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 Salazar Presents the Project for the Protection of Aquifer Resources in Oklahoma with Conservation Award
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today presented a Partnersin Conservation Award to a coalition of individuals and agencies who worked collaboratively with the Bureau of Reclamation and the Chickasaw Nation to protect valuable aquifer resources and to improve water resource conditions in Oklahoma.
The award to the aquifer resources project was one of 26 national awards to individuals and organizations presented at a ceremony at Interior headquarters in Washington, D.C. to honor “those who achieve natural resource goals in collaboration and partnership with others.”
The 26 Partners in Conservation Awards recognize conservation achievements resulting from the cooperation and participation of a total of 600 individuals and organizations including landowners; citizens' groups; private sector and nongovernmental organizations; and federal, state, local, and/or tribal governments.
“The Partners in Conservation Awards demonstrate that our greatest conservation legacies often emerge when stakeholders, agencies, and citizens from a wide range of backgrounds come together to address shared challenges,” the Secretary said. “In this case, the Bureau of Reclamation and Chickasaw Nation joined forces with with federal and state partners to combat the recent drought and protect the water needed by the Nation, the cities of Ada and Sulphur, Reclamation's Arbuckle Project and the Chickasaw National Recreation Area.”
This partnership involved the late Harold Wingard, landowner, as well as the Chickasaw Nation, the Bureau of Reclamation's Oklahoma-Texas Area Office and Technical Service Center, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Oklahoma Climatological Survey, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, Oklahoma State University, and Oklahoma Water Resources Board.
The Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer underlies about 500 square miles of south-central Oklahoma. In light of stresses placed on the aquifer and Byrd's Mill Spring from drought, the Chickasaw Nation is implementing an artificial recharge project to maintain and enhance spring flow at Byrd's Mill Spring by protecting the source Aquifer. The proposed recharge demonstration project is located near Ada on the property of the late Harold Wingard, a farmer and rancher who championed water conservation and graciously agreed to cooperate with Federal, state, and tribal governments on implementing this recharge project.
“These 26 awards recognize the dedicated efforts of thousands of people from all walks of life, from across our nation– and from across our borders with Canada and Mexico,” Salazar noted. “They celebrate partnerships that conserve and restore our nation's treasured landscapes and watersheds, partnerships that engage Native American communities, and partnerships that engage youth.”
The recipients of the Project for the Protection of Aquifer Resources in Oklahoma are:
Bureau of Reclamation
Collins K Balcombe
W. Robert Talbot
Mark Trevino Chickasaw Nation
Wayne Kellogg National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Suzanne Van Cooten OklahomaClimatological Survey
Ken Crawford OklahomaConservation Commission
Robert Toole Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality
John Craig OklahomaState University
Yasemin Leventeli OklahomaWater Resources Board
Duane Smith U.S.Environmental Protection Agency
Robert W. Puls Harold Wingard Susan Paddack, Oklahoma State Senate