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.
DOI's Pandemic Influenza Plan is one of a number of contingency plans available for the Department to implement during an emergency. Those plans with which the Department's pandemic influenza plan interfaces or works in parallel include:
DOI COOP Plan
Bureau Pandemic Influenza Plans
National Response Plan
Additionally, the DOI Pandemic Influenza Plan works in conjunction with the Avian Influenza Migratory Bird Surveillance and Detection Program. The interaction between these and DOI's Pandemic Influenza Plan is situation dependent.
3.1 DOI COOP Plan
The National Security Presidential Directive 51/Homeland Security Presidential Directive 20, National Continuity Policy, requires each Federal Executive Branch Department and Agency to establish and maintain a COOP capability as a means of ensuring its ability to continue its Mission Essential Functions with no or minimal disruption under a broad range of contingencies. In compliance with this directive, DOI has established a Department-level COOP program and has developed a Department-level COOP plan to support the implementation and management of that program. DOI COOP policy is established under Part 900 (Emergency Management Programs) of the Departmental Manual.
The DOI COOP Plan provides operational information for the Department to ensure the continuation of DOI's Primary Mission Essential Functions (PMEFs), Secondary Mission Essential Functions (SMEFs), and supporting activities. To this end, the DOI COOP Plan may be activated in whole or in part simultaneously with the activation of the DOI Pandemic Influenza Plan. A full COOP plan activation shifts the focus of the Department from all of its functions to the selected PMEFs, SMEFs, and supporting activities. The activation of the DOI COOP Plan will allow DOI to continue its essential functions and other mission critical work with a reduced workforce. The DOI COOP Plan contains operational details for alternate sites as well as a devolution site. It also contains a variety of different COOP team member rosters which can be activated incrementally and deployed to different alternate sites as a means of social distancing.1
3.2 Bureau Pandemic Influenza Plans
In addition to the Departmental pandemic influenza plan, Bureaus (and NBC, SOL, and OIG as described in Section 1.3) also maintain their own pandemic influenza plans based on the National Strategy and the Implementation Plan. Bureau pandemic influenza plans are key to ensuring the ability of the entire Department to continue its essential functions during a pandemic. Bureau plans cover the following general topics:
Employee health and safety
Continuity of operations
Supporting the Federal response, States and communities
Communications with Bureau stakeholders
Incorporated within these topics, or as appendices to pandemic plans, Bureau plans include human resources policies that are adequate for operations during a sustained pandemic including policies on administrative leave, sick leave, Fitness for Duty, release of employees, social distancing, employee accountability, employee travel restrictions and facilities closures.
Bureau plans also address telework options and remote access policies to ensure Bureaus can continue to carry out essential functions during a pandemic. These policies allow for rapidly expanding telework and increasing remote access for employees during a pandemic.
The Office of Law Enforcement, Security, and Emergency Management (OLESEM) retains copies of all Bureau pandemic influenza plans and Bureaus share their plans as appropriate with other Bureaus. In addition, these plans will be posted by the Bureaus onto DOI's EM-SafeTalk. This allows the Department and the Bureaus to integrate best practices and lessons learned.
3.3 National Response Plan
Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5 (HSPD-5) mandates the establishment of a National Response Plan (NRP). The NRP provides the structure and mechanisms for national level policy and operational direction for Federal support to State and local incident managers and for exercising direct Federal authorities and responsibilities during Incidents of National Significance (INS). DM 900, Chapter 5, identifies those DOI Bureaus with delegated responsibilities as NRP Principal Planners for the various NRP Emergency Support Functions (ESFs). Execution of DOI's responsibilities under the NRP is a Primary Mission Essential Function of the Department. Responsibilities delegated to NRP Principal Planners are essential functions of the assigned Bureaus.
During a pandemic, the Department may be called upon to perform ESF activities under the NRP. Section 7 describes how the Department will execute its NRP responsibilities during a pandemic. Bureau pandemic plans detail operational capabilities for performing specific ESF functions, as appropriate.
3.4 Avian Influenza Migratory Bird Surveillance and Detection Program
DOI's Avian Influenza Migratory Bird Surveillance and Detection Program, run cooperatively by United States Geological Survey (USGS), the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Park Service (NPS), is a comprehensive surveillance and detection program designed to provide an early warning to the agriculture, public health, and wildlife communities should migratory birds be found to carry the H5N1 virus.
3.5 DOI Avian Influenza/Pandemic Communications Plan
The Office of Communications (OCO) maintains the DOI Avian Influenza/Pandemic Communications Plan. This plan includes information related to the communications, organization, processes, and procedures the Department will implement following the detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza in wild birds as well as information about communications procedures and messages in a pandemic situation. The plan also contains a list of contact information for the Department's subject matter experts, senior decision-makers, and Bureau public information officers (PIOs) as well as relevant contact information for other Federal Departments and Agencies involved in the avian/pandemic influenza program.