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 Celebrates Establishment of Four Conservation Units at Hill Ceremony
Unveils commemorative planks for each new conservation unit that will be installed in walkway tomorrow at Nation's first National Wildlife Refuge
WASHINGTON DC -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today joined a bipartisan group of Senators on Capitol Hill to celebrate recent additions to the National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) System. The Flint Hills Legacy Conservation Area of Kansas, the Dakota Grassland Conservation Area of South Dakota and North Dakota, the Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge of Pennsylvania, and the Tulare Basin Wildlife Management Area of California make up the four latest units to join the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's conservation system.
“Healthy lands, water, and wildlife mean a healthy economy,” said Secretary Salazar. “I am proud to stand here today with these Senators to add to our nation's great legacy of conservation. From sustaining our country's ranching heritage to protecting important migratory corridors for birds, these four new units make important additions to our National Wildlife Refuge System.”
During the ceremony, Secretary Salazar presented commemorative planks inlaid with the names of the new units to senators from the four states in which the conservation areas are located. Tomorrow Secretary Salazar will install the four planks in a walkway at Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge in Vero Beach, Florida. Commemorative planks for each of the nation's 555 national wildlife refuges, wildlife management areas and conservation areas form a boardwalk at Pelican Island, the first-ever national wildlife refuge, established in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt.
Secretary Salazar was joined by senators from all four states with the new conservation areas: Senators Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Tim Johnson (S.D.), John Thune (S.D.), Bob Casey (Pa.), and Jerry Moran (Kan.). Senator Bill Nelson (Fla.) also joined the event to help celebrate over 100 years of conservation through the National Wildlife Refuge System, starting with Florida's Pelican Island.
The four new areas of conservation are:
Tulare Basin Wildlife Management Area (California): Tulare Lake, once the largest freshwater wetland west of the Mississippi, provided habitat to hundreds of thousands of migratory waterfowl annually. However, due in part to water diversions for agricultural and municipal uses, the lake and surrounding wetlands are in decline. The Tulare Basin Wildlife Management Area, established in March, 2010, will make up to 22,000 acres in Kern and Tulare Counties, in an area between Kern and Pixley National Wildlife Refuges. The WMA will serve to arrest and eventually reverse the recent decline in this important wetland habitat for migratory birds and shorebirds in the Pacific Flyway, as well as other species in California's Central Valley. Ninety percent of the land in the WMA will be conserved through the purchase of conservation easements from willing landowners.
Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge (Pennsylvania): The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officially established the Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge in October 2010 when the Service acquired 185 acres of land within the refuge boundary, which encompasses more than 20,000 acres in Monroe and Northampton counties. Located only 75 miles from New York City and 100 miles from Philadelphia, the refuge represents a new opportunity to connect more than 3 million citizens with the outdoors. The refuge also conserves nationally significant wildlife areas, including habitat for threatened and endangered species and a major corridor for migratory birds and bats.
Dakota Grassland Conservation Area (South Dakota/North Dakota): The Service is working with private landowners to sustain the area's ranching heritage and accelerate the conservation of native prairie — both wetland and grassland habitats — within the Prairie Pothole Region in the eastern parts of North Dakota and South Dakota. The refuge was officially established with the purchase of a conservation easement in September 2011. The project could ultimately protect up to 1.7 million acres of critical grassland habitat and 240,000 acres of wetland habitat through conservation easements bought from willing sellers. Key partners include the South Dakota Grassland Trust, Ducks Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, and Partners for Conservation. Ducks Unlimited has already pledged $50 million for this project.
Flint Hills Legacy Conservation Area (Kansas): The Flint Hills Legacy Conservation Area will help maintain the integrity of tallgrass prairie wildlife habitat, stream water quality, and the rich agricultural heritage of the Flint Hills by acquiring and protecting up to 1.1 million acres of habitat through voluntary, perpetual conservation easements. The Refuge was officially established in September 2011 with the donation of one 5-acre tract. Key partners include the State of Kansas, The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Ranchland Trust of Kansas (an affiliate of the Kansas Livestock Association), and Kansas Land Trust.