Mount Rushmore National Memorial under construction.
The workers had to endure conditions that varied from blazing hot to bitterly cold and windy. Each day they climbed 700 stairs to the top of the mountain to punch-in on the time clock. Then 3/8 inch thick steel cables lowered them over the front of the 500-foot face of the mountain in a "bosun chair." Despite the dangers, no one was killed during the project.
Otters in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska.
The sea otter population of Glacier Bay has increased dramatically in the past 20 years. Ecologists consider sea otters a keystone species here. Otters consume vast quantities of clams, urchins, crabs, and other invertebrates and their presence creates ripples through the ecosystem. NPS photo.
Every day someone like you becomes a wildland wildfire fighter, a teacher, a trail-builder, a museum curator, or a park ranger. Discover your opportunities in national parks. Come to play. Come to learn. Come to serve. Develop your environmental leadership skills. Find a job. Be the next generation to preserve and protect these great places.
With more than 80% of Americans living in urban areas, urban parks are more important than ever. The father of American landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted, said of urban parks:
It is one great purpose of the Park to supply to the hundreds of thousands of tired workers, who have no opportunity to spend their summers in the country, a specimen of God's handiwork that shall be to them, inexpensively, what a month or two in the White Mountains or the Adirondacks is, at great cost, to those in easier circumstances.
Salazar: Time Has Come to Reform Outdated Mining Law
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of President Obama's agenda for reform, the time has come to update the nation's 19th century mining law to ensure reasonable royalty payments for extracting gold, silver and other minerals from federal land and to provide more effective regulatory, clean-up and reclamation tools, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said today.
“While the responsible development of our mineral resources is critical to both our economy and our environment, this statute has not been updated in 137 years,” Secretary Salazar told members of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. “In those years, much has changed. It is time to ensure a fair return to the public for mining activities that occur on public lands and to address the cleanup of abandoned mines.”
“We must find an approach to modernize the General Mining Law of 1872 and ensure that development occurs in a manner consistent with the needs of mining and the protection of the public, our public lands, and water resources,” said Salazar, who also worked on mining reform as a U.S. Senator. “It is time to make reform of the Mining Law part of our agenda of responsible resource development.”
Under the General Mining Law of 1872, numerous commodities are extracted to provide the raw materials essential for the manufacturing and building industries. The U.S. domestic gold mining industry alone directly or indirectly creates more than 66,000 jobs and nearly $2 billion in earnings annually. The United States is the second largest producer of gold and copper in the world, and the leading producer of beryllium, gypsum, and molybdenum.
The 5-year average for new mining claims staked annually under the law is about 76,000, with a current total number of claims at nearly 400,000. These claims generated almost $60 million in federal revenue in fiscal year 2008 -- mostly from the fees collected by the
Bureau of Land Management.
To read Secretary Salazar's opening statement before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, click here.