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 45-Day Comment Period on Draft Regional Restoration Plan for Natural Resources Injured by Hazardous Substances Releases in Southeast Missouri
Last edited 7/15/2015
On September 20, 2013, the federal and State natural resource trustees opened a 45-day public comment period on “Southeast Missouri Ozarks Regional Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment.” This draft Regional Restoration Plan describes proposed alternatives for restoring natural resources and natural resource services injured by hazardous substances releases in the southeast Missouri Ozarks lead mining district.
The natural resource trustees involved in this case include:
State of Missouri, represented by Missouri Department of Natural Resources;
U.S. Department of Agriculture, represented by U.S. Forest Service; and,
U.S. Department of the Interior, represented by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The southeast Missouri Ozarks lead mining district covers multiple counties south and southwest of the City of St. Louis. The region is the largest lead production area in the U.S. Within this district are several lead mining areas that are geographically and temporally distinct:
the Big River Mine Tailings site, directly south of St. Louis, dates from the 19th century through the 1970s;
the Madison County Mine site, south of the Big River Mine Tailings site, has some of the oldest mining operations in Missouri dating from 1740; and,
the Viburnum Trend site, located farther west, began lead mining in the 1950s and remains the largest producer of lead in the U.S. today.
Mining activities -- including beneficiation, transportation and smelting -- have resulted in the release of hazardous substances, mainly heavy metals. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has placed large portions of the district on the National Priorities List.
These hazardous substances releases have resulted in injuries to natural resources and natural resource services including large-scale ecological injury to thousands of acres of terrestrial habitat and hundreds of miles of streams. Five settlements for natural resource damages, totaling $41,178,370, were reached in 2009 as part of the larger ASARCO bankruptcy settlement agreement.
The trustees developed the draft Regional Restoration Plan to identify preferred alternatives to restore injured natural resources and to establish criteria for selecting specific projects to implement these alternatives. This draft Regional Restoration Plan selects compensatory restoration projects -- projects located away from the site of injury -- as the preferred restoration alternative. These projects will be funded using the natural resource damage settlements and selected by the trustees using a Request-for-Proposals approach.
Written comments on the draft Regional restoration Plan must be received by Missouri Department of Natural Resource by Monday, November 4, 2013.