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.
Administration Announces NPR-A Oil & Gas Lease Sale in November
Office of the Secretary
Sale Part of President Obama's All-of-the-Above Energy Strategy
WASHINGTON — Following President Obama's direction to hold annual oil and gas lease sales in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A), Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will hold its second oil and gas lease sale in the past year on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Anchorage, AK. The lease sale will include 400 tracts and cover approximately 4.5 million acres in the NPR-A, and builds on the December 2011 NPR-A sale that made 283 tracts and three million acres available. BLM released the draft Determination of National Environmental Policy Act Adequacy document in support of the agency's next planned oil and gas lease sale. The draft determination and a map of tracts to be offered by the sale are posted at www.blm.gov/ak.
“The energy resources of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska are essential to meeting our nation's energy demands and will enhance domestic energy production and decrease dependency on foreign oil sources,” said Salazar. “The November sale is in line with the President's direction to continue to expand domestic energy production, safely and responsibly. Since the President took office, domestic oil and gas production has increased each year with oil production higher than any time in eight years, and production of domestic natural gas at an all-time high.”
The BLM sought public input on tract nominations from lands in the NPR-A planning areas that are not currently leased or deferred from leasing and selected the tracts based on evaluation of comments received, natural resource information, resource potential, industry interest, and subsistence values. The comment period ran from May 15 through June 29.
The BLM will submit a Notice of Sale to the Federal Register to be published at least 30 days prior to the sale.
This will be the eighth oil and gas lease sale in the NPR-A since 1999. Following President Obama's direction in May, 2011 that annual oil and gas lease sales be conducted in the NPR-A, BLM offered 3 million acres in a lease sale last December that generated 17 winning bids covering approximately 120,000 acres.
To date, only exploratory drilling has occurred within the NPR-A, although last year, with the assistance of the President's Interagency Working Group on Coordination of Domestic Energy Development and Permitting in Alaska, permits were issued to ConocoPhillips to allow for future production of oil and gas resources within the NPR-A. Currently, there are 186 authorized oil and gas leases totaling 1,481,092 acres within the planning areas of the NPR-A.
Comments on the draft Determination of NEPA Adequacy may be submitted to: NPR-A Draft DNA Lease Sale Comment, Attn: Bridget Psarianos; 222 W. 7th Ave. Ste. 13; Anchorage, Alaska, 99513-7504 or through the BLM-Alaska website. Comments must be received by Oct. 24, 2012.