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.
Salazar Issues Secretarial Order to Ensure Integrity of Scientific Process in Departmental Decision-Making
Office of the Secretary
WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today issued a Secretarial Order establishing a policy to ensure the integrity of the science and scientific products used in the Department's decision-making and policy development.
“The American people must have confidence that the Department of the Interior is basing its decisions on the best available science and that the scientific process is free of misconduct or improper influence,” Salazar said. “This policy clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of all department employees, including career staff and political appointees, in upholding principles of scientific integrity and conduct.”
The new policy, which will be codified in the Departmental Manual to ensure compliance by all employees, clearly affirms that Interior employees, political and career, will never suppress scientific or technological findings or conclusions. Further, it ensures scientists will not be coerced to alter or censure scientific findings, and employees will be protected if they uncover and report scientific misconduct by career or political staff.
The new policy is consistent with the Presidential Memorandum on Scientific Integrity, dated March, 9, 2009, and will conform with the expected 2010 guidance and recommendations of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
The Department has been working on a policy on scientific integrity for a number of years. The Department put out a draft for public comment in 2010, and many commenters noted that it did not sufficiently address scientific conduct by political appointees or use of scientific information in decision-making. The policy directive issued by Secretary Salazar today clearly applies the same standards of conduct to both political appointees and career appointees and forbids the alteration of scientific findings in policy-making activities.
The policy covers all departmental employees when they engage in, supervise or manage scientific activities, analyze and/or publicly communicate information resulting from scientific activities, or use this information or analyses in making agency policy, management or regulatory decisions. It also covers all contractors, cooperators, partners, volunteers, and permitees who assist with scientific activities.
The secretarial order, whose implementation will be overseen by Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes, incorporates the following principles:
The Interior Department values science and science plays a vital role in helping us meet the department's mission. As such, when scientific or technological information is considered in decision making, the information will be as robust, of the highest quality, and the result of rigorous scientific processes as can be achieved within the available decision time-frame.
Interior Bureaus and Offices will document and make available to the public the scientific or technological findings or conclusions considered or relied on in decision making, except for information that is properly restricted from disclosure under procedures established in accordance with statute, regulation, Executive Order, or Presidential Memorandum.
The selection and retention of candidates for science and technology positions and positions that are decision making in nature where those decisions rely on scientific information to inform the process, shall be based on the candidate's knowledge, credentials, experience, and integrity.
Clear and unambiguous codes of conduct for scientific activities and use of science in decision making will establish expectations of employees with regard to scientific integrity. Misconduct will not be tolerated. Allegations of misconduct will be investigated and disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate.
Interior will identify, address, track, and resolve instances in which the scientific process or the integrity of scientific and technological information may be compromised.
Interior will establish procedures and as appropriate, clarify whistleblower protections to ensure the integrity of scientific and technological information and processes on which the agency relies in its decision making or otherwise uses or prepares.
Interior scientists have rights as citizens and responsibilities as government employees. These rights and responsibilities with regard to communication with the public will be clearly delineated.
Interior encourages the enhancement of scientific integrity through engagement with the communities of practice represented by professional societies. Interior scientists, scholars and other professionals are encouraged to engage in scientific, scholarly and other activities with these professional networks. These Interior employees will recuse themselves when appropriate and avoid conflicts of interest and the appearance of conflicts of interest.