Mercury's surface in "enhanced color," a color scheme created to emphasize color differences. This is not what Mercury would look like to the human eye, but by applying mathematical analysis to images, color differences can be accentuated beyond those visible to a person.
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.
National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy
The catalyst for the effort to develop a cohesive strategy was the Federal Land Assistance, Management and Enhancement (FLAME) Act of 2009. Over the past three and a half years significant milestones were achieved. These are described more fully as resources below. The National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy (Cohesive Strategy) effort was designed as a three-phased process to allow for the inclusiveness necessary to understand the complexities of managing wildfire risks across the Nation. Throughout the entire effort, applying best available science and creating environments for strong stakeholder engagement were established as critical to success.
Providing a Foundation
In 2010, the Wildland Fire Leadership Council (WFLC), agency leadership, and stakeholders agreed on the Cohesive Strategy goals:
(1) Restore and Maintain Landscapes (2) Fire-Adapted Communities (3) Response to Wildfire.
In addition, the WFLC adopted the following vision for this century: To safely and effectively extinguish fire when needed; use fire where allowable; manage our natural resources; and as a Nation, to live with wildland fire.
More detailed information on the evolution of the Cohesive Strategy including public engagement, and approach can be found on www.forestsandrangelands.gov
The first phase of the Cohesive Strategy was a blueprint for developing a wildland fire strategy that would not be limited to Federal lands, but would consider the needs of all lands and balance regional needs and perspectives with national planning.
Phase I set up the following leadership and engagement structure for creating the strategy.
Wildland Fire Leadership Council (WFLC) − strategic oversight of all wildland fire policies, goals and management activities.
Wildland Fire Executive Council (WFEC) – an intergovernmental Federal Advisory Committee Act committee established to advise the Secretary of Agriculture and Secretary of the Interior on national policy issues, including the Cohesive Strategy.
Cohesive Strategy Subcommittee (CSSC) − created to advise the WFEC on Cohesive Strategy development and implementation.
Three Regional Strategy Committees (RSC) − created to advise the WFEC, to represent the regional perspectives, and to complete regional assessments and action plans in Phases II and III.
The National Science and Analysis Team (NSAT) – created to advise the CSSC and WFEC, to complete the science and analyses necessary for completing Phases II and III, and to document science findings in established peer-review processes.
In this way, the Cohesive Strategy was conceived as having both a top-down and bottom-up flow of information. The first phase involved developing a mutual understanding of the national challenges and goals and the science-based process for analyzing regional and national needs.
Phase I concluded with the presentation of the blueprint to Congress in two documents:
In Phase II, the three regions—the Northeast, the Southeast, and the West—completed, analyzed, and compiled regional assessments including landscape elements, ecological processes, and human values of local resources. Diverse stakeholders in each region met to identify regional challenges and opportunities, as well as key priorities. They agreed upon regional goals, which mirrored the national goals. And, the regions focused on how the processes of wildland fire, or the absence of fire, affect their values-at-risk. The NSAT worked with the regions to develop the assessments. A national report combined the findings from the three regional assessments to give a national perspective.
The Cohesive Strategy Phase II reports include assessments from each of the RSCs, the NSAT, and the Communications Framework.V3 – 11/08/2013 National Resources
Phase III – Science-based Risk Analysis Reports and Action Plans
Phase III is the conclusion of the planning and development of the National Strategy and the National Action Plan. There were three distinct sets of milestones. The first part of Phase III focused on regional understanding and analysis of issues by the RSCs. The NSAT collected data from multiple sources to provide consistent information to the regions for their analysis of wildfire risk. The regions considered alternatives for emphasis, and Risk Analysis Reports were submitted and accepted by the WFEC. In addition to the individual Regional Risk Analysis Reports, a National Risk Analysis Report for Phase III was developed by the CSSC and accepted by the WFEC.
The second part of Phase III focused on creating Action Plans for each region. The Action Plans looked at the issues identified in the Risk Analysis Reports and devised specific actions, tasks, and responsible agencies to accomplish those actions. The Regional Action Plans were submitted and accepted by the WFEC. The WFEC tasked the CSSC to use the regional action plans to inform the development of the National Action Plan.