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 Announces Upcoming BLM Oil and Gas Lease Sales, Lauds Progress in Balanced Energy Agenda
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today described the progress the Department of the Interior has made in the last six months to responsibly develop oil and gas resources on public lands as part of President Obama's comprehensive energy strategy for the United States. Since January, the Department of the Interior has offered more than 2.5 million acres of U.S. public lands, primarily in the West, for oil and natural gas development and companies have leased 782,280 of those acres, paying more than $60 million in bonus bids and leasing fees.
“As part of President Obama's comprehensive energy strategy, our Bureau of Land Management has an active and robust program to responsibly develop onshore U.S. lands for traditional energy production,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said. “We have held 17 oil and gas lease sales since January and plan to hold another 20 sales in the next six months. Our nation needs a balanced approach to meet its energy needs today, continuing to rely on appropriate domestic sources of oil, gas and coal, while we accelerate the development of our vast renewable energy resources.”
So far this year, the Bureau has offered 2,261,854 acres in 1,749 parcels and sold oil and gas development leases on 782,280 of those acres in 866 parcels, collecting $60,108,904 in revenue.
For most federal oil and gas leases, 50 percent of the revenues collected are returned to the states where the oil and gas activity occurs. Of the remaining 50 percent of the revenues, 40 percent goes to a reclamation fund for water projects and 10 percent goes to the U.S. Treasury.
“The Bureau of Land Management plays an important role in working with industry and local communities that rely on traditional energy development on U.S. lands, and in ensuring the protection of wildlife and our treasured landscapes,” Salazar said.
The Bureau of Land Management held the following oil and gas lease sales this year: Montana on 1/27, 4/14 and 6/16; Wyoming on 2/3, 4/7 and 6/2; Utah on 3/24 and 6/23; Colorado on 2/12 and 5/14; Nevada on 3/10 and 6/9; New Mexico on 1/21 and 4/22; and one each in California, 3/11; Oregon, 3/12; and the Eastern States, 3/19.
The Bureau has scheduled an additional 20 oil and gas lease sales nationwide this year:
Eastern States on 6/25, 9/17 and 12/10; New Mexico, 7/22 and 10/21; Wyoming, 8/4, 10/2 and 12/1; Utah, 8/18 and 11/17; Montana, 8/25 and 11/3; Nevada, 9/8 and 12/8; California, 9/9 and 12/9; Oregon 9/10 and 12/10; and Colorado 9/17 and 11/12.
More information on the Bureau of Land Management's energy lease sales program is available at www.blm.gov.