Visit Arches and discover a landscape of contrasting colors, landforms and textures unlike any other in the world. The park has over 2,000 natural stone arches, in addition to hundreds of soaring pinnacles, massive fins and giant balanced rocks. This red rock wonderland will amaze you with its formations, refresh you with its trails, and inspire you with its sunsets.
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.
Denali is six million acres of wild land, bisected by one ribbon of road. Travelers along it see the relatively low-elevation taiga forest give way to high alpine tundra and snowy mountains, culminating in North America's tallest peak, 20,310' Denali. Wild animals large and small roam un-fenced lands, living as they have for ages. Solitude, tranquility and wilderness await.
Peer Review of Scientific Findings in Draft EIS on Drakes Bay Oyster Company Now Available
Office of the Secretary Policy Management and Budget
WASHINGTON - The Department of the Interior today publicly released the results from an independent peer review panel that evaluated the scientific and technical information and scholarly analysis in the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on a commercial shellfish operation in Point Reyes National Seashore, California. The panel's detailed findings and recommendations will help inform the National Park Service's final EIS on the Drakes Bay Oyster Company Special Use Permit.
Atkins North America, an independent consulting firm specializing in peer reviews, facilitated the panel of five independent subject-matter experts from across the nation to obtain suggestions on how the draft EIS can be improved from a scientific perspective.
Atkins found generally the analyses in the draft EIS to be “appropriate, and that there is no fundamental flaw with the larger scientific underpinning of the DEIS.” The panel also makes specific recommendations for how the final EIS can be strengthened, including: a more explicit discussion of the uncertainty associated with the estimates of eelgrass cover and damage due to boat propellers; a more robust analysis of potential effects on juvenile coho salmon of chemicals leached from pressure-treated wood used by the company; conducting a “sound source verification” study to document all the company's noise sources; and, most significantly, using the best available science and additional quantitative measurements and data to conduct the socioeconomic analysis.
The peer-review report and its recommendations are available here.
“The peer-review accomplished exactly what we were seeking – that is, specific recommendations on how to improve the final environmental impact statement to make it a better science product,” stated Dr. Ralph Morgenweck, Interior's Scientific Integrity Officer.
Morgenweck commissioned the independent peer review of the draft EIS in recognition of high interest in the science related to Point Reyes.
“We welcome these constructive recommendations that will help strengthen the Final EIS,” said Peggy O'Dell, Deputy Director for Operations of the National Park Service. “We will look to address the Atkins Report comments, as well as information contained in the public comments on the draft EIS as we work toward a more comprehensive and thorough final report."
The National Park Service released the draft EIS in September 2011 which evaluates four alternatives on the potential issuance of a permit, from “no-action” under which the existing agreement to operate will expire and the area would be converted to wilderness, to the issuance of a new 10-year permit at differing levels of operation.
The National Park Service's final EIS will be informed by the peer review report released today, the public comments received on the draft EIS, and any other relevant scientific and technical information. This may include the Marine Mammal Commission Report and any National Academy of Science review.