The Mississippi River is the chief river of the largest drainage system on the North American continent. Flowing entirely in the United States, it rises in northern Minnesota, with its many tributaries, the Mississippis watershed drains all or parts of 31 U. S. states and 2 Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains. The Mississippi ranks as the fourth longest and fifteenth largest river in the world by discharge, the river either borders or passes through the states of Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana. Native Americans long lived along the Mississippi River and its tributaries, most were hunter-gatherers, but some, such as the Mound Builders, formed prolific agricultural societies. The arrival of Europeans in the 16th century changed the way of life as first explorers, settlers. The river served first as a barrier, forming borders for New Spain, New France, and the early United States, and as a vital transportation artery and communications link.
Formed from thick layers of the silt deposits, the Mississippi embayment is one of the most fertile agricultural regions of the country. In recent years, the river has shown a shift towards the Atchafalaya River channel in the Delta. The word itself comes from Messipi, the French rendering of the Anishinaabe name for the river, see below in the History section for additional information. In addition to historical traditions shown by names, there are at least two measures of a rivers identity, one being the largest branch, and the other being the longest branch. Using the largest-branch criterion, the Ohio would be the branch of the Lower Mississippi. Using the longest-branch criterion, the Middle Mississippi-Missouri-Jefferson-Beaverhead-Red Rock-Hellroaring Creek River would be the main branch and its length of at least 3,745 mi is exceeded only by the Nile, the Amazon, and perhaps the Yangtze River among the longest rivers in the world. The source of this waterway is at Browers Spring,8,800 feet above sea level in southwestern Montana and this is exemplified by the Gateway Arch in St.
Louis and the phrase Trans-Mississippi as used in the name of the Trans-Mississippi Exposition. It is common to qualify a regionally superlative landmark in relation to it, the New Madrid Seismic Zone along the river is noteworthy. These various basic geographical aspects of the river in turn underlie its human history and present uses of the waterway, the Upper Mississippi runs from its headwaters to its confluence with the Missouri River at St. Louis, Missouri. The source of the Upper Mississippi branch is traditionally accepted as Lake Itasca,1,475 feet above sea level in Itasca State Park in Clearwater County, the lake is in turn fed by a number of smaller streams. From its origin at Lake Itasca to St. Louis, fourteen of these dams are located above Minneapolis in the headwaters region and serve multiple purposes, including power generation and recreation. The remaining 29 dams, beginning in downtown Minneapolis, all locks and were constructed to improve commercial navigation of the upper river
United States National Grassland
National Grassland is a classification of protected and managed federal lands in the United States authorized by Title III of the Bankhead–Jones Farm Tenant Act of 1937. For administrative purposes, they are identical to United States National Forests. Like National Forests, National Grasslands may be open for hunting, mineral extraction, various National Grasslands are typically administered in conjunction with nearby National Forests. All but three National Grasslands are on or at the edge of the Great Plains and those three are in southeastern Idaho, northeastern California, and central Oregon. The three National Grasslands in North Dakota, together with one in northwestern South Dakota, are administered jointly as the Dakota Prairie Grasslands, National Grasslands are generally much smaller than National Forests. Whereas a typical National Forest would be about 1,000,000 acres, the largest National Grassland, the Little Missouri National Grassland in North Dakota, covers 1,028,784 acres, which is approximately the median size of a National Forest.
As of September 30,2007, the area of all 20 National Grasslands was 3,838,280 acres. The catastrophic Dust Bowl of the 1930s led to the creation of the Soil Conservation Service in 1933 and this and subsequent federal laws paved the way for establishing national grasslands. Grassland Prairie Temperate grasslands and shrublands List of U. S. National Forests Wilderness preservation systems in the United States
National Wild and Scenic Rivers System
The National Wild and Scenic River is a designation for certain protected areas in the United States. The National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was an outgrowth of the recommendations of a Presidential commission, among other things, the commission recommended that the nation protect wild rivers and scenic rivers from development that would substantially change their wild or scenic nature. The act was sponsored by Sen. Frank Church and signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on October 2,1968, a river or river section may be designated by the U. S. Congress or the Secretary of the Interior. In 1968, as part of the act, eight rivers were designated as National Wild. As of July 2011,203 rivers, totaling 12,598 miles of river in 38 states and Puerto Rico, have wild and scenic status. By comparison, more than 75,000 large dams across the country have modified at least 600,000 miles, or about 17%, of American rivers. Selected rivers in the United States are preserved for possessing outstandingly remarkable scenic, geologic and wildlife, cultural, Rivers, or sections of rivers, so designated are preserved in their free-flowing condition and are not dammed or otherwise impeded.
