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).
AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS: Salazar Urges Americans to Celebrate Earth Day at Parks, Refuges, and Other Public Lands
Office of the Secretary
No Admission Fee for National Parks during National Park Week
WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today encouraged Americans to celebrate the 41st Earth Day by visiting national parks, national wildlife refuges, or other public lands.
“One of the goals of both Earth Day and President Obama's America's Great Outdoors initiative is to connect people to the beauty and richness of this planet and encourage a conservation ethic that will ensure that we protect this precious inheritance for our children to enjoy,” Salazar said. “What better way to do this than to make it easier for people to visit our national parks, wildlife refuges, and other public lands.”
Salazar noted that the department is waiving all admission fees at the 394 units of the National Park System during National Park Week, which runs through April 24.
The department is also waiving admission fees at national parks, all 553 national wildlife refuges and the 245 million acres of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management on the first day of summer (June 21), National Public Lands Day (September 24), and the weekend of Veterans Day (November 11-13).
Getting people out into nature is a key objective of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors initiative to work with communities and other partners across the country to establish a 21st Century conservation ethic and reconnect Americans to the natural world, Salazar said.