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 to Join Community Leaders, Senators to Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Land and Water Conservation Fund
Last edited 4/27/2016
Effective tool for local conservation and outdoor recreation projects set to expire without action from Congress; Stops in North Carolina, Indiana, New Mexico and Arizona will demonstrate positive economic impact of Land and Water Conservation Fund in communities over past 50 years
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will travel to four cities this week – in North Carolina, Indiana, New Mexico and Arizona – joining local elected officials and community partners to celebrate the positive economic impacts and successes of the Land and Water Conservation Fund as it approaches its 50th anniversary on September 3rd.
One of the most effective tools for conservation, outdoor recreation and economic growth in local communities, the program is set to expire next year without action from Congress. President Obama has proposed to fully and permanently fund the innovative program.
“President Johnson and a bipartisan Congress got it right when they established the Land and Water Conservation Fund, embracing the simple concept that when we take something from the earth – namely, oil and gas from public lands offshore – we should return something back to the earth by investing in our land, water and wildlife heritage,” said Sally Jewell. “Fifty years later, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has made huge economic contributions to local communities in every state, helping to establish local parks, protect clean water sources and create jobs through outdoor recreation. As we look to the next 50 years, we need to ensure that we continue this great legacy by fully and permanently funding this innovative program.”
The Land and Water Conservation Fund, established by Congress in 1964, does not use taxpayer dollars. The primary source of revenue is a small portion of receipts from federal oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf. Only once in the past 50 years has Congress appropriated funding at the full authorized level of $900 million.
Projects supported by the Fund benefit not only communities' quality of life but also strengthen local economies. For every $1 invested in federal land acquisition through the Land and Water Conservation Fund, there is a return of $4 to state and local communities.
The funds enable state and local governments to establish baseball fields and community green spaces; to provide public access for hunting and fishing on public lands; to protect rivers, lakes and other water resources; to expand the interpretation of historic and cultural sites; and to conserve natural landscapes for wildlife and outdoor recreation use and enjoyment.
In July, Jewell joined with bipartisan mayors and elected officials in Fort Worth, Texas; Birmingham, Alabama; and a Civil War battlefield near Richmond, Virginia to highlight urban parks, outdoor recreation and historic preservation made possible by the fund.
This Wednesday, Jewell will be in North Carolina where she will highlight the importance of the Land and Water Conservation Fund's contributions to preserving the rich landscapes and recreational heritage of the Southern Appalachians. She will then travel to Indiana, New Mexico and Arizona to emphasize the fund's role in establishing urban parks and refuges that connect city dwellers, especially young people, to the great outdoors.
Additional event details are available below.
EVENT #1 – Asheville, North Carolina
Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Richard Burr, U.S. Senator of North Carolina Butch Blazer, Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources & Environment, USDA Mike Murphy, Director, North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation Mike Leonard, Chairman, The Conservation Fund
Event to Highlight the Importance of the Land and Water Conservation Fund's Contributions to Conserving Treasured Landscapes and Outdoor Recreation
Wednesday, August 6, 2014, at 1:30 pm EDT
Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center
Parkway Milepost 384
195 Hemphill Knob Road
Credentialed members of the media interested in covering the event are encouraged to RSVP HERE by August 5, 2014, at 6:00 pm EDT
EVENT #2 – Carmel, Indiana
Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior James Brainard, Mayor of Carmel, Indiana
Event To Discuss the Land and Water Conservation Fund's Contributions to Urban Parks, Clean Water, Outdoor Recreation and Healthy Economies
Thursday, August 7, 2014, at 10:30 am EDT
Monon Community Center East
1235 Central Park Drive East
Credentialed members of the media interested in covering the event are encouraged to RSVP HERE by August 6, 2014, at 6:00 pm EDT.
EVENT #3 – Albuquerque, New Mexico
Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Tom Udall, U.S. Senator of New Mexico Martin Heinrich, U.S. Senator of New Mexico Michelle Lujan Grisham, U.S. Representative Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director
Local Stakeholders and Community Partners
Announcement for the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge
Friday, August 8, 2014, at 12:00 pm MDT
Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge
7851 2nd Street SW
Credentialed members of the media interested in covering the event are encouraged to RSVP HERE August 7, 2014, at 6:00 pm MDT.
EVENT #4 – Phoenix, Arizona
Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Greg Stanton, Mayor of Phoenix, Arizona
Local Stakeholders and Community Partners
Event to Celebrate Land and Water Conservation Fund's Contributions to Urban Parks, Outdoor Recreation and Healthy Economies
Saturday, August 9, 2014, at 10:00 am MST
South Mountain Park Visitor Center
10919 South Central Avenue
Credentialed members of the media interested in covering the event are encouraged to RSVP HERE August 8, 2014, at 6:00 pm MST.