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.
The Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy and Program Review, chartered in 1994 by the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture, ensured that Federal wildland fire management policies were uniform and programs cooperative and cohesive. In 1995, the policy was revised and engaged a proactive approach to managing wildfires. In February 2009, Federal wildland fire management agencies issued new guidance for Implementation of Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy. This guidance provided for consistent implementation of the federal fire policy, as directed by the Wildland Fire Leadership Council.
Paramount to the policy guidance was the protection of human life.
Firefighter and public safety remains the first priority for each and every wildland fire management action taken. The protection of our natural and cultural resource and property is second. Today, wildland fire managers use a risk-based decision process to assess values at risk and make wildland fire management decisions. The 2009 Guidance revised some terminology when describing any non-structure fire that occurs in the wildland. Two distinct types of wildland fire are identified:
Wildfires, or unplanned natural ignitions, human-caused ignitions, and planned ignitions that are subsequently declared wildfires; and
Prescribed fires, or planned ignitions.
The Federal wildland fire agencies continue to develop unified direction for agency/bureau manuals, directives, handbooks, guidebooks, plans, agreements, and other pertinent documents to complete final implementation of this guidance. They revise and develop accountability standards, performance measures, and monitoring systems to assess and ensure agencies meet resource and protection objectives during the management of wildland fires. Together, they work closely to ensure wildland firefighter safety.
Managing risk is the primary means by which agencies achieve safety. Risk management is a process for assessing risk and developing strategies to mitigate it. This enables leaders to make improved organizational and operational decisions.
The goal of the wildland fire safety program is to provide direction and guidance for safe, effective management in all wildland fire activities. Safety is the responsibility of everyone assigned to wildland fire and must be practiced at all operational levels from the national fire director, state/regional director, and unit manager to employees in the field. Agency administrators stress that firefighter and public safety takes precedence over property and resource loss--always; and coordination between the fire management staff and unit safety officer(s) is essential to achieve this goal.
Agencies continue to face challenges that make management of wildland fires complex and demanding. Leadership on a daily basis takes steps to adopt risk assessment and mitigation techniques before and during fire incidents. After action reviews of fire-related accidents is a tool that continues to be used, and wildland fire leadership use lessons learned from those reviews and identified best practices to improve policy and/or operation procedures as needed.