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 Select Park Projects to Restore Natural Resources Injured by Hazardous Substances Releases into Ashtabula River, Ohio
Last edited 7/15/2015
On June 7, 2013, the federal and State natural resource trustees and partners announced funding for park enhancement projects at Indian Trails Park, along the Ashtabula River south of the City of Ashtabula to restore natural resources and natural resource services injured by hazardous substances releases into lower Ashtabula River and Harbor in northeastern Ohio.
The natural resource trustees in this case include:
State of Ohio, represented by Ohio Environmental Protection Agency;
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.
Since the 1940s, numerous industrial facilities in Ashtabula, Ohio, have released hazardous substances to the Ashtabula River. As a result, hazardous substances -- including PCBs, PAHs, chlorinated benzenes, chlorinated ethenes, hexachlorobutadiene and heavy metals -- have been found in the River’s sediments, water and fish. Natural resources such as fish, invertebrates, birds, water and sediments and natural resource services, such as lost recreational fishing, reduced opportunities for navigation, and passive human use losses, were injured.
The U.S. and the State of Ohio settled natural resource damage claims with 18 companies -- known as the Ashtabula River Cooperating Group II and the Railroads -- in a Consent Decree that was entered with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division in July 2012. This Consent Decree, valued at $5.5 million, called for the settling companies to implement certain natural resource restoration actions, pursuant to a publicly-reviewed Restoration Plan, such as:
acquiring ecologically-valuable properties along the River;
undertaking habitat restoration projects; and,
using land-use restrictions to protect these restoration properties.
In 2009, the trustees released a publicly-reviewed Restoration Plan identifying preferred alternatives to restore natural resources and natural resource services injured by these hazardous substances releases. Indian Trails Park, a 402-acre park south of the City of Ashtabula managed by Ashtabula Township Parks Commission, is identified in this Restoration Plan as a preferred restoration focus. The Park, which encompasses 4 miles of Ashtabula River front, is characterized by scenic vistas, adjacent flood plain, upland hardwood forests, wetlands, aquatic life, sensitive wildflowers and wildlife habitat.
The trustees and cooperating partners -- including ARCG II, Ashtabula Township Parks Commission, de maximus, inc. and Ohio Valley Group -- have announced that funding will be available from the settlement to implement natural resource restoration projects in Indian Trails Park. Specific projects to be funded include restoring woodland wetland habitat, a boardwalk, an observation point, a wetlands nature trail and a canoe launch into the Ashtabula River.