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.
Department of the Interior and Department of Commerce Submit Draft Legislation to Conserve Oceanic Birds
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, D.C.--The Department of the Interior and the Department of Commerce today forwarded to Congress for consideration draft legislation titled the “Albatross and Petrel Conservation Act of 2009” to protect certain oceanic birds.
“The albatross and the petrel soar and glide, sometimes tens of thousands of miles each year. Though remarkably resilient, these majestic, well-traveled ocean wanderers face increasing threats to their survival,” said Deputy Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett. “Today, we transmit to the Congress draft legislation to implement the ‘Agreement for the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels' that, if passed by the Congress, will help to secure their future.”
This important international agreement entered into force on Feb. 1, 2004. On Sept. 26, 2008, President Bush transmitted the agreement to the U.S. Senate, recommending that it give its advice and consent to United States accession.
The draft legislation provides the United States, primarily through the Departments of the Interior and Commerce, with authority to adopt and implement conservation and management measures to address the most pressing threats to albatrosses and petrels in the wild, including habitat disturbance, nesting habitat degradation and loss, changes in food supply, pollution and marine debris, impacts from non-native species, and the incidental bycatch of birds in fisheries.