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 Jewell Applauds Designation of Poverty Point in Louisiana as Nation's 22nd World Heritage Site
Office of the Secretary
Historic Earthworks Dating Back 3,000 Years Tell the Story of Early Inhabitants of North America
WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today applauded the decision by the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to inscribe the prehistoric Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point, a State Historic Site and National Monument in Louisiana, as a World Heritage Site.
The U.N's World Heritage Committee inscribed it by consensus at its 38th session in Doha, Qatar this past weekend.
“Poverty Point is an extraordinary settlement built by an ancient hunter-gather society more than 3,000 years ago that deserves to be recognized as one of the world's great archaeological sites,” Jewell said. “It is a vital part of Native American heritage and culture, and its inscription as a World Heritage Site will draw visitors from around the world to Louisiana, providing an economic boost to local communities.”
The historic hunter-gatherer settlement joins a list that includes cultural and natural sites of universal importance such as the Grand Canyon in Arizona, the Taj Mahal in India, and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
Jewell praised the efforts of Sen. Mary Landrieu in promoting inscription of the site, which features an extensive collection of prehistoric earthworks constructed 3,100 –3,700 years ago. The vast complex of structures, including an integrated complex of earthen mounds, enormous concentric ridges, and a large plaza, may be the largest hunter-gatherer settlement that ever existed.
“Senator Landrieu raised global awareness of Poverty Point and its Outstanding Universal Value, the hallmark for inscription as a World Heritage site. The Committee members agreed that Poverty Point deserves to be recognized alongside Stonehenge, the pyramids of Egypt and other great archaeological sites,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Rachel Jacobson.
Then-Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar proposed Poverty Point for nomination as a World Heritage Site in January 2013.
Poverty Point is the 22nd World Heritage Site in the United States, and the 1,001st to be inscribed worldwide.
The Interior Department's National Park Service manages all or part of 17 of the 22 existing World Heritage Sites in the United States. It is also the principal government agency responsible for implementing the World Heritage Convention in cooperation with the Department of State.
Inclusion of a site in the World Heritage List does not affect U.S. sovereignty or management over the sites, which remain subject only to U.S. law. Detailed information on the World Heritage Program and the process for the selection of U.S. sites can be found at www.nps.gov/oia/topics/worldheritage/worldheritage.htm.