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.
AMERICA'S GREAT OUTDOORS: Salazar Announces Transfer of Lighthouses in Michigan and New York to Local Ownership
WASHINGTON -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the transfer of historic lighthouses on Lake Michigan and Long Island Sound to a local government and a local historical organization under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act (NHLPA).
“Lighthouses play an integral role in our nation's maritime history and in the cultural heritage of nearby communities,” Secretary Salazar said. “With these transfers, we are ensuring that these great icons are preserved and open to the public for generations to come as places for visitors to learn about our maritime heritage.”
NHLPA was enacted in 2000 as a means to transfer historic light stations no longer in use by the Coast Guard out of federal hands while guaranteeing their preservation and public use. A model of inter-agency cooperation, the NHLPA program is a partnership between the Coast Guard, the General Services Administration, and the National Park Service. Since 2000, more than 60 historic light stations have been transferred at no cost to qualified entities.
The City of Frankfort, Michigan, will take ownership of the Frankfort North Breakwater Lighthouse on Lake Michigan. Constructed in 1932, the 67-foot tall, square, steel beacon marks the entrance to the city's harbor, a historic shipping point for lumber and other raw materials on Lake Michigan. The lighthouse was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.
The Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society, a non-profit organization that has been associated with preserving the Huntington Harbor Light Station (formerly Lloyd Harbor Light Station) for more than 20 years, will take ownership of the historic lighthouse on Long Island Sound in New York. While a lighthouse has marked the entrance to this harbor off of the sound since 1857, the present structure was constructed in 1912. The Huntington Harbor Light Station was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.
Applications for the lighthouses were reviewed by the National Park Service to ensure that the organizations have feasible and appropriate preservation and public use plans. The Secretary of the Interior makes the final decision on the disposition of the lighthouses.
“The National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act encourages partnerships for the preservation and continued public enjoyment of an important part of our nation's maritime history,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “These transfers fulfill the purpose of the act and help preserve the richness of our nation's maritime history and culture.”
Salazar has informed the Administrator of the General Services Administration to begin the process of transferring the lights to the organizations.