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.
The Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program) works closely with the tribes to efficiently and effectively achieve tribal land consolidation goals. It is critical that the Buy-Back Program and tribal leaders work together to ensure that landowners are made aware of the opportunity to sell their interests for the benefit of tribal communities.
The Department of the Interior is committed to a transparent process that provides the most opportunity for tribal government involvement and ongoing consultation with Indian Country. The implementation of the Buy-Back Program will best succeed with the active involvement and commitment of tribal communities.
Cooperative agreements provide a flexible mechanism for tribal involvement in the Buy-Back Program. These agreements define each tribe's role in implementing the Buy-Back Program on its reservation.
About 245,000 landowners hold nearly three million fractional interests across Indian Country. The Buy-Back Program has identified 105 locations where land consolidation activities – such as planning, outreach, mapping, mineral evaluations, appraisals or acquisitions – have either already occurred or are expected to take place through the middle of 2021. This schedule reflects the vast majority of the total landowners and fractionated land across Program-eligible locations, representing more than 96 percent of all landowners; and more than 98 percent of both purchasable fractional interests and equivalent acres.
The Program plans to reevaluate its resources and progress by November 2018 to determine if remaining resources exist so that they might be utilized at additional locations or locations where purchase offers have already been sent.