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).
Selection of damage assessment projects is accomplished on an annual basis through an extensive internal screening process that assures that only the highest priority cases are funded. Priorities for selecting initial projects are based upon a case's likelihood of success in achieving restoration, either through negotiated settlements or through successful litigation where necessary. Cases must demonstrate sufficient technical, legal, and administrative merit focused on the purpose of achieving restoration.
The NRDA Restoration Program's project selection process is designed to:
Be inclusive of all natural resources under the Department's trusteeship;
Encourage thorough planning and thereby, enhanced opportunities for restoration success;
Evaluate both the objective and subjective aspects of individual cases; and
Fund those cases that have demonstrated sufficient levels of technical and legal merit, trustee organization, and case readiness.
DOI bureaus are also required to coordinate their efforts into a single project proposal, thus promoting inter-Departmental efficiencies and eliminating duplication of effort. Bureau and DOI office capabilities are used to augment and compliment each other, as opposed to building redundant program capabilities in each bureau.