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).
Assistant Secretary Strickland Hosts Kick-off Celebration for 50th Anniversary of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
ANCHORAGE, AK -- Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Tom Strickland today hosted a kick-off event for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that will feature an hour-long documentary film, a traveling photo exhibit, and other events both in Alaska and across the country.
“The creation of the Arctic National Wildlife Range in 1960 is one of the milestones in the history of American conservation,” Strickland said. “As a people, we made the unprecedented decision to set aside a vast area of beautiful mountains, plains, rivers and streams and conserve it forever as a natural treasure, a place where the relentless cycles of nature will continue undisturbed for generations to come.”
In the 1950s, a group of visionary conservationists, led by Olaus and Margaret Murie, launched a seven-year campaign to establish the nation's first ecosystem-scale conservation area. On December 6, 1960, the Arctic Refuge was established for the purpose of “preserving unique wildlife, wilderness and recreational values.”
To celebrate the 50th anniversary, the Interior Department's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with partners to increase understanding and appreciation of the Arctic Refuge and the importance of national wildlife refuges everywhere.
Projects and events planned for the anniversary celebration include:
• America's Wildest Refuge: Discovering the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This is an hour-long, high-definition video documentary. With sweeping views of the Arctic Refuge and its wildlife and interviews with those who know it best, America's Wildest Refuge is an ecological and historical portrait of a majestic place and those who have worked to protect it. A trailer can be found on YouTube.
• Wild Legacy—This original stage production is based on the collected writings of Olaus and Margaret Murie, who were instrumental in the establishment of the Arctic Refuge. Commissioned by the Fish and Wildlife Service, Wild Legacy is produced by the Memphis, Tennessee-based theatre company Voices of the South. The play honors those who made establishment of the refuge possible and celebrates the experiences visitors are still able to enjoy 50 years later because of this “wild legacy.” Learn more about Wild Legacy at http://votswildlegacy.blogspot.com/
• Arctic Sanctuary: Images of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This exhibit includes large-scale photos and interpretive text. Photographer Jeff Jones' work conveys a sense of the scope, significance and stunning beauty of the Arctic Refuge while Laurie Hoyle's words combine to engage the viewer in a contemplative exploration of the refuge. A book, published by the University of Alaska Press, features more than 150 of his Arctic Refuge photographs as well as Laurie's essays. View photos from the Arctic Sanctuary exhibit at www.lumnos.com/exhibits/AS.html
• A Sense of the Refuge. This five-panel exhibit describes the history, geography, biology, climate and the special significance of the refuge as well as its impacts on people