My Public Lands

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    Today’s Summer Bucket List includes a trip to the moon, Craters of the Moon National Monument that is.

    Managed jointly by the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service, Craters of the Moon, is a geologic wonder in a uniquely preserved volcanic landscape whose central focus is the Great Rift, a 62-mile long crack in the Earth’s crust. Craters, cinder coves, lava tubes, deep cracks, and vast lava fields form a strangely beautiful volcanic sea on central Idaho’s Snake River Plain. At first glance the landscape of Craters of the Moon appears to be devoid of life. Look deeper and you will observe a rich diversity of life including more than 750 types of plants and almost 300 animal species (not including insects!).

    Local legends made references to the landscape resembling the surface of the moon. Some even referred to the area as the “Valley of the Moon.” In fact, the second group of astronauts to walk on the moon visited Craters of the Moon in 1969 to study the volcanic geology and to explore an unusual and harsh environment in preparation for their trip to space.

    The National Monument became known as Craters of the Moon when Robert Limbert used the name in an article for a national magazine. Limbert was the first man to thoroughly explore and promote the area. The name became official with the establishment of the monument in 1924.

    Visit the following websites for information about Craters of the Moon:

    http://www.nps.gov/crmo/index.htm
    http://www.blm.gov/id/st/en/prog/blm_special_areas/craters_of_the_moon.html

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      I live in Idaho and I’ve never been. Shame on me.
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