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 John W. Keys, III Partnership Training Program with Partners in Conservation Award
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today presented a Partners in Conservation Award to the John W. Keys III Partnership Program for cultivating a more efficient working relationship among the Bureau of Reclamation in the Pacific Northwest, the Oregon Water Resource Congress and several Oregon and Idaho irrigation districts. The Keys program fosters a good working relationship communications on an interagency basis with the shared goal of delivering water more efficiently.
It 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. “The John W. Keys III Partnership Training Program is a superb example of an interagency partnership. Through the vision and collaborative efforts of the Bureau of Reclamation and its partners, this program breaks down barriers to foster improved working relationships while allowing for more efficient service to the population they serve.”
Spearheaded by Reclamation employee Susan Tholen, within the Pacific Northwest Region in cooperation with Reclamation's Lower Columbia Area Office and the Snake River Area Office and Regional Office and through the encouragement of the late John W. Keys, former Bureau of Reclamation commissioner, the program's objective is to allow for new Reclamation employees and the participating Oregon and Idaho irrigation districts to understand, discuss, and resolve water issues.
“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 following groups and individuals share the Partners in Conservation Award: