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).
Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor Appointed to Migratory Bird Conservation Commission
Office of the Secretary
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced that Senator Mark Pryor has been appointed to the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission. The Commission, which is chaired by Secretary Salazar and includes members of Congress and cabinet secretaries, reviews and approves the purchase of wetlands and other areas of vital wildlife habitat for inclusion in the National Wildlife Refuge System.
“Senator Pryor will be a tremendous asset to the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission,” said Salazar. “His leadership and support for conservation throughout his home state of Arkansas is evident, and he will play a major role in helping the Commission preserve America's great outdoors.”
In addition to voting on land acquisition projects for migratory bird habitat at National Wildlife Refuges, the Commission also approves project funding under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA). NAWCA provides Federal funding for public-private partnership projects that protect, enhance, restore, and manage wetlands and other associated habitats across North America.
“I am pleased and honored to join the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission,” said Pryor. “Arkansas' natural resources are a defining feature of our state, and preserving these habitats is important to wildlife, hunters, and the surrounding communities. I look forward to working with the bipartisan members of the Commission and ensuring Arkansas interests are well represented.”
The Commission usually convenes three times per year during the months of March, June, and September, or as needed to approve land acquisitions and easement purchases, NAWCA projects. Since the Commission's establishment, more than six million acres have been acquired by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for addition to the National Wildlife Refuge System. The Service administers the Commission on behalf of the Secretary.
Land projects that come before the Commission for consideration are funded from the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund. There are two major sources of money for the Fund. The most well-known source is the revenue received from the sale of Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps, commonly known as Duck Stamps. The other major source is import duties collected on arms and ammunition In addition to Sen. Pryor, Commission members include:
Chairman - Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior
Thad Cochran, Senator from Mississippi
John D. Dingell, Congressman from Michigan
Robert J. Wittman, Congressman from Virginia
Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture
Lisa Jackson, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency
Secretary - A. Eric Alvarez, Chief, Division of Realty, Fish and Wildlife Service