National wild and scenic designation essentially vetoes the licensing of new projects on or directly affecting the river. Designation as a wild and scenic river is not the same as a national park designation, however and scenic designation protects the free-flowing nature of rivers in non-federal areas, something the Wilderness Act and other federal designations cannot do. Designation does not alter property rights, federally administered National Wild and Scenic rivers are managed by one or more of the four principal land-managing agencies of the federal government. Of the 156 National Wild and Scenic Rivers, the most are managed by the U. S. Forest Service, thirty-eight are managed under the Bureau of Land Managements National Landscape Conservation System while the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages several rivers in Alaska. State-managed wild and scenic rivers are subject to the same protections as federally administered rivers and these state rivers are added to the National System by the Secretary of the Interior following an application by the governor of the state the river flows through.
Wild and scenic rivers are assigned one or more classifications, wild and these classifications are based on the developmental character of the river on the date of designation. Wild rivers are the most remote and undeveloped while recreational rivers often have access points, railroads. A rivers classification is not related to the value that made it worthy of designation, for instance, recreation may not be an outstanding value on a river with a recreational classification nor scenery on a river classified as scenic. Notably and scenic rivers receive the standard of protection regardless of classification. Nashua River Wild and Scenic River Study Act – proposed a study of the Nashua River in Massachusetts for possible inclusion in the system, list of National Wild and Scenic Rivers Protected areas of the United States National Wild and Scenic Rivers System Wild and Scenic Rivers Act
Chicago Portage National Historic Site
The Chicago Portage National Historic Site is a National Historic Site in Lyons, Cook County, United States. It is located in Chicago Portage Forest Preserve, at the junction of Portage Creek with the Des Plaines River, on the west side of Harlem Avenue on the line of 48th Street. Preserved within the park is the end of the historic portage linking the Chicago River to the Des Plaines River. A memorial depicting the portage of the French explorers is located at the parking area, a trail leads from the memorial down into the portage wilderness area. The portage crossed what was known as Mud Lake, which could be wet, frozen, or dry, depending on the season, and which has since been completely obliterated. Mud Lake extended roughly from the western end of the South Branch of the Chicago River to the Des Plaines River at this National Historic Site. These explorers understood the importance of the easiest crossing of the divide between the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean watersheds. The site, which was designated January 3,1952 as an area of the National Park Service, is owned and administered by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County.
Visitor access is via Harlem Avenue, just north of Interstate 55, the site contains the parking area, a memorial statue, interpretive signs, and trails. Activities here are hiking and canoeing, and the Friends of the Chicago Portage sponsors guided walks, in the future, it is hoped that adjacent vacant industrial land can be used to construct a visitors center. Friends of the Chicago Portage official site National Park Service Stateparks. com 3-D Photosynth of the Sculpture
Driftless Area National Wildlife Refuge
Driftless Area National Wildlife Refuge is a United States National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Iowa, southwestern Wisconsin and northwestern Illinois. It is a collection of parcels in the vicinity of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife. The refuge was established in 1989 to help the recovery of two listed species, the endangered Iowa Pleistocene Snail and threatened plant Northern Wild Monkshood. Although the refuge was established to protect the snail and flower, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages the refuge as part of the National Wildlife Refuge system. Currently, the refuge consists of nine sites totaling 811.99 acres in four counties of Iowa only, in descending order of land area they are Clayton, Dubuque and Allamakee counties. Portions of Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois contain unusual geology, the karst region, referred to as the Driftless Area, escaped the last glaciers leaving the Paleozoic-age bedrock subject to erosion. In addition to the topography of steep slopes and cliffs.
