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 Pushes for Ban on Importation of all Nine Large Constrictor Snake Species
Curbing Invasive Species “Vital to Protecting America's Great Outdoors”
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, DC – Recently returned from a visit to Florida and the Everglades, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today sent a letter to Senator Bill Nelson and Congressman Kendrick Meeks reemphasizing his support for H.R. 2811 S.373 and recommending that the legislation be amended to ban the importation and trade of all nine large constrictor snake species considered invasive or potentially invasive in the United States, including the Burmese python.
“The threat posed by the Burmese python and other large constrictor snakes is evident. The Burmese python population estimate is now in the thousands—putting at risk a variety of threatened and endangered species and harming the Everglades ecosystem,” Secretary Salazar wrote, emphasizing that the Burmese python and other constrictors threaten the future of America's great outdoors. “The Department is working with many partners to address the significant challenges posed by the invasive Burmese python and other large constrictor snakes.”
The Burmese python, a large exotic snake, is well-established in the Everglades. Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve and the Water Conservation Areas represent the core areas of the python infestation.
Among the world's most effective predators, pythons are having negative impacts on native species in the Everglades ecosystem, and can potentially threaten other areas. Because of the serious threat posed by pythons, the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), and the U.S. Geological Survey, along with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the South Florida Water Management District, and many other partners are actively engaged in a large variety of potential python control efforts.
In the letter, Secretary Salazar also reemphasized his commitment to working with Senator Nelson and Congressman Meeks to address the threat of invasive species and to restore the ecosystem.
In June 2006, the Service received a request from the South Florida Water Management District to list Burmese pythons as an injurious species under the Lacey Act, which would ban importation and interstate transport of the species. At the time the petition was submitted, no scientific information had been compiled on Burmese pythons that would enable a rigorous assessment of risk and potential impacts to the Everglades and other ecosystems. As a result, in 2007 the Service partnered with the National Park Service to provide funds to U.S. Geological Survey for a risk assessment of nine large constrictor snake species considered invasive or potentially invasive in the United States.
Of the nine large constrictor snakes assessed by U.S. Geological Survey, five were shown to pose a high risk to the health of the ecosystem, including the Burmese python, northern African python, southern African python, yellow anaconda, and boa constrictor. The remaining four large constrictors—the reticulated python, green anaconda, Beni or Bolivian anaconda, and DeSchauensee's anaconda—were shown to pose a medium risk. None of the large constrictors that were assessed was classified as low risk.