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).
Department of the Interior and Department of Commerce Submit Draft Legislation to Conserve Oceanic Birds
WASHINGTON, D.C.--The Department of the Interior and the Department of Commerce today forwarded to Congress for consideration draft legislation titled the “Albatross and Petrel Conservation Act of 2009” to protect certain oceanic birds.
“The albatross and the petrel soar and glide, sometimes tens of thousands of miles each year. Though remarkably resilient, these majestic, well-traveled ocean wanderers face increasing threats to their survival,” said Deputy Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett. “Today, we transmit to the Congress draft legislation to implement the ‘Agreement for the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels' that, if passed by the Congress, will help to secure their future.”
This important international agreement entered into force on Feb. 1, 2004. On Sept. 26, 2008, President Bush transmitted the agreement to the U.S. Senate, recommending that it give its advice and consent to United States accession.
The draft legislation provides the United States, primarily through the Departments of the Interior and Commerce, with authority to adopt and implement conservation and management measures to address the most pressing threats to albatrosses and petrels in the wild, including habitat disturbance, nesting habitat degradation and loss, changes in food supply, pollution and marine debris, impacts from non-native species, and the incidental bycatch of birds in fisheries.