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 Presents the Project for the Protection of Aquifer Resources in Oklahoma with Conservation Award
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today presented a Partnersin Conservation Award to a coalition of individuals and agencies who worked collaboratively with the Bureau of Reclamation and the Chickasaw Nation to protect valuable aquifer resources and to improve water resource conditions in Oklahoma.
The award to the aquifer resources project was one of 26 national awards to individuals and organizations presented at a ceremony at Interior headquarters in Washington, D.C. to honor “those who achieve natural resource goals in collaboration and partnership with others.”
The 26 Partners in Conservation Awards recognize conservation achievements resulting from the cooperation and participation of a total of 600 individuals and organizations including landowners; citizens' groups; private sector and nongovernmental organizations; and federal, state, local, and/or tribal governments.
“The Partners in Conservation Awards demonstrate that our greatest conservation legacies often emerge when stakeholders, agencies, and citizens from a wide range of backgrounds come together to address shared challenges,” the Secretary said. “In this case, the Bureau of Reclamation and Chickasaw Nation joined forces with with federal and state partners to combat the recent drought and protect the water needed by the Nation, the cities of Ada and Sulphur, Reclamation's Arbuckle Project and the Chickasaw National Recreation Area.”
This partnership involved the late Harold Wingard, landowner, as well as the Chickasaw Nation, the Bureau of Reclamation's Oklahoma-Texas Area Office and Technical Service Center, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Oklahoma Climatological Survey, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, Oklahoma State University, and Oklahoma Water Resources Board.
The Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer underlies about 500 square miles of south-central Oklahoma. In light of stresses placed on the aquifer and Byrd's Mill Spring from drought, the Chickasaw Nation is implementing an artificial recharge project to maintain and enhance spring flow at Byrd's Mill Spring by protecting the source Aquifer. The proposed recharge demonstration project is located near Ada on the property of the late Harold Wingard, a farmer and rancher who championed water conservation and graciously agreed to cooperate with Federal, state, and tribal governments on implementing this recharge project.
“These 26 awards recognize the dedicated efforts of thousands of people from all walks of life, from across our nation– and from across our borders with Canada and Mexico,” Salazar noted. “They celebrate partnerships that conserve and restore our nation's treasured landscapes and watersheds, partnerships that engage Native American communities, and partnerships that engage youth.”
The recipients of the Project for the Protection of Aquifer Resources in Oklahoma are:
Bureau of Reclamation
Collins K Balcombe
W. Robert Talbot
Mark Trevino Chickasaw Nation
Wayne Kellogg National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Suzanne Van Cooten OklahomaClimatological Survey
Ken Crawford OklahomaConservation Commission
Robert Toole Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality
John Craig OklahomaState University
Yasemin Leventeli OklahomaWater Resources Board
Duane Smith U.S.Environmental Protection Agency
Robert W. Puls Harold Wingard Susan Paddack, Oklahoma State Senate