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Salazar: Time Has Come to Reform Outdated Mining Law
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of President Obama's agenda for reform, the time has come to update the nation's 19th century mining law to ensure reasonable royalty payments for extracting gold, silver and other minerals from federal land and to provide more effective regulatory, clean-up and reclamation tools, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said today.
“While the responsible development of our mineral resources is critical to both our economy and our environment, this statute has not been updated in 137 years,” Secretary Salazar told members of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. “In those years, much has changed. It is time to ensure a fair return to the public for mining activities that occur on public lands and to address the cleanup of abandoned mines.”
“We must find an approach to modernize the General Mining Law of 1872 and ensure that development occurs in a manner consistent with the needs of mining and the protection of the public, our public lands, and water resources,” said Salazar, who also worked on mining reform as a U.S. Senator. “It is time to make reform of the Mining Law part of our agenda of responsible resource development.”
Under the General Mining Law of 1872, numerous commodities are extracted to provide the raw materials essential for the manufacturing and building industries. The U.S. domestic gold mining industry alone directly or indirectly creates more than 66,000 jobs and nearly $2 billion in earnings annually. The United States is the second largest producer of gold and copper in the world, and the leading producer of beryllium, gypsum, and molybdenum.
The 5-year average for new mining claims staked annually under the law is about 76,000, with a current total number of claims at nearly 400,000. These claims generated almost $60 million in federal revenue in fiscal year 2008 -- mostly from the fees collected by the
Bureau of Land Management.
To read Secretary Salazar's opening statement before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, click here.