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.
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, I am Kris Polly, Deputy Commissioner at the Bureau of Reclamation. I am pleased to be here today to give the Department's views on HR 786, the Los Angeles County Water Supply Augmentation Demonstration Project. The Department does not support this legislation. It is not necessary to specifically authorize a demonstration project under Title XVI of P.L. 102-575, as amended, since Section 1605 already provides authority to participate in demonstration projects. We are already implementing this proposed project using funds appropriated in FY 2008.
The project that HR 786 would involve infiltration of storm water runoff to recharge the groundwater basin in the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Watersheds. The project consists of a neighborhood demonstration project that would demonstrate the potential for infiltration of storm water runoff to recharge groundwater by retrofitting one or more sites in the Los Angeles Area with state-of-the-art best management practices and perform pre-development and post-development monitoring to assess the resulting potential new water supply.
This project was jointly developed by the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council, City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Water Replenishment District of Southern California, City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation, and the City of Santa Monica Environmental Programs Division, with technical input from Reclamation. Project benefits include local drought protection, water quality improvements and reduced dependence on imported water.
HR 786 would authorize Reclamation to participate in planning, design, construction and assessment of a demonstration project. The legislation does not specify an authorization of appropriations amount, but provides that the Federal share should not exceed 25 percent of project costs. However, since Section 1605 of Title XVI already authorizes the Secretary to construct, operate, and maintain demonstration projects, and since Congress has appropriated $492,000 for this demonstration project in Fiscal Year 2008, Reclamation has already initiated participation in this project. Because of other priorities in the President's Budget, we have not included funding for this project in our FY 2009 budget.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my testimony. Thank you for the opportunity to comment on HR 786. I would be happy to answer any questions at this time.