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 West Eugene Wetlands Partnership and the Willamette Resources and Educational Network with Partners in Conservation Award
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today presented a Partners in Conservation Award to the West Eugene Wetlands (WEW) Partnership and the Willamette Resources and Educational Network (WREN) for their work in wetlands preservation and sustainable development in Eugene, Oregon.
Those sharing the partnership award included participants from the Bureau of Land Management, City of Eugene, Long Tom Watershed Council, McKenzie River Trust, The Nature Conservancy, Oregon Youth Conservation Corps, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and WREN.
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. “These two community-based partnerships in Eugene have achieved substantial wetlands protection and sound urban development. They have offered environmental education programs to the community, serving more than 22,000 participants through school programs for children and adults in an outdoor classroom.” They work in unison to demonstrate an outstanding commitment to conservation.”
The WEW Partnership with the Bureau of Land Management has leveraged more than $35 million to achieve a wide range of successes acquiring, protecting, and restoring wetlands and educating the public about wetlands. The WREN has also partnered with BLM organizations to offer programs to the community for all ages that range from bird and dragonfly walks to presentations on pollination. An exciting new WREN partnership is the Ethnobotany Resource Area Project that will restore Native American traditions at the WEW. This project will provide a place where tribal members, especially youth, can learn about traditional practices in wetland areas.
“These 26 awards recognize the dedicated efforts 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.”