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.
Statement of Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar On the Passing of Park Superintendent Brian O'Neill
Last edited 4/25/2016
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar issued the following statement regarding the death yesterday of Brian O'Neill, longtime superintendent of Golden Gate National Recreation Area in the San Francisco Bay area of California.
“With heavy hearts, the Department of the Interior family mourns the loss of one of America's great champions for our national parks and for the wise stewardship of our national treasures. As an architect of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and its superintendent for almost a quarter century, Brian O'Neill left an indelible mark on our landscape and on the millions of lives he touched through his service.
“Year after year, Brian found new ways to connect ordinary Americans with the wonder of our nation's history and our sacred places. Last year, more than fourteen million people visited the Golden Gate National Recreation Area from Tomales Bay and the Muir Woods to the Golden Gate, Presidio and Alcatraz Island.
“Deeply loved by the community in which he served and widely admired among his colleagues, Brian O'Neill's was, and will always remain, a legendary figure in National Park Service and the Department of the Interior. His big heart, infectious enthusiasm and talent at what he called “friend-raising” made him the perfect ambassador for the cause of conservation.
“My thoughts and prayers are with Brian's family, friends, colleagues, and the San Francisco community. May his example of stewardship and service always endure in the stories and places that he dedicated his life to enrich, protect, and preserve.”