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.
U.S. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative
9/20/2011 – President Barack Obama at the launch of the Open Government Partnership in New York for the United Nations 66th General Assembly, where he announced that the U.S. was committed to implementing the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
As part of the U.S. National Action Plan for the Open Government Partnership, the U.S. is committing to implementing EITI, which requires governments to publicly disclose their revenues from oil, gas, and mining assets, and for companies to make parallel disclosures regarding payments. By signing onto the global standard that EITI sets, the U.S. Government can help ensure that American taxpayers are receiving every dollar due for the extraction of these valuable public resources.
The National Action Plan states, "The Administration has already made important strides in reforming the management of our natural resources….Signing onto the EITI initiative will further these objectives by creating additional 'sunshine' for the process of collecting revenues from natural resource extraction….and enhancing the accountability and transparency of our revenue collection efforts."
White House BLOG - Sunshine Week: In Celebration of Transparency (March 14, 2013)
Press Release - U.S. Department of the Interior Hosts First Meeting of the U.S. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Multi-Stakeholder Group (February 14, 2013)
DOI News: USEITI Advisory Committee First Meeting (1/29/13)
Secretary Salazar Appoints Members to the U.S. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Committee (12/21/12)