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.
Salazar Informs President, Cabinet that Interior Department Is Moving Quickly on Economic Recovery Projects in National Parks
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today informed President Obama and the Cabinet that the National Park Service will begin economic recovery projects at 107 national parks in next 100 days, creating new jobs and stimulating local economies while making parks better places for Americans to visit.
“We are moving full speed ahead to put Americans to work on vital projects at parks across the country,” Salazar said at a Cabinet meeting held Monday. “We are providing good jobs while preserving our national treasures and benefiting the 147 million people who visit these each year.”
The projects being undertaken by the National Park Service projects will preserve and protect national icons and historic landscapes, improve energy efficiency and renewable energy use, and remediate abandoned mine lands, Salazar said. They will also encourage the participation of young adults in their national parks.
The projects fall under six basic types of activities: construction, deferred maintenance, energy efficient equipment replacement, trails, abandoned land mines, road maintenance, and road maintenance.
Construction projects will build, rehabilitate, or replace facilities to help preserve natural and cultural resources and ensure safe, fun, and educational experiences for visitors.
Deferred maintenance projects will repair, rehabilitate, or maintain critical facilities to extend their useful life. The park service will undertake major repair and rehabilitation work and will complete cyclic maintenance to prevent an increase in the maintenance backlog.
Energy efficient equipment replacement efforts will replace aging vehicles, heavy equipment, and air-conditioning systems with next-generation energy efficient equipment.
Trails projects will complete work to restore trails for safer use and to extend the life of trails across the national park system. In addition, trail work will provide opportunities for youth and young adults to participate in meaningful experiences on public lands and to contribute to the park service mission.
The abandoned mine lands safety projects will remedy serious health and safety concerns at the sites. A consideration in choosing a particular remedy is the ability to provide continued use of the mine openings as wildlife habitat by maintaining access and airflow.
Road maintenance projects will preserve park roads and parkways and rehabilitate deteriorated road networks. The park service is responsible for approximately 5,450 paved miles of public park roads, 6,544 miles of unpaved roads, the equivalent of 948 paved miles of parking areas, and 1,679 structures such as bridges, culverts, and tunnels.