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).
AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS: Salazar Announces Transfer of Lighthouses in Michigan and New York to Local Ownership
WASHINGTON -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the transfer of historic lighthouses on Lake Michigan and Long Island Sound to a local government and a local historical organization under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act (NHLPA).
“Lighthouses play an integral role in our nation's maritime history and in the cultural heritage of nearby communities,” Secretary Salazar said. “With these transfers, we are ensuring that these great icons are preserved and open to the public for generations to come as places for visitors to learn about our maritime heritage.”
NHLPA was enacted in 2000 as a means to transfer historic light stations no longer in use by the Coast Guard out of federal hands while guaranteeing their preservation and public use. A model of inter-agency cooperation, the NHLPA program is a partnership between the Coast Guard, the General Services Administration, and the National Park Service. Since 2000, more than 60 historic light stations have been transferred at no cost to qualified entities.
The City of Frankfort, Michigan, will take ownership of the Frankfort North Breakwater Lighthouse on Lake Michigan. Constructed in 1932, the 67-foot tall, square, steel beacon marks the entrance to the city's harbor, a historic shipping point for lumber and other raw materials on Lake Michigan. The lighthouse was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.
The Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society, a non-profit organization that has been associated with preserving the Huntington Harbor Light Station (formerly Lloyd Harbor Light Station) for more than 20 years, will take ownership of the historic lighthouse on Long Island Sound in New York. While a lighthouse has marked the entrance to this harbor off of the sound since 1857, the present structure was constructed in 1912. The Huntington Harbor Light Station was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.
Applications for the lighthouses were reviewed by the National Park Service to ensure that the organizations have feasible and appropriate preservation and public use plans. The Secretary of the Interior makes the final decision on the disposition of the lighthouses.
“The National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act encourages partnerships for the preservation and continued public enjoyment of an important part of our nation's maritime history,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “These transfers fulfill the purpose of the act and help preserve the richness of our nation's maritime history and culture.”
Salazar has informed the Administrator of the General Services Administration to begin the process of transferring the lights to the organizations.