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).
National Park Service to Release Final National Mall Plan/Final Environmental Impact Statement to Public
Washington, D.C. – With the help of community input, the National Park Service has completed a long-term vision for restoring the beauty and ensuring the sustainability of America's front yard, the National Mall. The National Park Service announced the availability of the Final National Mall Plan/Final Environmental Impact Statement (FMNP/FEIS) through a notice in the Federal Register on Tuesday, July 13th, 2010.
“The National Mall is where we celebrate the inauguration of our President, the birth of our nation, and the rights of all Americans to peacefully gather and speak their minds,” said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. “It is also a place where we come to learn about our country, our leaders, and the events that tested us and made us strong. This new vision honors these purposes while understanding that the Mall also serves as a premier year-round venue for outdoor recreation and fun. We appreciate the thoughtful comments and active participation from so many citizens who made this plan possible.”
The planning process has involved 20 federal and local agencies, 23 days of workshops, 12 public meetings and tours, over 30,000 written comments, and presentations to dozens of community organizations and stakeholders.
Key elements of the National Mall plan include the need for:
Flexible, multi-purpose venues with appropriate backdrops and utility connections for stages, tents, and other activities.
Surfaces for jogging and walking, separate bicycle lanes, improved fields for softball, soccer, kickball, and other sports, improved conditions for passive recreation like picnicking, and locating restrooms convenient to recreation.
Improvements to general condition and appearance, additional services such as restrooms, water, information, and refreshments, spaces for cultural activities, and for capturing iconic photographic images.
Highest standards of accessibility and universal design with conveniently located seating and facilities.
Areas where groups can regroup, find shelter, sit, or gather for education or eating without impacting general visitation, and enhanced tour bus drop-off and parking.
Highest standards of recycling and waste management, design for maintenance and efficiency, use special skills teams (turf and irrigation, water features, events management), model sustainable approaches (maximize LEED rating and Sustainable Sites Initiative); improve operational access to all areas; reduce use of potable water; improve monitoring and adaptive management.