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 Fort Collins Science Center Employees 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 scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey Fort Collins Science Center in Colorado who created a “war room” where partner agencies and universities can use advanced technology to better document, map and predict the spread of harmful invasive plants, animals and diseases.
USGS employees Tracy Holcombe, Catherine Jarnevich, and Thomas J. Stohlgren shared one of 26 national awards to individuals and organizations presented at a ceremony at Interior headquarters in Washington, D.C.. The Partners in Conservation Awards honor “those who achieve natural resource goals in collaboration and partnership with others.”
“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, astute USGS employees recognized an urgent need to develop new capabilities in ecological forecasting of harmful invasive species. They leveraged the resources of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Colorado State University to create an advanced modeling room. As a result, new partnerships have formed across the nation to provide rapid response to damaging invaders ranging from the Zebra mussel to cheatgrass. ”
As just one example, citizen scientists, federal agencies, states, counties and tribes combined their data on the distribution of tamarisk (salt cedar) in the western United States. Through the modeling room, they were able to create a map of tamarisk distribution for the Bureau of Reclamation to estimate expensive water losses in the West.
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.
“These awards recognize the dedicated efforts of thousands of individuals 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.”