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 Announces $13 Million Contract for Navajo Indian Irrigation Project Pumping Plants
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that the Bureau of Reclamation has awarded Archer Western Contractors, Ltd. of Phoenix, Arizona, a $13 million contract to construct two pumping plants near Farmington, New Mexico. The pumping plants are key features for continued development of the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project. That ongoing project, which Reclamation is developing for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, provides water for the Navajo Agricultural Products Industry farming enterprise of the Navajo Nation.
“This award helps fulfill one of the major goals of both President Obama and the Interior Department in working with Indian Country – advancing the self-sustaining economic development of Indian communities,” said Salazar, who met with Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley and other Navajo officials last week in Window Rock. “The Navajo Nation Irrigation Project benefits the economy of the Four Corners area and especially the Navajo Nation not only through farm employment, but also through numerous multiplier benefits to local, regional, and national economies as crops are grown, harvested and marketed primarily by Navajo workers.”
The Navajo Nation Irrigation Project, which was begun in 1964, is now 70 percent complete. Under the new contract, the Phoenix firm will construct the pumping plants over the next two year period. The contract covers complete construction of the pumping facilities including buildings, electrical work, installation of electronic operating controls, and installation of the pumps. The associated pipe laterals that will carry the water will be constructed through a future contract. The pumping plants are located about 14 miles south of Farmington, New Mexico and are scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2011.
“When these pumping plants and pipe laterals are completed, an additional 5,166 acres of irrigation capacity will be added to the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project,” Reclamation Commissioner Michael Connor announced. Reclamation is responsible for design and construction of the irrigation facilities to the point of the individual farm units. The BIA, in cooperation with the Navajo Nation, is then responsible for developing the farm units.
The pumping plants are part of Block 9 of the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project. Blocks 1 through 8, and Block 9, Stage 1are done and have a combined irrigation capacity of 77,685 acres. The total authorized project is for 11 blocks, totaling slightly over 110,000 acres of lands.