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).
Statement of Assistant Secretary Strickland Regarding Court Ruling on the Northern Rocky Mountain Gray Wolf
Office of the Secretary
WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Tom Strickland today issued the following statement regarding a decision in U.S. District Court on the Northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf population:
“For more than 15 years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state wildlife agencies, tribes, conservation organizations, ranchers and other landowners have worked hard to recover gray wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains. Our collective efforts have brought this population to the point where it no longer requires Endangered Species Act protection.
“Despite this extraordinary success, today's ruling means that until Wyoming brings its wolf management program into alignment with those of Idaho and Montana, the wolf will remain under the protection of the Endangered Species Act throughout the northern Rocky Mountains. Since wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains are now again subject to ESA protection, in the days ahead we will work closely with Idaho and Montana to explore all appropriate options for managing wolves in those states.
“Reintroduced from Canada, in the mid-1990s, to remote areas of central Idaho and Yellowstone National Park, the wolf population flourished and reached sustainable recovery levels as early as 2002. It has continued to grow and has now far surpassed these recovery plan targets.
“The Service's decision to delist the wolf in Idaho and Montana reflected the strong commitments from the states of Idaho and Montana to manage gray wolves in a sustainable manner. Today's ruling makes it clear this wolf population cannot be delisted until the State of Wyoming has instituted an adequate management program, similar to those of Idaho and Montana.
“In the meantime, we will continue to work closely with the states, tribes, conservation organizations, and ranchers and other landowners to manage wolves and ensure the species continues to thrive and coexist with livestock, other wildlife populations, and people.”