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 Lauds Senate's Confirmation of Tom Strickland as Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today praised the U.S. Senate's confirmation of Thomas Strickland for Interior Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. President Obama nominated Strickland for the position on Feb. 20, 2009.
“Tom Strickland is a dedicated public servant and a resourceful and effective leader who has the vision and management experience we need at this critical time for the treasured landscapes of America,” Salazar said. “I have worked closely with Tom for many years on natural resource initiatives and know that his vision, his experience, and his wisdom will be invaluable in the years ahead. He will be a key member of our team as we restore the trust of the American people in its government and fulfill President Obama's agenda. I am hopeful that other Presidential nominees for Interior leadership posts will soon be confirmed.”
The Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks oversees and coordinates policy decisions for the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Strickland, who is currently serving as Chief of Staff for the Department of the Interior, would serve concurrently in that role.
Strickland served as United States Attorney for the District of Colorado from 1999 through 2001. As U.S. Attorney, he represented the United States on a broad range of public land and environmental issues. Together with Secretary Salazar, Strickland was a founder and board member of Great Outdoors Colorado, the lottery-funded endowment for Colorado's public parks system that was created in 1992.
He twice earned the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate. Prior to his appointment as U.S. Attorney for Colorado, he spent 15 years with another law firm where he was a senior partner in charge of the regulatory, administrative, and public law practice.
From May 2007 to when he joined Interior, Strickland was executive vice president and chief legal officer of UnitedHealth Group. Before that, he was a partner of the Hogan & Hartson law firm, serving as Managing Partner for the firm's Colorado offices. He was also a member of Hogan & Hartson's executive committee and worked closely with UnitedHealth Group as outside legal counsel on a variety of issues.
From 1982 to 1984 Strickland served as director of policy for Colorado Governor Richard D. Lamm, advising the governor on all policy and intergovernmental issues. He went on to serve and chair the Colorado Transportation Commission from 1985 to 1989. Strickland also served as legal counsel to the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and was a founder and board member of Great Outdoors Colorado, the lottery-funded endowment for Colorado's public parks system.
Strickland received his bachelor's in English literature, with honors, from Louisiana State University, where he was an All-SEC Academic Football Selection. He received his J.D., with honors, from the University of Texas School of Law. He is a member of the Colorado, Minnesota, and Texas Bars.