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).
Federal, State Partners on Bay-Delta Restoration Effort Announce Updates on Transparency, Release of Draft Technical Documents
SACRAMENTO - The U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the California Natural Resources Agency and the California Department of Water Resources today announced a first step in responding to public comments on a draft Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with California water agencies that will enhance transparency in developing the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) by speeding access to draft technical documents. This initial step will be followed by additional responses to public comments that have been filed on the MOA.
“The Bay Delta Conservation Plan may propose the largest habitat restoration project ever to be undertaken in the United States in the largest and most important estuary on the west coast of the Americas,” said Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes. “This needs to be done right, and that is why we are announcing our joint commitment that all parties have access to key documents involved in the development of the BDCP.”
“Our expectation is that broad stakeholder understanding of its scientific underpinnings will improve their engagement in both the plan and its implementation," said Secretary of Natural Resources John Laird. "Fish, farmers and the 25 million average Californians who rely on the San Francisco-San Joaquin Delta for water deserve nothing less."
Laird continued: "One thing is absolutely clear as review of the comments on the MOA have begun -- no one wants even the appearance of a special advantage. Thus, while other comments on the MOA will be addressed in coming weeks, there is no need to wait on committing to release all documents to all parties at the same time."
This enhancement will be finalized in a letter among the controlling agencies in December. The letter will spell out that key BDCP-related documents will be posted on the internet at www.BayDeltaConservationPlan.com and made available to all parties for review at the same time. A list of expected release dates will be posted on the website within the week.