Certain slopes, usually north facing, are covered with a layer that allows ice-cooled air to exit from underground cracks. Upland sinkholes contribute to the air flow regime and are an important component of a system called an algific talus slopes. Even on a day when the outside air temperature is 90 °F. Although the slopes will freeze in winter, the temperatures are moderated and these slopes remain cool throughout the year and are home to rare species of plants and animals. In the summer, air is drawn down through sinkholes, flows over very cold groundwater and is released out vents on the slopes, summer temperatures on the slopes range from 42 °F to 55 °F. In winter, the air is drawn into the vents, because of the cool temperatures and moist conditions, unusual plants for this part of the country grow on the slopes. Typically growing in a more northern climate, balsam fir, Showy ladys slipper. These cold microclimates of the slopes allow the plants and animals to survive. A tiny land snail, the Iowa Pleistocene snail, is smaller than a shirt button, considered a glacial relict species, it has survived only on these small areas where temperature and food are suitable.
The snail was known only from records and thought to be extinct until 1955. Because of the nature of the habitat and the small size of the total population
Middle Fork Vermilion River
The Middle Fork of the Vermilion River is a tributary of the Vermilion River in Illinois. The Middle Fork rises in Ford County and flows southeast to join the Vermilion near Danville, in its natural state, the Middle Fork drained a large upland marsh in what is now Ford County. The Middle Fork has been extended into the marsh by drainage ditches, including the ditches, the Middle Fork is about 77 miles long. The Middle Fork is Illinois only designated National Wild and Scenic River, natural Resources Kickapoo Landing canoe outfitters Canoe Access Points Map Prairie Rivers Network USGS Stream Gage, Middle Fork
Lincoln Home National Historic Site
The presidential memorial includes the four blocks surrounding the home and a visitor center. In 1837, Lincoln moved to Springfield from New Salem at the start of his law career and he met his wife, Mary Todd, at her sisters home in Springfield and married there in 1842. The historic-site house, purchased by Lincoln and his wife in 1844, was the home that Lincoln ever owned. Their children, four sons, were there and one. Located at the corner of Eighth and Jackson Streets, the house contains twelve rooms spread over two floors, during the time he lived here, Lincoln was elected to the House of Representatives in 1846, and elected President in 1860. Lincolns son, Robert Todd Lincoln donated the home to the State of Illinois in 1887 under the condition that it would forever be well maintained. This came as a result of tenants who would charge those who wanted to visit Lincolns home, the home and adjacent district became a National Historic Site on August 18,1971 and is owned and administered by the National Park Service.
It is one of two National Park Service properties in Illinois, along with the Lincoln Home, several other structures within the four-block area are preserved. All the homes have been restored to their appearance during the time Lincoln lived in the neighborhood, two of these structures, the Dean House and the Arnold House, are open to visitors and house exhibits on the life and times of Lincoln and his neighbors. In total, the buildings included in the park occupy 12 acres
The Driftless Area or Paleozoic Plateau is a region in the American Midwest noted mainly for its deeply carved river valleys. While primarily in southwestern Wisconsin, it includes areas of southeastern Minnesota, northeastern Iowa, the region includes elevations ranging from 603 to 1,719 feet at Blue Mound State Park and covers an area of 16,203 square miles. The regions peculiar terrain is the result of its having escaped glaciation in the last glacial period, retreating glaciers leave behind silt, sand and boulders called drift. The northern and eastern lobes were in part diverted around the area by the Watersmeet Dome, the Green Bay and Lake Michigan lobes were partially blocked by the bedrock of the Door Peninsula, which presently separates Green Bay from Lake Michigan. In earlier phases of the Wisconsinan, the Driftless Area was totally surrounded by ice, in the adjacent glaciated regions, the glacial retreat left behind drift, which buried all former topographical features. Surface water was forced to carve out new stream beds, the region is characterized by an eroded plateau with bedrock overlain by varying thicknesses of loess.
Most characteristically, the valleys are deeply dissected. The bluffs lining this reach of the Mississippi River currently climb to nearly 600 feet, in Minnesota, Pre-Illinoian-age till was probably removed by natural means prior to the deposition of loess. The sedimentary rocks of the walls date to the Paleozoic Era and are often covered with colluvium or loess. In the east, the Baraboo Range, an ancient, profoundly eroded monadnock, the area has not undergone much tectonic action, as all the visible layers of sedimentary rock are approximately horizontal. Karst topography is found throughout the Driftless area and this is characterized by caves and cave systems, disappearing streams, blind valleys, underground streams, sinkholes and cold streams. Disappearing streams occur where surface waters sinks down into the earth through fractured bedrock or a sinkhole, either joining an aquifer, blind valleys are formed by disappearing streams and lack an outlet to any other stream. Sinkholes are the result of the collapse of the roof of a cave, disappearing streams can re-emerge as large cold springs.
