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).
Secretary Salazar to Talk Travel and Tourism at Mesa Verde National Park
Will host stakeholder meeting and tour construction of the Mesa Verde National Park Research & Visitor Center
CORTEZ, Colo. – On Saturday, September 22, 2012, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will travel to Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado where he will meet with local stakeholders to discuss how travel, tourism and outdoor recreation can serve as economic engines for local communities. Following the meeting, Salazar will tour construction underway for the park's new research and visitor center, to be completed by the end of December.
In 2010, Mesa Verde National Park hosted more than 560,000 visitors who spent $41 million and supported 560 jobs in the local economy.
Salazar is co-chair of President Obama's Travel and Tourism Task Force, working to expand travel to and within the U.S. On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that the travel and tourism industry is on pace for record exports in 2012. International visitors spent an estimated $13.7 billion on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, the United States during the month of July alone--$350 million (3 percent) more than was spent in July 2011.
The park's new visitor center will house Mesa Verde's three million artifacts and world-class archives. The facility will also feature a bookstore, visitor information desk, exhibits and trip planning materials.
Following the Mesa Verde visit, Salazar will meet with the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe to discuss Interior's ongoing commitment to empowering Indian nations.
Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior
Mesa Verde National Park Visitor Center Tour & Stakeholder Meeting