Mercury's surface in "enhanced color," a color scheme created to emphasize color differences. This is not what Mercury would look like to the human eye, but by applying mathematical analysis to images, color differences can be accentuated beyond those visible to a person.
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.
Interior Clears the Way for Return of Whooping Cranes to Louisiana
Office of the Secretary
Reintroduction of Cranes Expected Later this Month
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has cleared the way for the reintroduction of whooping cranes in Louisiana a half century after these endangered birds were last seen in the state, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today.
The Interior Department's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a regulation designating a potential Louisiana's population as a non-essential, experimental population under the Endangered Species Act. This designation would allow the Service to effectively manage a reintroduced population. The reintroduction of whooping cranes to Louisiana could begin later this month.
“The whooping crane is an iconic species that should be returned and restored to health along the Gulf Coast,” Salazar said. “In partnership with the State of Louisiana, and thanks to the remarkable work of our scientists and experts, we believe we are ready to bring whoopers back. The reintroduction of these remarkable birds will be a milestone moment for the Gulf Coast and in our continuing commitment to the protection and restoration of America's Great Outdoors.”
The last record of a whooping crane in Louisiana dates back to 1950, when the last surviving whooping crane was removed from Vermilion Parish property that is now part of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area.
In cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, LDWF plans to release the first group of non-migratory whooping cranes at the conservation area in early 2011.
The reintroduction of the whooping crane is a model of the kind of partnership in conservation called by President Obama when he unveiled his America's Great Outdoors Initiative to create a new conservation ethic for the 21st century and reconnect Americans to the great outdoors, Salazar said.
“Working with states and local communities to achieve our conservation goals is at the heart of the America's Great Outdoors Initiative,” Salazar said.
“We strongly support the State of Louisiana in this historic effort for the ultimate recovery of the magnificent whooping crane,” said Cindy Dohner, the Service's Southeast Regional Director. “We are proud to be partners with Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham, the Canadian Wildlife Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the International Crane Foundation in this great effort.”
The proposed designation of a non-migratory flock of whooping cranes for reintroduction to Louisiana was first published in the Federal Register on August 19, 2010. Public comments were received and two public hearings (Gueydan and Baton Rouge) were held to allow public comment. Comments were accepted through October 18, 2010 and were generally found to be supportive of the overall reintroduction effort.
The Service announced today in the Federal Register the final designation of Louisiana's non-essential, experimental population (NEP) of the endangered whooping crane. The non-migratory flock coming to Louisiana will carry that designation under the provisions of the Endangered Species Act. This designation and its implementing regulation are developed to be more compatible with routine human activities in the reintroduction area.
“LDWF has proven through implementing recovery efforts for species like the American alligator and the brown pelican that the expertise and willingness to implement a long-term restoration plan for high priority trust resources are assets our biologists bring to projects,” Barham said.
Whooping cranes are the most endangered of all of the world's crane species, first added to the list of endangered species on March 11, 1967.
Louisiana's reintroduction is part of a larger ongoing recovery effort led by the Service and its partners for this highly imperiled species, which was on the verge of extinction in the 1940s and even today has only about 400 individuals in the wild.
“The return of whooping cranes to their home in Louisiana, after an absence of more than a half-century, salutes the values of a state that shelters some of the largest and most important wetlands on the continent," said George Archibald, co-founder of the International Crane Foundation (ICF).
The only self-sustaining wild population of whooping cranes migrates between Wood Buffalo National Park in the Northwest Territories of Canada and Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. Like those in the eastern migratory population, it remains vulnerable to extinction from continued loss of habitat or natural or man-made catastrophes. Multiple efforts are underway to reduce this risk and bring this magnificent bird further along its path to recovery. This includes increasing populations in the wild, ongoing efforts to establish a migratory population in the eastern United States, and establishing a resident population in Louisiana.