Mount Rushmore National Memorial under construction.
The workers had to endure conditions that varied from blazing hot to bitterly cold and windy. Each day they climbed 700 stairs to the top of the mountain to punch-in on the time clock. Then 3/8 inch thick steel cables lowered them over the front of the 500-foot face of the mountain in a "bosun chair." Despite the dangers, no one was killed during the project.
Otters in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska.
The sea otter population of Glacier Bay has increased dramatically in the past 20 years. Ecologists consider sea otters a keystone species here. Otters consume vast quantities of clams, urchins, crabs, and other invertebrates and their presence creates ripples through the ecosystem. NPS photo.
Every day someone like you becomes a wildland wildfire fighter, a teacher, a trail-builder, a museum curator, or a park ranger. Discover your opportunities in national parks. Come to play. Come to learn. Come to serve. Develop your environmental leadership skills. Find a job. Be the next generation to preserve and protect these great places.
With more than 80% of Americans living in urban areas, urban parks are more important than ever. The father of American landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted, said of urban parks:
It is one great purpose of the Park to supply to the hundreds of thousands of tired workers, who have no opportunity to spend their summers in the country, a specimen of God's handiwork that shall be to them, inexpensively, what a month or two in the White Mountains or the Adirondacks is, at great cost, to those in easier circumstances.
My thoughts continue to be with all of you as this government shutdown persists. I know and appreciate that you want to be at work serving the American people in the myriad ways that Interior contributes to our country–some very visible and others behind the scenes. Last week, one of our colleagues sent me this quote from President John F. Kennedy that reflects exactly what I have felt from interacting with so many of you during the 6 months I have joined the ranks of public service:
"Let the public service be a proud and lively career. And let every man and woman who works in any area of our national government, in any branch, at any level, be able to say with pride and with honor in future years: 'I served the United States Government in that hour of our nation's need.”-- John F. Kennedy, 1961.
If there is to be a "silver lining" to this cloud of a government shutdown, it is the increased awareness of the American people to the importance of the work you do and the value that all Americans receive from their investment in you.
I profoundly hope that we will be welcoming all of you back to work soon, and that the damage done during this shutdown period can be addressed in the coming months. Please know that the President is intent on getting the government back up and running, and all of you back to work serving the American people. In the meantime, we will continue to update www.doi.gov/shutdown with information that you may find useful.