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).
Conflicts of Interest. Federal employees should be aware that it is important to avoid actual or perceived conflicts of interest in our daily dealings with our partners. The goal is to separate partnership efforts enough from other business processes that a conflict of interest is avoided. It should never appear that the partnership relationship gives either party inappropriate benefit. Conflict of interest guidelines are applied through regulatory restrictions and criminal statutes. These guidelines protect employees from the appearance of a conflict of interest or impropriety.
Thorough Understanding of Ethics Laws/Regulations. Employees engaged in partnership activities must have a thorough understanding of the ethics laws and regulations in order to identify potential issues of concern in the development and implementation of the partnership.
Gray Areas. There may be "gray areas" in any ethics inquiry -- the statutes and regulations do not always create bright-line tests. By being familiar with these restrictions, employees and partners will be better able to ask the hard questions that must be asked, anticipate potential problems, and take steps to avoid ethics violations or the appearance of a violation.