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 Applauds House Vote Naming Mississippi Refuge After Sam Hamilton
Office of the Secretary
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today commended the House of Representatives for voting to change the name of Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge in Mississippi to the Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge in honor of the late director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
“A native Mississippian, Sam Hamilton fell in love with conservation and fish and wildlife management when as a boy he learned how to band ducks and build waterfowl pens at Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge,” Salazar said. “I commend the House for recognizing Sam's distinguished career and extraordinary contributions to wildlife conservation – and especially the National Wildlife Refuge System – by voting to rename this refuge, which was so close to his heart, in his honor.”
The passage of the legislation to rename the refuge, sponsored by Rep. Gregg Harper, follows Senate passage of an identical bill sponsored by Sen. Thad Cochran earlier this year. The legislation will now be sent to President Obama.
Hamilton was sworn in as the 15th director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in September 2009 and was serving in that capacity when he died suddenly of a heart attack last February.
A 30-year career employee of the Service, he previously had served in a variety of positions, including regional director of the Southeast Region, where he was instrumental in the extensive recovery and restoration efforts required following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the Interior Department's restoration work in the Everglades.
Established in 1940, the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge is located within the three Mississippi counties of Noxubee, Oktibbeha and Winston. Its 42,500 acres of bottomland and upland woodlands provide essential habitat to the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker, the American alligator, bobcat, quail, white-tailed deer and wild turkeys. In addition 15,000 waterfowl, primarily American widgeons, gadwalls, mallards and wood ducks, winter on the Refuge.