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 Launch Regional Meetings on Energy Development of U.S. Outer Continental Shelf
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will host regional public meetings in Atlantic City and New Orleans next week to gather information and public comment to help build a comprehensive energy strategy for the Outer Continental Shelf.
The meetings are scheduled for Monday, April 6, at the Atlantic City Convention Center and Wednesday, April 8, at Tulane University's McAlister Auditorium. They begin at 9 a.m. local time and the morning session will be carried live by webcast. The link is http://www.doi.gov/ocs. Secretary Salazar will hold an availability for credentialed media only following the morning session. The meetings, which include lunch and dinner breaks, are scheduled to end at 8 p.m.
After opening remarks by the Secretary, a report from Interior's Minerals Management Service and U.S. Geological Survey will be presented, summarizing the available information on the extent of U.S. offshore energy resources – conventional and renewable – along with information regarding sensitive environmental areas and resources on the Outer Continental Shelf.
Regional Governors and elected federal officials, private citizens, interested organizations, energy producers, advocacy groups, and local governments have been invited to attend and offer brief comments. Most of the meeting will be devoted to hearing from these elected officials and public and private interests. Those wishing to speak will be asked to register upon entering the conference hall.
Individuals unable to attend or speak at the meeting are welcome to submit written statements, comments or documents, either at the meeting or during the extended public comment period. Those comments can be either submitted at the meeting or throughout the extended public comment period electronically at www.MMS.gov, “Five Year Program,” “How to Comment,” or by mail to Ms. Renee Orr, Chief, Leasing Division, Mineral Management Service, MS 4010, 381 Elden Street, Herndon, VA 20170-4817.
Two other public comment meetings on Outer Continental Shelf energy development will be held at the Dena'ina Convention Center in Anchorage, Alaska, on Tuesday, April 14; and at the University of California-San Francisco's Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco on Thursday, April 16.
These meetings are part of a four-part strategy Salazar announced on Feb. 10, 2009, for developing a new, comprehensive energy development plan for the U. S. Outer Continental Shelf, including conventional and renewable resources. Interior oversees more than 1.7 billion acres on the Outer Continental Shelf — an area roughly three fourths the size of the entire United States.
The strategy is composed of the following parts:
Extending the public comment period 180 days -- until Sept. 21, 2009 -- on the Draft Proposed 5-Year Oil and Gas Leasing Program announced last year.
Developing a report by Minerals Management Service and U.S. Geological Survey scientists on conventional and renewable offshore energy resources.
Host four regional meetings in April, one each for the Atlantic Coast, Gulf Coast, Pacific Coast, and Alaska to review the findings of the report and to gather input from all interested parties on where and how Interior should develop the traditional and renewable energy resources of the Outer Continental Shelf.
Expedite the Department's renewable energy rulemaking for the Outer Continental Shelf that was required under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, but not yet accomplished.
The Atlantic City Convention Center is located at One Convention Boulevard
Atlantic City, New Jersey. McAlister Auditorium is located on McAlister Drive between Freret and Willow Streets, 6823 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana. The Dena'ina Civic & Convention Center in Anchorage, Alaska, is located at 600 W. Seventh Ave. The Mission Bay Conference Center at UCSF is in Robertson Auditorium, 1675 Owens Street, San Francisco, California.
More information about the four regional public meetings and Interior's responsibilities for U.S. Outer Continental Shelf energy development is online at http://www.doi.gov/ocs.