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, PARK PLANNING, FACILITIES, AND LANDS,
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE,
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS, FORESTS AND PUBLIC LANDS,
OF THE COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES,
CONCERNING H.R. 1376,
TO AUTHORIZE THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR
TO ESTABLISH THE WACO MAMMOTH NATIONAL MONUMENT
IN THE STATE OF TEXAS.
APRIL 23, 2009
Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to present the views of the Department of the Interior on H.R. 1376, a bill to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to establish the Waco Mammoth National Monument in the State of Texas.
The Department supports H.R. 1376, with amendments described later in this testimony. H.R. 1376 would establish a new unit of the National Park System, the Waco Mammoth National Monument (monument), near the city of Waco, Texas. The bill directs the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) to administer the monument in accordance with the laws applicable to the National Park System and to enter into cooperative agreements with Baylor University and the City of Waco to manage the monument. The bill also authorizes the Secretary to acquire land for the monument from willing sellers with donated or appropriated funds, transfer from another federal agency, or exchange. Lands owned by the State of Texas, or its political subdivisions, may only be acquired by donation or exchange. Finally, the Secretary is authorized to construct facilities on non-federal land within the boundaries of the monument and to complete a General Management Plan for the monument within three years after funds are made available.
The National Park Service (NPS) was directed to complete a Special Resource Study (SRS) of the Waco Mammoth site by Public Law 107-341. This study evaluated a 109-acre site owned by the City of Waco and Baylor University and found that the site meets all the criteria for designation as a unit of the National Park System.
The Waco Mammoth Site area is located approximately 4.5 miles north of the center of Waco, near the confluence of the Brazos and the Bosque rivers. Baylor University has been investigating the site since 1978 after hearing about bones emerging from eroding creek banks that led to the uncovering of portions of five mammoths. Since then several additional mammoth remains have been uncovered - making this the largest known concentration of mammoths dying from the same event.
The discoveries have received international attention and many of the remains have been excavated and are in storage or still being researched. The SRS determined that the combination of both in situ articulated skeletal remains and the excavated specimens from the site represents the nation's first and only recorded nursery herd of Pleistocene mammoths. The resource possesses exceptional interpretive value and superlative opportunities for visitor enjoyment and scientific study.
From the time the site was discovered until the present, the University and the City have managed the site responsibly. The SRS examined a range of proposed options for the NPS involvement at the site. We believe that NPS joining in partnership with the city of Waco, Baylor University, and others would offer the most effective and cost efficient management of this unique resource.
If established based upon the management alternative recommended in the SRS, we estimate that the costs to create the monument would include $8.1 million from the identified partners to develop the facilities at the monument with the NPS providing an additional $600,000 for enhanced interpretive media. Total operational costs are estimated to be $645,000 with the NPS contributing approximately $345,000 for NPS staffing of four full-time equivalent positions and associated supplies, materials, and equipment. All funds are subject to NPS priorities and the availability of appropriations.
We recommend that H.R. 1376 be amended to include a definition of the map used to show the location and boundaries of the monument in Section 3. Also, we suggest that Section 4 be amended to include language stating that the monument is established as generally shown on the map and that the map is available for inspection at appropriate NPS offices. This will make the bill consistent with other similar legislation establishing new National Park System units. We will be happy to work with the subcommittee staff on these suggested amendments.
Mr. Chairman, that concludes my statement. I would be happy to answer any questions that you or other members of the Subcommittee may have.