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.
Salazar Informs President, Cabinet that Interior Department Is Moving Quickly on Economic Recovery Projects in National Parks
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today informed President Obama and the Cabinet that the National Park Service will begin economic recovery projects at 107 national parks in next 100 days, creating new jobs and stimulating local economies while making parks better places for Americans to visit.
“We are moving full speed ahead to put Americans to work on vital projects at parks across the country,” Salazar said at a Cabinet meeting held Monday. “We are providing good jobs while preserving our national treasures and benefiting the 147 million people who visit these each year.”
The projects being undertaken by the National Park Service projects will preserve and protect national icons and historic landscapes, improve energy efficiency and renewable energy use, and remediate abandoned mine lands, Salazar said. They will also encourage the participation of young adults in their national parks.
The projects fall under six basic types of activities: construction, deferred maintenance, energy efficient equipment replacement, trails, abandoned land mines, road maintenance, and road maintenance.
Construction projects will build, rehabilitate, or replace facilities to help preserve natural and cultural resources and ensure safe, fun, and educational experiences for visitors.
Deferred maintenance projects will repair, rehabilitate, or maintain critical facilities to extend their useful life. The park service will undertake major repair and rehabilitation work and will complete cyclic maintenance to prevent an increase in the maintenance backlog.
Energy efficient equipment replacement efforts will replace aging vehicles, heavy equipment, and air-conditioning systems with next-generation energy efficient equipment.
Trails projects will complete work to restore trails for safer use and to extend the life of trails across the national park system. In addition, trail work will provide opportunities for youth and young adults to participate in meaningful experiences on public lands and to contribute to the park service mission.
The abandoned mine lands safety projects will remedy serious health and safety concerns at the sites. A consideration in choosing a particular remedy is the ability to provide continued use of the mine openings as wildlife habitat by maintaining access and airflow.
Road maintenance projects will preserve park roads and parkways and rehabilitate deteriorated road networks. The park service is responsible for approximately 5,450 paved miles of public park roads, 6,544 miles of unpaved roads, the equivalent of 948 paved miles of parking areas, and 1,679 structures such as bridges, culverts, and tunnels.