A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Willie R. Taylor, Ph.D., is the Director of the Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior. Dr. Taylor served as Deputy Director of this Office prior to his promotion to Director. Currently, Dr. Taylor manages a staff of over 40 individuals in Washington, D.C., and eight Regional Offices. He is the Department's Alternate Environmental Executive and is a member of the Senior Executive Service. He is the Department's representative on the National Response Team and the Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice. He is also a member of the Department of the Interior's Crisis Action Team.
Among his major accomplishments, he assisted in the creation and implementation of a new Division of Solid and Hazardous Materials Management in the Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance. Dr. Taylor was one of the original authors of the Department's natural resource damage assessment regulations which were written under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). He was the Co-Chair of the Department's Greening Interior Work Group.
Dr. Taylor has received numerous awards including the Department of the Interior's Meritorious Service Award, and the Distinguished Executive Rank Award and two Meritorious Executive Rank Awards from the President of the United States. Dr. Taylor is a former member of the National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT). In his capacity as a NACEPT member he served on the Committee on Sustainable Economies for Ecosystem Management. Dr. Taylor was also a member of the Risk Analysis Committee formed by the White House to review how risk analysis is used in the Government.
Prior to assuming his duties in the Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance, Dr. Taylor served as a member of a staff of economic analysts in the Office of Policy Analysis, U.S. Department of the Interior, where one of his major responsibilities was the management of the Department's regulatory review process. Prior to his permanent employment with the Department of the Interior, Dr. Taylor was an Economic Policy Fellow at the Brookings Institution and taught economics at Howard University. As an Assistant Professor of Economics at Howard University, Dr. Taylor was responsible for teaching MA and Ph.D. courses in microeconomics; co-directing a summer program to bring minority students from around the country to Howard University to increase their proficiency in economics, mathematics and statistics; instituting a joint MA program in German\Russian language and International Economics; and initiating two new Ph.D. concentrations in economics (Monetary & Fiscal Policy and Human Resources). Dr. Taylor holds his MA and doctorate degrees in Economics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Bradley University. Dr. Taylor was also a Lecturer of Economics at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.