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).
Salazar Welcomes First Visitors to Tour Re-Opened Crown of Statue of Liberty
NEW YORK, NY — Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today was joined by Governors David Paterson, Jon Corzine, Senator Robert Menendez, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Congressmen Gregory Meeks and Anthony Weiner to celebrate the Fourth of July by welcoming the first visitors to tour the crown of the Statue of Liberty since it was closed following the 9/11 attacks for safety and security reasons. The first thirty visitors, from all over the world, climbed the 354 steps to the crown accompanied by National Park Service rangers.
“Once again, Americans can climb to Lady Liberty's crown and gaze out over New York harbor, where so many of our ancestors first saw the New World and first breathed the fresh air of freedom,” Salazar said at a ceremony marking the re-opening. “This is a celebration of America and the joy of being an American.”
For safety considerations, the National Park Service will limit the number of visitors to the crown to groups of no more than 10 visitors at a time. With approximately three groups ascending the crown per hour, an average of 240 crown will be able to climb to the crown each day. All visitors must be able to climb and descend the stairs without assistance and should be aware that the statue is cramped and can often be much hotter than the outside temperature.
Over the past few months, NPS had made safety upgrades to the Statue of Liberty, including adding an additional handrail to the double helix staircase. The Statue of Liberty will be open for the next two years, then it will be closed again for work on a long-term solution that will further improve safety and security.
Crown tickets may be reserved up to one year prior to the day of the visit. (Example: Tickets for travel on September 1, 2010 will become available on-line or by phone starting at 10:00 a.m. EST on September 1, 2009). Reservations are made through the Statue Cruises Web site at www.statuecruises.com or by phone at 877- LADY-TIX (877-523-9849).
Crown tickets will cost an additional $3 and will be combined with reserved ferry tickets, which are currently $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $5 for children. The maximum number of tickets that can be reserved per customer is 4, with only one reservation allowed during any 6 month period. Children must be at least four feet tall to visit the crown.