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.
Landowners do not need to wait until the Buy-Back Program begins implementation to get more information. Please review the Program's frequently asked questions and become familiar with the Offer Packet Documents, available here.
Landowners can contact the Trust Beneficiary Call Center (888-678-6836) to learn more about their land and their options – including how the Buy-Back Program works. The Call Center is responsible for responding to inquiries from trust beneficiaries. The Call Center has access to various trust systems and operations staff in order to provide comprehensive account information to beneficiaries and complement local services.
In addition, landowners can contact or visit their local Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians (OST) to learn about financial planning. If you choose not to sell your land, it is important to consider how to best utilize the property during your lifetime and how to most efficiently pass it to your intended beneficiaries upon your death. There are certain federal rules and tribal codes that govern the estate planning options that may be available to you and some of these options cannot be rescinded or changed after a decision is made. Thus, it is critically important to get as much information as possible to make careful and informed decisions about your land interests and estate planning options. Click here to find the Office nearest you, or visit OST’s financial empowerment website at: http://www.doi.gov/ost/individual_beneficiaries/ financial_empowerment/index.cfm.
Landowners can also contact their nearest Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) office, or their local-specific tribal staff for further information about how the Program is being implemented at your location.