Cold streams with cold springs as their sources are noted as superb trout habitat, the Mississippi River passes through the Driftless Area between and including Pool 2 and Pool 13. As rivers and streams approach their confluence with the Mississippi, their canyons grow progressively steeper and deeper, the change in elevation above sea level from ridgetops lining a stream to its confluence with the Big River can reach well past 650 feet in only a few miles. The Waukon Municipal Airport is reliably established as being 1,281 feet above sea level, the Army Corps of Engineers maintains a river level in Pool 9 of about 619 feet above sea level, which covers Lansing. Maps and signs issued by the Iowa Department of Transportation indicate Waukon and this is a drop of more than 660 feet in less than 20 miles. The role of isostatic rebound on the process of stream incision in the area is not clearly understood, there are many small towns in the Driftless Area, especially in river valleys, at or upstream from the Mississippi
Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is a route across the United States commemorating the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804 to 1806. It is part of the National Trails System of the United States and it extends for some 3,700 miles from Wood River, Illinois, to the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon. The trail is administered by the National Park Service, but sites along the trail are managed by federal land management agencies, local and private organizations. The trail is not a trail, but provides opportunities for hiking, boating. The trail is the second longest of the 23 National Scenic, beginning at the Camp Dubois recreation in Illinois, it passes through portions of Missouri, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Idaho and Washington. The official headquarters for the trail is located at the National Park Service Midwest Regional Headquarters, in Omaha, the visitor center features exhibits about the explorers and their historic trip, as well as information about sites along the trail.
In 1948 the National Park Service proposed a Lewis and Clark Tourway along the Missouri River from St. Louis to Three Forks, Jay Ding Darling proposed the development of the expedition route as a recreational trail. Following a 1966 report by the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, the National Trails System Act of 1968 listed the route for study as a possible National Scenic Trail. Finally in 1978 the law was amended by the National Parks and Recreation Act to provide for a new category of trail, National Historic Trails, one of which was to be the Lewis and Clark trail. From 2003 to 2006, the National Park Service commemorated the bicentennial of the Lewis, a navigation companion for the Lewis & Clark Trail. Volume 1, camp locations and daily summaries of expedition activities and Clark National Historic Trail Comprehensive Plan for Management and Use. United States, United States Department of the Interior and Clark National Historic Trail Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation Lewis and Clark Trust lewisandclarktrail. org
National Historic Site (United States)
A National Historic Site is a protected area of national historic significance in the United States. An NHS usually contains a historical feature directly associated with its subject. As of 2015, there are 50 NHPs and 90 NHSs, most NHPs and NHSs are managed by the National Park Service. Some federally designated sites are owned by local authorities or privately owned, one property, Grey Towers National Historic Site, is managed by the U. S. Forest Service. As of October 15,1966, all areas, including NHPs and NHSs. There are about 80,000 NRHP sites, the majority of which are neither owned nor managed by the NPS. Of these, about 2,500 have been designated at the highest status as National Historic Landmark sites, National Historic Sites are generally federally owned and administered properties, though some remain under private or local government ownership. There are currently 90 NHSs, of which 78 are official NPS units,11 are NPS affiliated areas, one is managed by the US Forest Service, and one by the Bureau of Land Management.
Derived from the Historic Sites Act of 1935, a number of NHSs were established by United States Secretaries of the Interior, in 1937, the first NHS was created in Salem, Massachusetts in order to preserve and interpret the maritime history of New England and the United States. There is one International Historic Site in the US park system, the title, given to the site of the first permanent French settlement in America, recognizes the influence that has had on both Canada and the United States. The NPS does not distinguish among these designations in terms of their preservation or management policies, in the United States, sites are historic, while parks are historical. The NPS explains that a site can be intrinsically historic, while a park is a legal invention. As such, a park is not itself historic, but can be called historical when it contains historic resources and it is the resources which are historic, not the park. Klondike Gold Rush International Historical Park was formally established in 1998 by the United States and Canada, the park comprises Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park in Washington and Alaska, and Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site in British Columbia.
