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 and Partners Launch Project to Restore Natural Resources Injured at Holyoke Coal Tar Site in Holyoke, Hampden County, Massachusetts
Last edited 7/15/2015
SumCo Eco-Contracting removes the first stone from the Bartlett Rod Shop Company Dam on Amethyst Brook, a tributary of Fort River, on October 17, 2012, in Pelham, Massachusetts. Removal of the stone masonry dam will restore nine miles of upstream riverine habitat to migratory fish benefitting sea lamprey, American eel, brook trout, brown trout and slimy sculpin in the larger Connecticut River watershed. Photo credit: Meagan Racey, FWS.
On October 17, 2012, the federal and State natural resource trustees, together with partner organizations, launched the first of three projects designed to restore natural resources and natural resource services injured by hazardous substances released from the Holyoke Coal Tar Site in Holyoke, Hampden County, Massachusetts. The ceremonial removal of the first stone from the Bartlett Rod Shop Company Dam on Amethyst Brook in Pelham, Massachusetts, marked the first step in a 5-week long project to remove the early 19th century stone dam to restore 9 miles of high quality, upstream habitat to migratory fish in the Fort River watershed.
The natural resource trustees in this case include:
Commonwealth of Massachusetts, represented by Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection;
U.S. Department of Commerce, represented by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and,
U.S. Department of the Interior, represented by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Partners in the dam removal on Amethyst Brook include: Town of Pelham, Town of Amherst, American Rivers, Clean Water Action and FishAmerica Foundation.
Holyoke Gas Works, which operated on the west bank of Connecticut River in Holyoke, Massachusetts, for 100 years -- from 1852 to 1952 -- produced gas from coal and petroleum. At least 120,000 gallons of coal tar wastes were released from the plant to the Connecticut River between 1905 and 1952. These coal tar wastes contaminated adjacent soils, groundwater, sediments and surface waters causing injuries to fish, including federally-endangered shortnose sturgeon, freshwater mussels and aquatic habitats.
The trustees settled natural resource damage claims at the Site with Holyoke Water Power Co. and City of Holyoke Gas & Electric Department, successors to the responsible parties, in a November 2004 Consent Decree. This settlement provided $345,000 for natural resource restoration project planning, implementation and administration. With accrued interest, these restoration funds have grown to $395,000.
In May 2012, the trustees released a publicly-reviewed Final Restoration Plan describing the actions selected to restore injured natural resources and natural resource services. Removal of the now-defunct Bartlett Rod Shop Company Dam is one of the three preferred alternative restoration projects described in the Final Restoration Plan. The trustees allocated $158,091 of restoration funds to the cost of the dam demolition project.
A remnant portion of the dam will be left intact to commemorate the dam’s 192-year history.