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.
Secretary Salazar Approves Transmission for Solar Thermal ‘Power Tower' Project in Southern California
150 MW facility will generate up to 450 jobs, $48 million in tax revenue
WASHINGTON, DC – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today approved a transmission line, access road and substation on public lands that will connect a 150-megawatt solar energy project to the power grid in California. The proposed project, Rice Solar Energy Project, will be built on private land in Riverside County and, when constructed, the facility is expected to power 68,000 homes, create up to 450 jobs, and generate more than $48 million in state and local tax revenue over the first 10 years of operation.
“The Rice Solar Energy Project is yet another example of how we can strengthen local economies by generating good jobs and reliable power as we strive to become energy independent,” Secretary Salazar said. “I am pleased to approve this project as we move toward a sustainable clean energy future.”
Proposed by Rice Solar, LLC, a subsidiary of SolarReserve LLC, the thermal “power tower” facility will be located on 1,410 acres of previously disturbed private land near Blythe. The above-ground 230 kilovolt transmission line that crosses eight miles of land administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will connect with the Western Area Power Administration's Parker-Blythe #2 transmission line. The project's innovative molten salt storage system can capture solar energy and deliver power to the grid even after the sun goes down.
The project has undergone extensive environmental review and reflects strong efforts to mitigate potential environmental impacts. SolarReserve will be required to fund the acquisition and enhancement of 1,522 acres to compensate for impacts to desert tortoise habitat on private and public land.
“Mitigation is a key priority for us as we stand up renewable energy across the country,” said BLM Director Bob Abbey. “In addition, this project will be on an abandoned airfield near Blythe. By siting it on already disturbed land, we are able to do something the public has told us is a priority -- avoiding impacts to undisturbed areas in the desert.”
Salazar's signing of the Record of Decision for this project is the latest in a series of solar, wind, geothermal and transmission facility approvals resulting from Interior's renewable energy program. This priority approach to renewable energy development on public lands processes existing applications in a coordinated, focused manner with full environmental analysis and public review.
In the past two years, this approach has enabled Interior to approve 22 major renewable energy projects, including 13 commercial-scale solar energy facilities that combined will create about 8,600 construction and operational jobs and produce nearly 5,000 megawatts of energy, enough to power approximately 1.5 million American homes.
The Rice Solar Energy Project is one of the projects jointly processed through the BLM and the California Energy Commission cooperative model. It was licensed by the Commission on December 15, 2010. The Western Area Power Administration has served as the lead NEPA agency reviewing the project, with BLM as a cooperating agency.
Because the development on private land is connected to the federal Right of Way for the transmission line and cannot proceed without Interior approval, the Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessment had to consider the impacts of the entire generation and transmission project, including the components located on private lands.