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).
Settlements at two different Superfund sites in Connecticut allowed the Department to initiate multiple restoration projects that have led to improvements in fish habitats, streamside habitats, and greater public access. In one case, contaminants from the Yaworski Lagoon Superfund Site near Plainfield, CT, had adversely affected riverine habitat downstream from the Moosup River. At this site, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, working with local partners, utilized a $40,000 settlement to remove an antiquated cast iron pipe that crossed the stream, forming a small dam that blocked upstream and downstream fish passage. The removal of the pipe reconnects more than 5 miles of riverine habitat, benefiting resident fish and other aquatic organisms.
Trustees from the Fish and Wildlife Service also worked with State and local governments and organizations in Connecticut to utilize funds from a settlement with the General Electric Company. The settlement compensates the public for injuries stemming from PCB contamination generated upstream in the Housatonic River watershed near Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The first acquisition, in New Milford, CT, is a 25-acre parcel with over a quarter mile of river frontage. The property will be cleared of invasive plants and become a town park, managed primarily for wildlife habitat and wildlife viewing, as well as flood control. The property contains a floodplain forest and intermittently flooded grasslands, which will also serve as an outdoor classroom for schools and Scout groups. The second acquisition area encompasses 3.5 acres along the banks of the Naugatuck River, a tributary to the Housatonic. Residents of the town of Harwinton overwhelmingly supported the purchase of this riverfront property that was the historic site of early water-powered business development in the region. The property will be managed locally for public fishing access.