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.
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FOR VISITOR AND RESOURCE PROTECTION, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE,
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS, FORESTS, AND PUBLIC LANDS,
OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES,
CONCERNING H.R. 3616,
TO AUTHORIZE THE SECRETARY OF INTERIOR TO CONDUCT A STUDY
TO DETERMINE THE SUITABILITY AND FEASIBILITY
OF EXTENDING THE LEWIS AND CLARK NATIONAL HISTORIC TRAIL
TO INCLUDE ADDITIONAL SITES ASSOCIATED
WITH THE PREPARATION AND RETURN PHASES OF THE EXPEDITION
October 30, 2007
Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to present the Department of the Interior's views on H.R. 3616, a bill to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study to determine the suitability and feasibility of extending the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail to include additional sites associated with the preparation and return phases of the expedition.
While the Department has some concerns about the need for the study, we do not object to the enactment of H.R. 3616. However, we believe that priority should be given to the 35 previously authorized studies for potential units of the National Park System, potential new National Heritage Areas, and potential additions to the National Trails System and National Wild and Scenic River System that have not yet been transmitted to the Congress.
H.R. 3616 would authorize a study to determine whether the routes followed by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, whether independently or together, in the preparation phase of the expedition starting at Monticello, located near Charlottesville, Virginia, and traveling to Wood River, Illinois, and in the return phase of the expedition from Saint Louis, Missouri, toWashington, D.C., would meet the suitability and feasibility criteria for extending the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail to include these routes and their associated sites. These sites and routes are commonly referred to as the "Eastern Legacy." These routes include designated Lewis and Clark sites in Virginia, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Missouri, and Illinois. The study also would analyze the potential impact that the inclusion of the Eastern Legacy would have on those sites, as well as on the tourist visitation to the western half of the trail. The bill would require the Secretary of the Interior to complete the study and provide its conclusions and recommendations within two years from the date funds are first made available for that purpose. We estimate the cost to complete the study would be approximately $250,000 to $300,000.
There have been many discussions in recent years between scholars and interested individuals concerning whether the Eastern Legacy sites and routes merit inclusion in the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. However, the issue of whether this area is suitable and feasible as an administrative unit of the National Trails System has not been addressed. H.R. 3616 would provide that authority.
Discussions in the past against extending the trail to include the Eastern Legacy are focused primarily on the common historical understanding of where the expedition itself began. President Jefferson's instructions to Captain Meriwether Lewis clearly imply that the expedition began with the ascent of the Missouri River. The actual transfer of title to and power over the Louisiana Territory from France to the United States was not effective until March 10, 1804. Prior to that date, the Spanish Lt. Governor of Upper Louisiana refused the expedition's request to proceed up the Missouri; so it is clear that the journey of exploration could not begin until after that date. The journals of the expedition by Captains Lewis and Clark are the official chronicles of the project. On May 14, 1804, the day the expedition left Camp Wood and began its ascent of the Missouri River, Captain Clark wrote in his journal "The mouth of the River Dubois is to be considered as the point of departure." In his journal, Captain Lewis stated that he had informed President Jefferson, by letter, of the departure; this, too, would seem to imply that the expedition began that day.
Some believe that important locations in the Eastern Legacy are already recognized by the trail as certified sites and that they do not need to be connected to the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. There is also some concern that extending the trail will somehow dilute the attention to and importance of the existing official trail.
Others point out that the expedition did not simply spring forth from Wood River, Illinois on May 14, 1804, but involved years of preparation at other locations. These include the ruminations of westward expansion and manifest destiny by Thomas Jefferson at Monticello in Virginia, the acquisition of firearms at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, Lewis' training in medicine and scientific observation in Philadelphia, and taking delivery of the keel boat in Pennsylvania and struggling through low water to bring the boat down the Ohio River.
Although the field expedition ended in September 1806 with the Corps of Discovery's return to Saint Louis, there were still important tasks to undertake such as reporting to the White House to brief the President on the findings of the expedition. Some say that Lewis' death was attributable in large part to the expedition and that his grave on the Natchez Trace should be a part of the trail. As intended by President Jefferson, the expedition and manifest destiny had far reaching impacts and ramifications beyond the West to American society as a whole, and he certainly considered that his dream of a nation from "sea to shining sea" had been fulfilled, despite the failure to find the mythical "Northwest Passage."
A suitability and feasibility study would take into account the reasons for adding the Eastern Legacy by various interested agencies, organizations, and individuals and evaluate the merits of including the additional routes and sites in the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my prepared testimony. I would be pleased to answer any questions you or other members of the subcommittee may have.