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).
Deputy Secretary Michael Connor to Discuss Next Steps in Implementation of Tribal Land Buy-Back Program
Office of the Secretary
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, May 15, Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael Connor will hold a news media teleconference to discuss the schedule for the continued implementation of the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program) through the end of calendar year 2015. Connor will be joined by Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn.
The Buy-Back Program implements the land consolidation component of the Cobell Settlement, which provided $1.9 billion to purchase fractional interests in trust or restricted land from willing sellers at fair market value within a 10-year period.
Land fractionation is a serious problem across Indian Country. As lands are passed down through generations, they gain more owners. Many tracts now have hundreds and even thousands of individual owners. Because it is difficult to gain landowner consensus, the lands often lie idle and cannot be used for any beneficial purpose. There are now more than 245,000 owners of more than 3 million fractionated interests, spanning 150 Indian reservations, who are eligible to participate in the Buy-Back Program.
WHO: Michael Connor, Deputy Secretary of Interior Kevin K. Washburn, Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs
News media teleconference concerning the Cobell Settlement Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations
Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 2:00pm EDT
Credentialed members of the media can participate in the teleconference by calling 1-877-917-1556 and entering the passcode INTERIOR.