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 Announces $1.4 Million Award to Texas to Seal Abandoned Wells in State Offshore Waters
NEW ORLEANS – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced a grant award for $1,397,050 to the State of Texas General Land Office for a project to seal in abandoned oil and natural gas wells in state waters in the Gulf of Mexico.
The funding through the Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP) will plug abandoned wells in bays and offshore waters to eliminate potential pollution threats to natural resources on the Texas Gulf Coast.
“I welcome this opportunity to join in partnership with the State of Texas to carry out this important conservation and coastal protection project,” said Secretary Salazar. “The Department of the Interior is proud to assist Texas in restoring and protecting natural resources through the Coastal Impact Assistance Program.”
The CIAP was created by the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Through the program, MMS will provide $250 million in grants annually, from 2007-2010, to six eligible Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas producing states – Texas, Alabama, Alaska, California, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
The allotted funding to Texas under the CIAP includes $48.6 million for each of the fiscal years 2007 and 2008 and $35.6 million for 2009 and 2010. Eighteen Coastal Political Subdivisions (counties) share in the funding of projects outlined in the state's approved plan.