connecting river trails in five states as historic components of the existing Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, which was established in 2006. The ceremony is open to the public.
The designation is part of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors initiative to establish a community-based, 21st century agenda for conservation of natural and historical resources, recreation, and reconnecting Americans to the outdoors. A major component of this effort includes increasing access to water-based outdoor recreation, encouraging community connections to cultural resources, and promoting tourism that fuels local economies.
The Secretarial designations will recognize the significance of the four rivers – the Susquehanna, Chester, Upper Nanticoke and Upper James Rivers – to 17th century Native American cultures and Indian trade routes. The Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail allows visitors to re-live John Smith's exploration of the Chesapeake Bay from 1607-1609, during which Smith and his crew mapped nearly 3,000 miles of the Bay and rivers and documented American Indian communities.
Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior
Martin O'Malley, Governor of Maryland
Jon Jarvis, Director of the National Park Service
Pat Noonan, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, The Conservation Fund
Joel Dunn, Executive Director, The Chesapeake Conservancy Tribal Leaders, Other Public Officials, and Interested Citizens
Signing ceremony to designate four new connecting river trails to the existing Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail
Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 2 pm ET; media availability 2:30 p.m.
Sandy Point State Park, East Beach Area Pavilions, 1100 East College Parkway, Annapolis, MD 21409.
All credentialed media are invited to cover the event. It will be videotaped and available at a future date on Interior's website.