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).
Secretary Salazar Praises Release of Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Strategy for Public Review
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar released the following statement on the Gulf Coast Task Force's submission today of a preliminary strategy for Gulf Coast ecosystem restoration for public review:
“This is the moment to transform crisis into meaningful restoration that will benefit the Gulf Coast and all Americans for generations to come,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “I commend the Task Force for building a comprehensive strategy for restoring coastal wetlands, improving habitat for wildlife and fisheries, and strengthening the health of the natural resources and Gulf Coast communities that draw visitors from around the globe.
“The Task Force's preliminary strategy is the result of a collaborative effort among five Gulf Coast states and 11 federal agencies, including the Department of the Interior, and includes significant input from the public, NGOs, tribes, businesses and local governments.
“The strategy builds upon existing state plans and proposes specific actions to implement the Louisiana Coastal Area authorization and Mississippi Coastal Improvement Program, among others. The strategy supports ongoing efforts by Interior to restore Gulf Island National Seashore and increase habitat conservation at a number of national wildlife refuges throughout the Gulf.
“I encourage all Gulf Coast residents and those throughout the country who rely on the Gulf of Mexico for its natural resources to review and provide feedback on this preliminary strategy.”