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).
Interior Secretary Salazar Lauds Senate's Confirmation of Joseph Pizarchik as Director of Office of Surface Mining
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today praised the Senate's confirmation of Joseph Pizarchik as director of the Department's Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement.
Pizarchik currently is director of the Pennsylvania's Bureau of Mining and Reclamation, part of the state's Department of Environmental Protection. The nomination requires Senate confirmation.
“Joe Pizarchik is a dedicated public servant whose experience in coal production will be invaluable as Director of Office of Surface Mining,” Secretary Salazar said. “I welcome his energy and insight on our policy team to balance the nation's need for continued domestic coal production with protection of the environment,” Salazar said.
Pizarchik joined the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection in 1991. Before becoming its director of the Bureau of Mining and Reclamation in 2002, he served as assistant director of the Bureau of Regulatory Counsel.
Pizarchik was one of the authors of Pennsylvania's Environmental Good Samaritan Act and provided counsel during the development and implementation of the Good Samaritan program, which he currently oversees.
In addition to working on various mining related statutory and regulatory amendments, Pizarchik helped develop Pennsylvania's program for volunteers to clean up abandoned coal refuse sites and helped develop the state's program for mine operator's to establish trust funds as a means of meeting their financial obligations. This ensures funds are available to perpetually treat the discharges caused by mining.
Pizarchik also has worked closely with the Pennsylvania State Police and the Pennsylvania Office of Homeland Security promulgating regulations for security at explosive storage magazines to prevent unauthorized access to the sites.
Prior to joining the Department of Environmental Protection, Pizarchik severed as counsel to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation dealing with contracts, mass transit, aviation, contractor qualifications, and minority business enterprises. He also formerly worked in private practice and for an insurance company.