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).
Salazar Announces Next Phase of Improvements to Access, Visitor Safety, Experience at Statue of Liberty
Office of the Secretary
Liberty Island to Remain Open during Statue's Year-Long Renovation
New York, NY -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced that the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island will undergo a $27.25 million renovation that includes long-planned safety and other critical facility renovations beginning in late October.
“Two years ago, when we reopened Lady Liberty's crown to visitors for the first time since the September 11 attacks, I promised that we would continue to upgrade the interior to make it safer and more accessible for all,” Salazar said. “With today's announcement, we are taking a major step in bringing a 19th Century icon into the 21st Century.”
The National Park Service awarded the work to Joseph A. Natoli Construction Corporation of Pine Brook, NJ, to install code compliant stairways within the monument, update mechanical, electrical and fire suppression systems, replace the elevators, and rehabilitate restrooms. The improvements will also allow for increased visitor access to the monument, including the pedestal and the museum.
The National Park Service will keep the monument open to the public through the Oct. 28 celebration of the 125th anniversary of the statue's dedication. It will be closed the following day as work commences; however, Liberty Island will remain open during the project and views of Lady Liberty will remain largely unobstructed during the year-long upgrade to the statue's interior.
Secretary Salazar re-opened the crown of the Statue of Liberty to visitors on July 4, 2009 after it was closed following the 9/11 attacks for safety and security reasons. For safety considerations, the National Park Service has to limit the number of visitors to the crown to groups of no more than 10 visitors at a time. With approximately three groups ascending the crown per hour, an average of 240 visitors climb to the crown each day.
National Park Rangers will remain on site to provide interpretation to Statue of Liberty visitors, most of whom tour only the outdoor grounds of Liberty Island, with only a small percentage securing a reservation for entry into the monument. Approximately 3.5 million people visit every year.
The project is funded through a combination of National Park Service appropriations and the park Concession Franchise Fee program.
A gift from France, the Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886, designated as a National Monument in 1924, inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1984 and restored for her centennial on July 4, 1986.