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 Rappahannock Land Protection Partnership with Partners in Conservation Award
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today presented a Partners in Conservation Award to the Rappahannock Land Protection Partnership in Virginia.
It 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. “The Rappahannock collaboration has provided a model for other groups about the importance of forming partnerships in protecting land and about the importance of the Land and Water Conservation Fund in acquiring land.”
The Rappahannock Land Protection Partnership began with the 1996 establishment of the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge to protect natural, cultural, and historic resources along Virginia's Rappahannock River, one of the most important tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. The partnership has protected more than 8,000 acres as part of the refuge and another 1,320 acres in a conservation easement.
“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.”
Award recipients include:
Lynda Frost, Trust for Public Land
Libby Norris, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Reggie Hall, The Conservation Fund
Andy Lacatell, David Phemister, The Nature Conservancy
Joe Thompson, Northern Neck Land Conservancy
Terry Banks, Jaffray Cox, U.S. Army, Fort A.P. Hill
Joan Marchi, Joseph McCauley, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service