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 Seeks Legislation to Authorize Mint to Issue Coins Commemorating National Park Service Centennial Anniversary
Office of the Secretary
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.