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 Seeks Additional Information on Proposed Road through Alaska's Izembek National Wildlife Refuge
Calls for additional government-to-government consultation with Alaska Natives, report from Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs regarding merits of road for medical evaluations from King Cove based on life safety concerns
Washington, D.C. – Following a meeting with Alaska Natives from King Cove, Alaska and in response to concerns raised by the Alaska delegation, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar is seeking additional information and has directed additional government-to-government consultation to inform a pending decision concerning the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, Land Exchange/Road Corridor as directed under the 2009 Omnibus Land Act.
“As I said when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released the final Environmental Impact Statement, the preferred alternative would protect the heart of a pristine landscape that Congress designated as wilderness and that serves as vital habitat for grizzly bear, caribou and salmon, shorebirds and waterfowl,” Secretary Salazar said. “The important analysis contained in the FEIS is based on exhaustive scientific review and extensive public dialogue, including government-to-government consultation.”
“Pursuant to the unique trust relationship that Interior holds with Alaska Natives, and in response to concerns raised that a non-commercial road is necessary for medical evacuations from King Cove, I believe that additional steps and dialogue are appropriate before a final decision is made,” added Salazar. “In reaching the Department's final decision on this matter, the Secretary will consider the full record before the Department, including the Fish and Wildlife Service's final Environmental Impact Statement, information presented in a report from the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, and comments received during a public meeting in King Cove convened by the Secretary.”
Secretary Salazar outlined the additional steps that will be taken, including additional government-to-government consultation and additional public meetings in a memorandum to the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs. The memo is available here.