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.
Before the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee
Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests
S. 832, Turnabout Ranch, Utah Land Conveyance
February 27, 2008
Thank you for the opportunity to testify on S. 832, a bill to convey approximately 25 acres of lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to Turnabout Ranch in Utah. The BLM supports this legislation.
Turnabout Ranch is both a working ranch and a residential treatment center for troubled teens. Located north of Escalante, Utah the ranch is adjacent to Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (Monument). Several years ago, the owners of Turnabout Ranch realized that they were using a field that is on BLM-managed lands within the Monument for pasture and a corral and approached the BLM about purchasing these lands. It is clear that this long-standing trespass was inadvertent. (These lands were originally owned by the state of Utah and were exchanged to the BLM following the Monument designation under the provisions of Public Law 105-335.) These approximately 25 acres, which are on the edge of the Monument, are critical to the effective functioning of the ranch and treatment center. The BLM cannot undertake a sale of this parcel to the Ranch because the acres are within the Monument boundary.
S. 832 provides for a legislated sale of the 25 acres on which Turnabout Ranch is in trespass to the ranch for appraised fair market value. The bill specifies that the appraisal be completed in accordance with the Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisitions and the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. It further provides that all costs related to the sale be borne by Turnabout Ranch. Finally, following the sale of the land, the boundary of the Monument is modified to exclude just these 25 acres from the edge of the Monument.
The BLM has taken a close look at the land proposed for sale to the Ranch under S. 832. It is our belief that sale of these lands will not undermine the purposes for which the Monument was established. Therefore, we support this legislative remedy to clear title issues with a suggestion for one very technical modification.