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 Lauds Senate's Confirmation of Hilary Tompkins as Interior Solicitor
Office of the Secretary
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today lauded the U.S. Senate's confirmation of Hilary Tompkins as Solicitor of the Department of the Interior, the agency's top general counsel.
“I welcome Hilary to our policy team and look forward to her counsel and leadership in helping us fulfill Interior's broad mandate, from managing federal land, water and energy resources, to conserving endangered species, to building a better future for American Indian and Native Alaska communities,” Salazar said. “She is an outstanding professional with strong legal and managerial skills and will make an excellent Solicitor.”
Tompkins, an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law, will head the Department's general counsel office and represent Interior in administrative and judicial litigation, negotiations and other contracts with Congress, federal agencies, states, tribes and the public.
From 2003 to 2008, Tompkins was chief counsel to New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, whom she advised on legal and policy issues including legislation, judicial appointments, executive orders, constitutional authority, civil litigation, statutory interpretation, and intergovernmental affairs. She also managed the legal staff in the Governor's office, supervised the general counsels in more than 20 state executive agencies, and advised the governor on American Indian affairs.
Before that, Tompkins was an attorney with Sonoksy, Chambers Sachse, Endreson & Perry, a national law firm devoted to representing American Indian interests. Prior to that, she served as a special assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn, where she was lead counsel for a number of civil lawsuits in federal court.
Previously, Tompkins served as an honors program trial lawyer in the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where she handled civil prosecutions in environmental cases nationwide. She also was a law clerk for the Navajo Nation Supreme Court in Window Rock, Arizona. Before becoming a lawyer, Tompkins worked for the Navajo Nation Department of Justice as a tribal court advocate after passing the Navajo Nation bar exam.
An enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, Tompkins received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College and a Juris Doctor degree from Stanford University, where she was associate editor of the Stanford Law Review