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).
Interior Department Receives Honors for Financial Reporting
Office of the Secretary Policy Management and Budget
WASHINGTON -- The Association of Government Accountants (AGA) recently awarded the Department of the Interior their Certificate of Excellence in Accountability Reporting, the group's highest form of recognition in Federal government management reporting. This follows on the Interior Department receiving, for the 14th consecutive year, a favorable audit opinion from KPMG LLP (KPMG), an independent certified public accounting firm and the Department's external auditor.
“One of Secretary Salazar's top goals is sound financial management, so this is a proud moment for the Department,” said Interior Assistant Secretary Rhea Suh, who also serves as Interior's Chief Financial Officer (CFO). “Not only have we been reviewed very favorably by our external auditor, we now have an independent agency reaffirming, for the eleventh year in a row, our commitment to financial reporting excellence and our high standards of accountability, transparency, and ethics.”
Of particular interest to the AGA was Interior's comprehensive, yet concise, high-level discussion of key performance measures, goals, results, reasons for shortfalls and costs. Also noteworthy was the high level of cooperation among the Department, its external auditor KPMG, and all the bureaus within the Department, including the National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Bureau of Reclamation, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement, Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management and Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as Departmental Offices. By consolidating the audit at the Department level, Interior reduces costs and achieves improved integration.
The Interior Department manages the Nation's public lands and minerals including providing access to public lands and the Outer Continental Shelf for renewable and conventional energy; is the steward of 20 percent of the Nation's lands including national parks and national wildlife refuges; is the largest supplier and manager of water in the 17 western States and a supplier of hydropower energy; and upholds Federal trust responsibilities to American Indian tribes and Alaska Natives. It is also responsible for migratory wildlife conservation, historic preservation, endangered species conservation; mapping, geological, hydrological and biological science for the nation; and financial and technical assistance for the insular areas.