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.
STATEMENT OFSTEPHEN E. WHITESELL, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, PARK PLANNING, FACILITIES AND LANDS, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS OF THE SENATE ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE CONCERNING S. 302, A BILL TO AUTHORIZE THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR TO ISSUE RIGHT-OF-WAY PERMITS FOR A NATURAL GAS TRANSMISSION PIPELINE IN NONWILDERNESS AREAS WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF DENALI NATIONAL PARK, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to testify and provide the views of the National Park Service (NPS) on S. 302, a bill to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to issue right-of-way permits for a natural gas transmission pipeline in nonwilderness areas within the boundary of Denali National Park, and for other purposes.
The Department has no objection to the bill as written.
The potential owners and operators of such a pipeline have not, at this time, determined whether such a line carrying natural gas to south-central Alaska is financially feasible, nor have they determined the best route for a pipeline. This legislation provides flexibility for the backers of a proposed pipeline, and provides assurance to the NPS that the National Environmental Policy Act analysis will be completed before any permit for work in the park would be issued by the Secretary.
The legislation also provides authority for the Secretary to permit distribution lines and related equipment within the park for the purpose of providing a natural gas supply to the park. We support this provision, but remind the committee that at this time no decisions have been made about the financial or engineering feasibility, nor the exact configuration of equipment needed to facilitate tapping the larger line to allow local use of natural gas in or near Denali National Park.
Thank you for the opportunity to testify and we would welcome any questions you or other members may have.