It was this trail which so many prospectors took in hopes of making their fortunes in the Klondike River district of Yukon, list of World Heritage Sites in the Americas Designation of National Park System Units
National Natural Landmark
The National Natural Landmarks Program recognizes and encourages the conservation of outstanding examples of the natural history of the United States. It is the only national natural areas program that identifies and recognizes the best examples of biological and geological features in both public and private ownership, the program was established on May 18,1962, by United States Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall. The program aims to encourage and support voluntary preservation of sites that illustrate the geological and ecological history of the United States and it hopes to strengthen the publics appreciation of the countrys natural heritage. As of November 2016,599 sites have been added to the National Registry of National Landmarks, the registry includes nationally significant geological and ecological features in 48 states, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The National Park Service administers the NNL Program and if requested, land acquisition by the federal government is not a goal of this program.
National Natural Landmarks are nationally significant sites owned by a variety of land stewards, the legislative authority for the National Natural Landmarks Program stems from the Historic Sites Act of August 21,1935, the program is governed by federal regulations. The NNL Program does not have the features of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. Thus, designation of a National Natural Landmark presently constitutes only an agreement with the owner to preserve, insofar as possible and preservation of National Natural Landmarks is solely the owners responsibility. Either party may terminate the agreement after they notify the other, the UKs Site of Special Scientific Interest list is a rough equivalent. The NNL designation is made by the Secretary of the Interior after in-depth scientific study of a potential site, all new designations must have owner concurrence. The selection process is rigorous, to be considered for NNL status, since establishment of the NNL program, a multi-step process has been used to designate a site for NNL status.
Since 1970, the steps have constituted the process. A natural area inventory of a region is completed to identify the most promising sites. After landowners are notified that the site is being considered for NNL status, the evaluation report is peer reviewed by other experts to assure its soundness. The report is reviewed further by National Park Service staff, the site is reviewed by the Secretary of the Interiors National Park Advisory Board to determine that the site qualifies as an NNL. The findings are provided to the Secretary of the Interior who approves or declines, landowners are notified a third time informing them that the site has been designated an NNL. Each major natural history theme can be subdivided into various sub-themes. The NNL program does not require designated properties to be owned by public entities, lands under almost all forms of ownership or administration have been designated—federal, local and private
National Wildlife Refuge
National Wildlife Refuge System is a designation for certain protected areas of the United States managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The National Wildlife Refuge System is the system of lands and waters set aside to conserve Americas fish, wildlife. National Wildlife Refuges manage a range of habitat types, including wetlands, prairies and marine areas. Among these hundreds of national refuges are home to some 700 species of birds,220 species of mammals,250 reptile and amphibian species and more than 1000 species of fish. Endangered species are a priority of National Wildlife Refuges in that nearly 60 refuges have been established with the purpose of conserving 280 threatened or endangered species. National Wildlife Refuges are places where visitors can participate in a variety of outdoor recreational activities. The National Wildlife Refuge System welcomes nearly 50 million visitors each year, hunters visit more than 350 hunting programs on refuges and on about 36,000 Waterfowl Production Areas.
Opportunities for fresh or saltwater fishing are available at more than 340 refuges, there is at least one wildlife refuge in each of the fifty states. The agency has created Comprehensive Conservation Plans for each refuge, developed through consultation with private and these began a review process by stakeholders beginning in 2013. The CCCPs must be consistent with the Fish and Wildlife Service goals for conservation, the CCPs outline conservation goals for each refuge for fifteen years into the future, with the intent that they will be revised every fifteen years thereafter. Additionally, NEPA requires FWS planners and refuge staff to engage the public in planning process to assist them with identifying the most appropriate alternative. Completed CCPs are available to the public and can be found on the FWS website, equally important is an intimate understanding of the social and economic drivers that impact and are impacted by management decisions and can facilitate or impede implementation success.
Consideration of these contributes to the success of the Service’s mission to protect wildlife. The Refuge System works collaboratively internally and externally to leverage resources, according to the Services 2013 Banking on Nature Report, visitors to refuges positively impact the local economies. Prevention and control of fires is a very active part of refuge management. Completion of controlled burns to reduce fuel loading, and participation in the wildland fire suppression efforts, are vital for management of refuge lands. A considerable infrastructure of physical structures is essential to management of refuge lands. As of September 30,2015 there were 13,030 roads and trails,5,284 buildings,8,007 water management structures, the overall facility infrastructure is valued at nearly $30 billion