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 Announces $50 Million Economic Recovery Investment in America's Water Infrastructure
Central Utah Project Will Create Jobs, Address Water Supply Challenges, Restore Environment
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the Department of the Interior will invest $50 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in the Central Utah Project, which delivers water from the Colorado River to users in Central Utah while mitigating adverse environmental impacts and conserving fish, wildlife, and recreation resources. Overall, the Department of the Interior will manage $3 billion in investments as part of the recovery plan signed by the President to jumpstart our economy, create or save jobs, and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st Century.
Interior's Central Utah Project Completion Act Office (CUPCA) will use $41 million of the ARRA funds to construct portions of the Utah Lake System pipelines for use in conveying an additional 60,000 acre-feet of water to Utah and Salt Lake Counties. In addition, $9 million of funding will be used for construction of a Ute Tribal fish hatchery and other fish and wildlife projects.
"This investment in the Central Utah Project will help stimulate the local economy, protect and restore the environment, and support our commitment to Native Americans and rural communities," said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.
CUPCA Program Director Reed Murray said, "These projects are our top priority because they are next in sequence for construction, the planning and environmental compliance are complete, and they will have an immediate impact on the local economy."
“President Obama and this Department have ambitious goals to build America's new energy future, protect and restore our treasured landscapes, and create a 21st Century Youth Conservation Corps,” added Salazar. “These projects will help us fulfill these goals while helping American families and their communities prosper.”
Secretary Salazar has pledged unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the Department of the Interior's economic recovery projects. The public will be able to follow the progress of each project on www.recovery.gov and on www.interior.gov/recovery. Secretary Salazar has appointed a Senior Advisor for Economic Recovery, Chris Henderson, and an Interior Economic Recovery Task Force. Henderson and the Task Force will work closely with the Department of the Interior's Inspector General to ensure that the recovery program is meeting the high standards for accountability, responsibility, and transparency that President Obama has set.