Mercury's surface in "enhanced color," a color scheme created to emphasize color differences. This is not what Mercury would look like to the human eye, but by applying mathematical analysis to images, color differences can be accentuated beyond those visible to a person.
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, Leahy Emphasize Economic Value of Outdoor Recreation During Visit to Vermont National Wildlife Refuge
Office of the Secretary
Discuss Progress on Sea Lamprey Control, Heritage Area, and Appalachian Trail Improvements
BURLINGTON, VT — Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today joined U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy in Vermont to highlight the contributions of outdoor recreation to the state's economy and to examine the progress of several priority conservation initiatives under way, including sea lamprey control efforts in Lake Champlain.
Secretary Salazar and Senator Leahy began their day with a visit to Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge and were later joined by Governor Peter Shumlin for a tour of Bibens Ace Hardware in Colchester to showcase the importance of outdoor recreation to the economy of Vermont. Following the tour, Salazar emphasized the estimated $363 billion and 2.2 million jobs annual contribution by Interior's programs across the United States during an outdoor recreation stakeholders meeting.
“When America invests in the protection of places like Lake Champlain, the Appalachian Trail, and the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge, we not only conserve our natural heritage for future generations but we also create jobs and support the economies of communities across the country,” said Salazar, at a local hardware store in Vermont's Lake Champlain Valley. “With one out of every 20 jobs in America related to outdoor recreation – more than there are doctors, lawyers, or teachers – we all have an interest in strengthening and supporting the tourism and leisure sector. Vermont is forging the way.”
“It's a pleasure to welcome my good friend Secretary Salazar to Vermont and to show him just a little of what the Green Mountain State has to offer,” said Senator Leahy, a senior member of the Interior Department's funding panel in the Senate, the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies. “The Interior Department is a partner with Vermont on many of our legacy issues. The agencies that Ken oversees – the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service and USGS – are all making vital contributions to conservation, outdoor recreation and disaster preparedness in Vermont. The projects that we announced today will go even farther to build Vermont's economy and protect our ecosystems and cultural heritage on which our economy depends.”
“Lake Champlain is the perfect illustration of the link between a clean environment, a healthy outdoor recreation industry and a strong economy,” said Governor Shumlin. “This is in large part the result of a solid state and federal partnership on issues like water quality and lamprey control. I appreciate the Secretary's visit to Vermont to stress his commitment on this front, and thank Sen. Leahy and Vermont's congressional delegation for their leadership in keeping Lake Champlain clean and healthy.”
During their visit to Bibens Ace Hardware, Salazar and Leahy lauded the progress of sea lamprey control efforts in Lake Champlain under a Memorandum of Understanding signed in May among the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the State of Vermont, and the State of New York. Through the use of mechanical barriers, lampricide applications, trapping systems, and other tools, FWS biologists have helped meet sea lamprey management goals for the first time since the program's inception in the 1990s. As the population of parasitic sea lampreys has been brought down, the number and size of salmon and trout in Lake Champlain have been increasing, which has resulted in better fishing and a greater draw for visitors.
Salazar also announced that he has approved the management plan for the Champlain Valley National Heritage Area, which was established in 2006 through legislation sponsored by Senator Leahy. In a special resource study in 1999, the National Park Service estimated that the national heritage area would generate an estimated $50 million of increased economic activity in the area.
In addition, Salazar today recognized the remarkable recent progress toward improving and protecting the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. With federal appropriations through the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and with the help of a partnership with a non-profit organization called The Conservation Fund, the National Park Service was able to acquire 4,777 acres along the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire, 840 acres in Pennsylvania, and 631 acres in Vermont. The trail crosses 14 states, is within a day's drive of two-thirds of the U.S. population, and is enjoyed by 4 million hikers a year – many of whom infuse dollars into local economies by lodging, dining and shopping during their visit. All together, outdoor recreation contributes an estimated $730 million to the U.S. economy each year nationwide.
At the conclusion of their visit, Secretary Salazar and Senator Leahy toured the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain in Burlington. The Center is home to several organizations that conduct research, education, and outreach to promote stewardship of Lake Champlain.