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.
Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands
H.R. 523, Douglas County, Washington, PUD Conveyance Act
May 10, 2007
Thank you for the opportunity to testify on H.R. 523. This legislation directs the Secretary of the Interior to convey certain public lands located wholly or partially within the boundaries of the Wells Dam Hydroelectric Project [Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Project No. 2149-19795] (Project) to Public Utility District No. 1 of Douglas County, WA, (PUD). The BLM supports this conveyance. During consideration of similar legislation in the 109th Congress (H.R. 4789), we raised several concerns. The BLM greatly appreciates the work by Rep. Hastings' staff and Subcommittee staff to address our concerns, as the text of H.R. 523 reflects. We look forward to working with the bill's sponsor and the Committee on the few key concerns still outstanding.
Since 1998, the PUD has expressed a strong desire to purchase all BLM-managed public lands within the Project boundaries. During the 109th Congress, we worked with the PUD to identify precisely which public lands it wishes to acquire, and we worked with the bill's sponsor to develop a map that correctly identifies these lands. Some of the public lands the PUD wishes to acquire are located within the boundaries of the Project. These were reserved for power site purposes by order of the Federal Power Commission (FPC Order dated July 12, 1962, for Power Project No. 2149). Some of the lands requested by the PUD lie outside (but contiguous to) the designated project boundary. We encourage the sponsor and the Committee to provide safeguards to protect the known resource values on these lands, which include Bald Eagle roosts and approximately two miles of Columbia River shoreline currently open to the public.
Section 3(f) of the legislation directs that the proceeds from the sales be deposited into the “working capital” funds of the BLM. We strongly recommend instead that these funds be deposited in the “Federal Land Disposal Account” established by P.L.106-248, the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act(FLTFA).
Thank you for the opportunity to testify. I will be glad to answer questions.