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.
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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 Seeks Legislation to Authorize Mint to Issue Coins Commemorating National Park Service Centennial Anniversary
Office of the Secretary
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, DC – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar is asking Congress to pass legislation authorizing the U.S. Mint to issue coins commemorating the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016.
“Commemorative coins would bring national and international visibility to the history and the mission of the Service as a whole as well as its many parks and programs during the bureau's centennial year,” Salazar wrote in a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi that accompanied a draft bill.
Under the proposed legislation, sales of the coins would raise funds for the National Park Foundation, a congressionally chartered organization that works to strengthen the connection between the American people and national parks by raising private funds, making strategic grants, creating innovative partnerships and increasing public awareness.
The legislation would authorize the issuance of 100,000 $5 gold coins, 500,000 $1 silver coins, and 750,000 half-dollar clad coins. As collectors' items, the coins typically sell for far more than their face value. For example, gold $5 coins that were minted for Jamestown's 400th anniversary in 2007 sold for over $200 each, while silver $1 coins sold for about $37 a piece.
The foundation, as the designated recipient of surcharges, would receive $35 for each gold coin, $10 for each silver coin, and $5 for each half-dollar coin sold.
For a copy of Secretary Salazar's letter to Congress, click here.