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.
Salazar Announces $50 Million in Funding for Water Infrastructure Projects in Western United States
Funding includes $30 million to help bring safe and reliable water to tribal, non-tribal residents in rural communities
WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced $50 million in funding for water infrastructure projects in the West – including $30 million in funding for rural water construction projects. The funding will support a variety of efforts – providing financial assistance and construction support for rural water projects, addressing aging infrastructure to maintain system reliability and safety, restoring aquatic habitat and meeting the increasing water demands of the western United States.
"Water is the lifeblood of our communities, and clean, reliable drinking water is absolutely vital to build healthy people and healthy economies – especially in rural areas in the West,” Secretary Salazar said. “Building the infrastructure we need to deliver clean water to our nation's rural and tribal communities will create construction jobs and, when complete, will provide lasting benefits for local economies and public health.”
The six rural water projects, selected by the Bureau of Reclamation as directed by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012, will help advance six infrastructure projects that will deliver clean, reliable drinking water to remote areas. The projects are:
$10.9 million for the Garrison Diversion Unit (Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program) in North Dakota. This will allow the Spirit Lake Tribe to replace an existing water storage reservoir, known as Spirit Lake-Tokio Tank & School Tank Projects, to ensure reliable water service to the West Fort Totten area of the reservation. The funding will also be used to replace poor quality private wells in Logan and McIntosh counties.
$9 million for the Fort Peck Reservation/Dry Prairie Rural Water System (Montana). This project will enable the Assiniboine Sioux Tribe to complete the mainline pipeline from Brockton to the Big Muddy to facilitate the delivery of water to Dry Prairie. The funds will also allow for the completion of the mainline from Big Muddy to Culbertson so that a sufficient amount of water from the new treatment plant will be delivered to Dry Prairie.
$5 million for the Lewis and Clark Rural Water System (South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota). This project will allow for the purchase of water treatment plant tools, vehicles, maintenance equipment, security fencing and installation of approximately three miles of pipeline in Minnesota.
$3.9 million for the Rocky Boy's/North Central Montana Rural Water System (Montana). This funding will allow the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation to complete a portion of Segment 3 of the Core pipeline installation for the Rocky Boys Rural Water System. It will also help to provide an interim water system to three areas in Montana as part of the North Central Montana Rural Water System.
$1 million for the Eastern New Mexico Water Supply Project (New Mexico): This funding will support the construction of an intake structure at Ute Reservoir that will supply water to eight municipalities and three counties in eastern New Mexico.
$200,000 for the Jicarilla Apache Rural Water System (New Mexico). This project will assist the Jicarilla Apache Nation in continuing its on-going work related to the Jicarilla-Apache Water System. This rural water grant will allow construction of new water and waste water facilities in the town of Dulce, New Mexico.
This new funding is in addition to $16.1 million that Reclamation had already identified for construction activity for the Mni Wiconi project in South Dakota that will help build water distribution systems to serve several rural communities, including reservation areas of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.
To allocate fiscal year 2012 funding for rural water projects, Reclamation considered the level of time and financial resources already committed by project beneficiaries, a perspective on regional watersheds, and compelling need – such as water quality, tribal members served, economic impacts and water use efficiency.
The remaining $20 million in Reclamation funding supports:
$5 million for fish passage and fish screens to meet the increasing water demands in the West while protecting the environment and restoring aquatic habitat that has been impacted by historic development.
$6 million for water conservation and delivery studies to promote water conservation and improved water management.
$4 million for environmental restoration and compliance efforts with an emphasis on species recovery and protection.
$5 million for facility operation, maintenance and rehabilitation to ensure system reliability and safety of infrastructure in support of sustainable water management. Funding has been assigned through criteria that identified projects with the most urgent need.
"This funding will allow work on these projects to be accelerated, saving the American taxpayers money," said Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor. "The funding will also stimulate regional and local economies, support the creation of much-needed jobs and provide a stable and reliable water supply to communities throughout the West."
Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. To learn more, visit http://www.usbr.gov.