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 Announces $369 Million in Abandoned Mine Land Grants Available to States, Tribes
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) is making $369 million available to states and tribes to restore abandoned coal mines, an increase of over $70 million from last year.
The 28 eligible coal-producing states and tribes receive these grants by formula, based on both their past and present coal production. The 21 non-certified states, those that have active reclamation programs, will use these grants to fund projects that fill mine shafts and address other safety hazards and environmental problems resulting from lands mined and abandoned or left inadequately restored before the passage of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977.
“These grants have consistently provided well-paying jobs in America's economically depressed coal mining areas,” Salazar said. “It is estimated that OSM's Abandoned Mine Lands program created thousands of new jobs last year alone, and this year's increased funding will put more Americans to work and help them find their way out of this recession. Restoring lands and waters affected by past mining practices keeps jobs in areas hard hit by the economic downturn.”
“Over the past 30 years, OSM, working with states, tribes, and our Good Samaritan partners, has reclaimed more land and restored more streams than any other Federal agency,” said Joe Pizarchik, OSM Director. “Since its inception, OSM and its state and tribal partners have invested over $6.8 billion to reclaim more than 220,000 acres of abandoned mine lands.”
Despite this progress, considerable work remains to eliminate health, safety, and environmental problems caused by past mining practices. “I encourage our partners to reexamine the remaining environmental problems and look at them as renewable energy opportunities,” Pizarchik added. “For example, can an abandoned mine be reclaimed to prepare a site for renewable energy? Can water tainted by acid discharges from an abandoned mine be treated and used as a source of geothermal energy?”
The Abandoned Mine Land program is funded through fees assessed on annual coal production and pays the costs of these reclamation projects. The 21 non-certified states apply to OSM for specific reclamation projects throughout the fiscal year, which ends September 30, 2010. The seven certified states and tribes, those that have completed their reclamation programs, can use these funds for any purpose; therefore, the FY 2010 Budget proposed to terminate these grants to reduce the deficit.
The following list shows the funds available to eligible states and tribes for Fiscal Year 2010.