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).
Trustees Open 42-Day Public Comment Period on Draft Assessment Plan for Injured Natural Resources in Upper Columbia River, Washington
Last edited 7/15/2015
Marcus Flats, shown here, at river mile 705 on the Columbia River in Washington, marks the transition zone from a predominately higher velocity riverine system to a lower velocity reservoir system, influencing the deposition and distribution of contaminated sediments in the Upper Columbia River. Photo credit: EPA.
On August 8, 2012, the federal, State and tribal natural resource trustees opened a 42-day public comment period on the draft “Injury Assessment Plan for the Upper Columbia River Site, Washington.” This Draft Injury Assessment Plan describes the trustees’ proposed approach for assessing potential injury to natural resources exposed to hazardous substances released to the Upper Columbia River system.
The Upper Columbia River Site is entirely within the State of Washington and includes Lake Roosevelt and the Columbia River south of the Canada/United States border downstream to the Grand Coulee Dam and the associated wetland, riparian, floodplain, upland terrestrial and lacustrine habitats affected by historic industrial operations. Lake Roosevelt, a 133-mile long reservoir with over 600 miles of shoreline, was created following the completion of the Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River in 1942.
The natural resource trustees in this case include:
Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation;
Spokane Tribe of Indians;
State of Washington, represented by Washington Department of Ecology; and,
U.S. Department of the Interior, represented by Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Industrial activities along the River -- including smelting, fertilizer production, pulp mills and mining and milling in Canada and the United States -- have released hazardous substances to the Upper Columbia River through spills, effluent discharges and slag disposal. A provisional list of these hazardous substances, based on historical data, includes: arsenic, cadmium, copper, chromium, lead, mercury, zinc, PAHs, PCBs, dioxins, dibenzofurans, pesticides and other contaminants.
This Draft Injury Assessment Plan describes the proposed studies and other analytic steps needed to determine the nature and extent of natural resource injuries within the Upper Columbia River Site. The trustees anticipate preparing specific sampling and analysis plans which will be made public as either appendices or supplements to the Assessment Plan.
Written comment on the Draft Injury Assessment Plan must be received by the Bureau of Land Management in Spokane, Washington, by September 20, 2012.