Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Seasoned backpacker and adventurer Yang Lu earned the grand prize in the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest with this image of a sunburst captured at sunrise in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah. Yang has made the outdoors part of his daily life and finds deep connection to the land through his lens.
“My photography is not just for recreation, it is to inspire people to explore these areas." -- Yang Lu
Photo by Yang Lu (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The plantings of cherry trees originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. In Japan, the flowering cherry tree, or "Sakura," is an exalted flowering plant. The beauty of the cherry blossom is a potent symbol equated with the evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformation of Japanese culture throughout the ages.
United States House of Representatives Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Markup of the 2008 Appropriations
On Wednesday, May 23, the House Interior Subcommittee completed markup of the appropriations bill for Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. In total, the Chairman's Mark provides $27.6 billion for the bill, which includes Interior, EPA, Forest Service, Smithsonian, and other agencies.
For the Department of the Interior the bill provides $10.167 billion. Compared to the 2008 President's budget request of $9.713 billion, this is an increase of $454 million or 4.5 percent. Compared to the 2007 enacted level of $9.905 billion, this is an increae of $262 million.
The Chairman's mark provided significant increases above the 2007 enacted level for the 2008 President' budget initiatives including the National Parks Centennial, the Healthy Lands Initiative, and the BIA Initiatives to combat methamphetamine in Indian Country and to improve education in BIA schools.
The Chairman's mark supports the 2008 President's budget request for fully funding fixed costs including pay and benefits for the Department's 70,000 FTE.
For the National Park Service, the mark provides $2.5 billion for the National Park Service. This includes an increase of $199 million for operations of the National Park System. This is a reduction of $10.3 million below the President's Budget request. The park operations and U.S. Park Police accounts are combined in the mark. The House provides an increase over the President's budget of $50 million to be matched with private funds for Centennial Challenge signature projects. This is one-half the level requested in the President's budget mandatory funding proposal.
The Chairman's mark includes $1.4 billion for the Fish and Wildlife Service. This includes an increase of $56 million above the 2008 President's budget and 2007 enacted level for the National Wildlife Refuge System.
The mark provides $806.6 million for the Wildland Fire account, providing $7 million over the President's budget for preparedness. Suppression is fully funded at the request of $294 millon.
The Bureau of Land Management is funded in the House mark at $1.0 billion. The Chairman's mark increases funding for the National Landscape Conservation System in BLM, an increase of $10 million above the budget request.
The mark includes $1.0 billon for the U.S. Geological Survey. This includes increases of $10 million for research on global climate change and $22 million for the minerals assessment program. The mark fully funds the $24.1 million budget for Landsat continuity mission.
The mark provides $2.3 billion for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. This includes increases for law enforcement activities targeting at combating methamphetamine, education programs including the Johnson O'Malley Assistance program, and the Housing Improvement program.
The Payment in Lieu of Taxes program is funded at $233 million in the Chairman's mark, This is an increase of $43 million above the President's budget request.
United States House of Representatives Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Summary (PDF Format)