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.
ACTING ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, BUSINESS SERVICES, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE,
U. S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS
OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES,
CONCERNING S. 2512, A BILL TO ESTABLISH
THE MISSISSIPPI DELTA NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA
IN THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
APRIL 9, 2008
Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to present the views of the Department of the Interior on S. 2512, a bill to establish the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area in the State of Mississippi.
The Department cannot support S. 2512 unless the bill is amended to be a feasibility study for a Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area. The Department believes that a feasibility study should be required for every proposed national heritage area and the study should be evaluated against our interim criteria before designation. The standards for evaluating areas proposed for national designation are an essential element prior to establishing a national heritage area. A study should be prepared that demonstrates evidence of place-based resources that tell a nationally important story, which has the support and involvement of the local community.
Various congressionally mandated studies have previously gathered information on the Mississippi Delta region, including the Lower Mississippi Delta Region Heritage Study and the Mississippi RiverCorridor Study.While these studies have confirmed the importance and significance of the Mississippi Delta region, they were undertaken before generally accepted criteria for designating heritage areas had been established, and were directed at a much larger region than the area encompassed by this bill.
The Department is willing to provide advice or assistance in the completion of a study that meets applicable standards and provides Congress with the necessary information and assessment upon which to base its decision regarding designation in the future.
With 37 national heritage areas designated across 27 states, and more heritage area legislative proposals forthcoming, the Administration believes it is critical for Congress to enact national heritage area program legislation. This legislation would provide a much-needed framework for evaluating proposed national heritage areas, offering guidelines for successful planning and management, clarifying the roles and responsibilities of all parties, and standardizing timeframes and funding for designated areas. Program legislation would also clarify the expectation that heritage areas would work toward self-sufficiency by outlining the necessary steps, including appropriate planning, to achieve that goal.
The Mississippi River's role as a major transporter of goods and people has long influenced the Delta's history and character. Since the earliest days of human habitation, the Mississippi River has been essential for transportation, communication, and commerce. The river and associated ecosystems are part of North America's largest wetland area and provide habitat for a wide variety of flora, fauna, and aquatic species. Archeological sites across the Delta attest to the thousands of years of human occupation. The Mississippi Delta's cultural traditions are rich and diverse; it is a land of converging cultures. The Delta has also been the site of a number of important historic events, such as the Great Flood of 1927 and the Civil Rights Movement.
S. 2512 would establish a Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area along the lines outlined in the Lower Mississippi Delta Region Heritage Study, but covering a substantially smaller area, located entirely in the State of Mississippi. It would include some 18 counties in the State located within the alluvial floodplain of the Mississippi River. It would also encompass the Delta National Forest.
The bill designates the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area Partnership as the coordinating entity of the heritage area. The Partnership is to be governed by a board of directors composed of 15 members. The members are to be appointed by various entities, including the Governor; various universities, councils, and commissions; and County boards from the heritage area.
Mr. Chairman, the Department is prepared to work with the subcommittee on amending S. 2512 to authorize a feasibility study for a Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area.
This concludes my prepared remarks. I would be pleased to answer any questions you or any members of the Subcommittee may have.