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).
Emergency Support Function (ESF) #11 Protection of Natural and Cultural Resources and Historic Properties (NCH) is part of the National Response Framework (NRF), The NRF is how the Federal Government plans for and responds to disasters by utilizing the capabilities identified in the ESFs. The NRF coordinates response activities undertaken by the federal government to stabilize and preserve resources that have been impacted by a major disaster or emergency. ESF #11 NCH is just one component of ESF #11 Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Utilizing ESF #11 NCH capabilities, the Federal Government manages and coordinates the appropriate actions to protect, conserve, rehabilitate, and restore NCH Resources. We provide personnel, equipment, and supplies in support of State, Tribal, Territorial, and local authorities or other federal agencies involved in NCH resources protection efforts.
The Department of the Interior (DOI) is the primary agency for managing the ESF #11 NCH capabilities, and it coordinates Federal actions to help safeguard State, Tribal, and local resources.
ESF #11 NCH can only be activated once the President of the United States has issued a Presidential disaster Declaration for an area or region. When that declaration occurs, State governments requesting aid submit Action Request Forms to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). If FEMA approves a request, it will send a Mission Assignment (MA) to the appropriate ESF. If the MA requests assistance for NCH resources, it will be sent to DOI, detailing the type of aid requested. In order to staff the MA, DOI solicits the aid of staff from its bureaus and support agencies which have the necessary skills and expertise required to undertake response work.
Some examples of work we performed under ESF #11 NCH are:
Identify and consult on archeological sites
Consult on Threatened and Endangered Species
Provide technical preservation assistance for museums and archival collections
Create GIS maps of historic districts in impacted area
Conduct building and site condition assessments
Stabilize damaged paper and digital records
Additionally, we work with a variety of other government agencies and non-governmental organizations to both respond and offer advice and recommendations to individuals and institutions on how to prepare for and respond to disasters dealing with natural and cultural resources.