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).
WASHINGTON – Department of the Interior (DOI) today announced the winners of the Department's 2011 Environmental Achievement Awards. Winners included three individuals and ten teams of DOI employees who demonstrated extraordinary commitment to sustainable practices and environmental remediation at DOI sites.
The winners were diverse, and included: an initiative that cleaned up and recycled thousands of pounds of metal, tires and other debris from wildlife refuge lands; an innovative construction project that earned a LEED Gold certification; a revamped business system that allows coal industry auditors to operate in a completely paperless environment; and a “Sustainability Hero” who goes above and beyond to keep an Alaska office facility weather-tight and energy efficient through the harsh Northern winter.
An award was also presented to Xanterra, a concessioner in Grand Canyon National Park, which transformed the operation of the Grand Canyon Railway to be as environmentally sustainable as possible by retrofitting the inefficient 19th-Century steam locomotive to run on waste vegetable oil.
“Environmental Achievement Award recipients and honorable mentions represent the Department's most valuable resource: our creative, dedicated and resourceful employees. I am honored to present these awards to outstanding DOI professionals from various disciplines and locations who took the initiative and put in the extra work to make our lands and facilities cleaner and greener,” Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget Rhea Suh said. “My heartiest congratulations to this year's award recipients and honorable mentions—DOI appreciates their service and is proud of their leadership.”
The DOI awards convey high-level recognition to DOI employees and partners for DOI projects in the following categories: Sustainability Hero; Green Innovation; Lean, Clean, and Green; Good Neighbor; Green Dream Team; Building the Future; and Environmental Remediation.
The awards recognize departmental employees and partners who have attained exceptional achievements under Executive Order 13514 “Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance” and for cleaning up contaminated land.
The award selection panel of environmental and procurement experts from DOI bureaus and offices, selects recipients and honorable mentions for recommendation to DOI's Senior Sustainability Officer. All nominations are screened to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
The scope of the DOI environmental achievement awards and categories reflect those of the GreenGov Presidential Award program. Only recent DOI award recipients and honorable mentions may be nominated for the GreenGov Award.
For more information about the award recipients and to review the honorable mentions, please visit www.doi.gov/greening.