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.
Secretary Jewell, Interior Officials Fan Across Country to Celebrate Land and Water Conservation Fund with Local Communities
Weeklong tour comes at critical juncture for program that drives economic development and supports local conservation, outdoor recreation and clean water projects across the country
Last edited 4/27/2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and other senior Department officials will fan across the country this week – from Alabama to Alaska – joining with local elected officials and stakeholders to underscore the importance of the Land and Water Conservation Fund to support communities' conservation, outdoor recreation and clean water projects.
Over its 50 year history, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has played a vital role in boosting local economies in every state, but it is set to expire without action from Congress. President Obama has proposed to enact full, permanent funding as part of his 2015 budget request.
Secretary Jewell will kick-off the week on Tuesday in Fort Worth, Texas, where she will make an important funding announcement for local communities who leverage the program to create ball-fields and parks for kids to play and learn, expand open spaces and protect important water sources. One analysis of the Land and Water Conservation Fund found that every $1 invested in land acquisition generated a $4 return on investment for communities.
“Congress needs to fulfill the promise made to the American people through the Land and Water Conservation Fund to use a small amount of the federal revenues generated from offshore oil and gas production to invest in our nation's outdoor heritage, clean water and economic prosperity,” said Jewell. “I look forward to spending time this week with mayors and partners who are leveraging the program to realize local priorities, such as developing urban parks in Texas, expanding access for sportsmen and sportswomen in Alabama, and preserving historic battlefields in Virginia.”
Over the coming days, Secretary Jewell, Deputy Secretary of the Interior Michael Connor, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Dan Ashe, and Director of the Bureau of Land Management Neil Kornze will participate in local events in Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Oregon, Texas and Virginia. Additional event details are available below.
TUESDAY, JULY 8
EVENT #1 - Fort Worth, Texas
WHO: Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Betsy Price, Mayor of Fort Worth; Co-chair of the bipartisan coalition, Mayors for Parks Ralph Duggins, Vice Chairman, Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
WHAT: Important Land and Water Conservation Fund Announcement
WHEN: Tuesday, July 8, 2014, at 10:30 am CDT
WHERE: Gateway Park 4800 E 1st St. Fort Worth, Texas
RSVP: Credentialed members of the media interested in covering the event are encouraged to RSVP HERE by July 7, 2014, at 6:00 pm EDT
EVENT #2 - Welches, Oregon
WHO: Neil Kornze, Director of the Bureau of Land Management Representatives from the Western Rivers Conservancy, Clackamas County, Travel Oregon and the International Mountain Bicycling Association
WHAT: Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Land and Water Conservation Fund and Conservation/Recreation Achievements along Oregon's Sandy River
WHEN: Tuesday, July 8 at 2:30pm PDT
WHERE: Sandy Ridge Mountain Bike Trailhead [Several miles off US Highway 26 in Welches, Oregon – for more detailed instructions, please contact the Oregon BLM office at 503-375-5657]
EVENT #3 - Vero Beach, Florida
WHO: Dan Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Ranchers from the Northern Everglades Alliance and representatives from the Florida Sportsmen's Trust
WHAT: Meeting to discuss next steps for the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area
WHEN: Tuesday, July 8 at 10am EDT
WHERE: Adams Ranch 26003 Orange Ave Fort Pierce, Florida
WEDNESDAY, JULY 9
EVENT #4 - Birmingham, Alabama
WHO: Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior William Bell, Sr., Mayor of Birmingham, Member of the bipartisan coalition, Mayors for Parks
WHAT: Event to Celebrate Land and Water Conservation Fund's Contributions to America's Hunting, Fishing and Boating Heritage
WHEN: Wednesday, July 9, 2014, at 11:30 am CDT
WHERE: East Lake Park 116 84th Street Birmingham, Alabama
RSVP: Credentialed members of the media interested in covering the event are encouraged to RSVP HERE by July 8, 2014, at 6:00 pm EDT.
EVENT #5 - Anchorage, Alaska
WHO: Michael Connor, Deputy Secretary of the Interior Ed Fogels, Deputy Commissioner for Alaska's Department of Natural Resources Holly Spoth-Torres, Parks Superintendent for the Municipality of Anchorage Beth Nordlund, Executive Director for the Anchorage Park Foundation
WHAT: Land and Water Conservation Fund Event to Celebrate Community Park Improvements
WHEN: Wednesday, July 9, 2014, at 11:45am AKDT
WHERE: Dave Rose Park 201 Lane Street Anchorage, Alaska
THURSDAY, JULY 10
EVENT #6 - Richmond, Virginia
WHO: Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Molly Ward, Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Dave Ruth, Superintendent at Richmond National Battlefield Park Jim Lighthizer, Civil War Trust President
WHAT: Important Historic Preservation Announcement for Richmond National Battlefield Park
WHEN: Thursday, July 10, 2014, at 11:00 am EDT
WHERE: Watt House property on the Gaines' Mill Battlefield 6283 Watt House Road Mechanicsville, Virginia
RSVP: Credentialed members of the media interested in covering the event are encouraged to RSVP HERE by July 9, 2014, at 6:00 pm EDT.