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.
Fish and Wildlife Service Unveils National Plan to Combat Deadly White-Nose Syndrome in Bats
WASHINGTON -- The Department of the Interior's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today unveiled a national management plan to address the threat posed by white-nose syndrome, which has killed more than a million hibernating bats in eastern North America since it was discovered near Albany, New York in 2006.
“Having spread to 18 states and four Canadian provinces, white-nose syndrome threatens far-reaching ecological and economic impacts,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “We've learned a lot in the past few years about the disease, but there is much more work to be done to contain it. This national plan provides a road map for federal, state, and tribal agencies and scientific researchers to follow and will facilitate sharing of resources and information to more efficiently address the threat.”
The National Plan for Assisting States, Tribes and Federal Agencies in Managing White-Nose Syndrome in Bats provides a coordinated national management strategy for investigating the cause of the syndrome and finding a means to prevent the spread of the disease. The service considered approximately 17,000 comments received on the draft plan made available to the public in October 2010.
Since the syndrome was first documented, the service has been leading a national response that now includes more than 100 state and federal agencies, tribes, organizations and individuals.
Interior Department agencies have invested more than $10.8 million in this effort since 2007. This includes more than $3 million in research funding that is supporting ongoing research projects looking for methods to control or cure the disease.
For example, researchers working with the U.S. Geological Survey have identified Geomyces destructans, a fungus new to science, as the presumed causative agent.
In addition to research, the national response has also developed decontamination protocols to reduce the transmission of the fungus, surveillance strategies, and technical white-nose syndrome diagnostic procedures.
Bat populations are at risk in some areas of the country as a result of white-nose syndrome. Ecologists and natural resource managers are concerned because of the critical role that bats play in maintaining healthy ecosystems and in agricultural systems. A recent analysis published in Science magazine's Policy Forum showed that pest-control services provided by insect-eating bats save the U.S. agricultural industry at least $3 billion a year.
The national plan's release coincides with the fourth annual WNS Symposium to be held in Little Rock, Arkansas May 17-19. More than 170 of the world's top scientific experts on bats, wildlife disease, and the WNS fungus will present the latest research and information on how to contain the spread, determine the cause, and hopefully find a cure for WNS.
State, federal and tribal land managers will also discuss the national response to WNS and implementation teams will formalize work plans as part of a more detailed implementation strategy.