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.
S. 1651, Modification of Patent for Whitefish Point Light Station (Michigan)
May 19, 2010
Thank you for the invitation to present testimony on S. 1651, legislation to modify a land patent pertaining to the Whitefish Point Light Station (Michigan). Although the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) role under the legislation is ministerial, preservation of historic lighthouses such as the Whitefish Point Light Station is a priority for the Department of the Interior. The BLM supports S. 1651.
In the late 18th and 19th centuries, the United States built a series of lighthouses in and around Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, and Lake Superior to aid in navigation of the Great Lakes. The role played by these lighthouses in the westward expansion and economic growth of the United States is part of our national heritage, with ships and shipwrecks recalled in story and song. The Great Lakes lighthouses—including the Whitefish Point Light Station at issue in S. 1651—are listed on the National Register of Historic Properties.
The U.S. Coast Guard retains responsibility for aid to navigation in the Great Lakes, as it (or its predecessor, the Revenue Marine) has since 1790. In the mid-1990s, concerns reached the Congress that the Coast Guard, in carrying out its mission in the Great Lakes, was unable to assure preservation of the historic lighthouses. Interest in preserving the Whitefish Point Light Station led the Congress, in 1996, to convey land adjacent to the Light Station to two non-profit organizations dedicated to conservation and historic preservation— an 8.27 acre parcel to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society (Historical Society) and a 2.69 acre parcel to the Michigan Audubon Society (Audubon Society) of Chippewa County—and a 33 acre parcel to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) (Public Law 104-208, Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act, Fiscal Year 1997, Section 5505.)
This law contains limitations on development at the historic lighthouse, and explicitly requires compliance with the "Whitefish Point Comprehensive Plan of October 1992." The patents BLM issued under this authority (including the most recent, number 61-2000-0007, issued March 10, 2000, to the Historical Society) contain this reference.
In 1999, the Audubon Society brought suit against the Historical Society and the FWS over plans to develop a museum at the site. The parties reached a settlement agreement under which the three groups developed the "Human Use/Natural Resource Plan for Whitefish Point, December 2002," to supersede the Whitefish Point Comprehensive Plan of 1992.
S. 1651 directs the Secretary of the Interior to modify patent number 61-2000-0007 by striking reference to the Whitefish Point Comprehensive Plan of October 1992 and inserting the "Human Use/Natural Resource Plan for Whitefish Point, dated December 2002." S. 1651 affirms the applicability of the National Historic Preservation Act to the Whitefish Point Light Station. The BLM supports this legislation.
Thank you for the opportunity to present testimony in support of S. 1651.