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 West Virginia Watershed Network 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 West Virginia Watershed Network for exemplary service in promoting watershed conservation.
The award recognizes the watershed network for empowering the residents of West Virginia in managing water resources through informal partnerships with state and federal agencies including Interior's Office of Surface Mining and nonprofit groups.
Through a partnership that has spanned nearly a decade, participants in the West Virginia Watershed Network and the Office of Surface Mining Charleston Field Office hope to improve water quality, habitat, and aquatic life in streams in West Virginia.
This award is 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 West Virginia Watershed Network conducted a statewide forum to discuss permits required when conducting remedial work in or adjacent to West Virginia streams and wetlands. The result was the publication of the Stream Disturbance Permit Booklet. The booklet described all the various stream disturbance permits and is available at http://www.wvca.us/wvwn/wvwn_publications.cfm.
“These 26 awards recognize the dedicated efforts 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 following groups and individuals share this Partners in Conservation Award:
Appalachian Coal Country Watershed Team
Canaan Valley Institute
Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement
West Virginia Conservation Agency
West Virginia Division of Natural Resources
West Virginia Division of Regulatory and Environmental Affairs
West Virginia Division of Water and Waste Management