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.
An Endangered Species Success Story: Interior Department's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Delisting of Maguire Daisy
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON -- Highlighting a 25-year conservation effort involving a number of federal agencies, the Department of the Interior's U.S. Fish and Wildlife today announced the Maguire daisy will be removed from the list of threatened and endangered species under the Endangered Species Act.
The population of the daisy was known to number seven plants when it was listed as endangered in 1985 but now numbers 163,000 plants within 10 populations in southeastern Utah's Emery, Wayne and Garfield Counties. It is the 21st species to be delisted due to recovery
“The delisting of the Maguire daisy shows that the Endangered Species Act is an effective tool not only to save species from the brink of extinction but also to recover them to healthy populations,” said Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Tom Strickland. “Working in partnership with other federal agencies, state and local governments, and other partners, we can ensure irreplaceable plants and animals such as the Maguire daisy and the habitat they depend upon are preserved for future generations.”
“This recovery is another success for the Endangered Species Act and would not have been possible if not for the commitment of multiple federal land management agencies,” said Stephen Guertin, Regional Director of the Service's Mountain-Prairie Region.
A member of the sunflower family, the Maguire daisy (Erigeron maguirei) is a perennial herb with dime-sized white or pink flowers. Since the plant was listed, federal land management agencies have worked collaboratively to ensure the long-term protection of the Maguire daisy and its habitat. Cooperative recovery efforts have substantially increased the known number and distribution of Maguire daisy populations range-wide, , addressed threats and provided adequate protection and management to ensure the plant's long-term persistence.
The best scientific information available indicates the Maguire daisy no longer meets the ESA definition of threatened or endangered. An endangered species is one considered in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. A threatened species is one that is likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future.
The ESA provides a critical safety net for America's native fish, wildlife and plants. This landmark conservation law has prevented the extinction of hundreds of imperiled species across the nation and promoted the recovery of many others.
Approximately 99 percent of Maguire daisies occur on federal lands, and now most of these lands have substantial protective measures in place.
The final Post-Delisting Monitoring Plan for Maguire Daisy calls for a minimum 10-year monitoring period. Monitoring would include the collection of information on population trends and potential threat factors (none of which are believed serious at this time). Should a decline be detected at any point, the Service will work closely with the involved partners to determine what measures need to be implemented to reverse the decline. Although not anticipated, if at any time during the monitoring program information indicates that protective status under the Act should be reinstated, the Service can initiate listing procedures including, if appropriate, an emergency listing.
Native plants are important for their ecological, economic, and aesthetic values. Plants play an important role in development of crops that resist disease, insects, and drought. At least 25 percent of prescription drugs contain ingredients derived from plant compounds, including medicine to treat cancer, heart disease, juvenile leukemia, and malaria, and to assist in organ transplants. Plants are also used to develop natural pesticides.
Other U.S. and U.S. territorial species that have, to date, recovered enough to be removed from listing under the ESA, and the dates of their delistings, are as follows: Brown pelican (Atlantic coast population 1985, rest of the range in 2009), Virginia northern flying squirrel (2008), Bald Eagle (2007), Eggert's sunflower (2005), Tinian Monarch (2004), Columbian white-tailed deer (Douglas County Population, 2003), Hoover's woolly-star (2003), Robbins' cinquefoil (2002), Aleutian Canada goose (2001), American peregrine falcon (1999), eastern gray kangaroo (1995), western gray kangaroo (1995), red kangaroo (1995), Arctic peregrine falcon (1994), gray whale (eastern North Pacific (California) population, 1994), American alligator (1987), Palau ground dove (1985), Palau fantail flycatcher (1985), and the Palau owl (1985).
A copy of the final rule and other information about the Maguire daisy is available online at http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/plants/maguiredaisy/, or by contacting Utah Field Office at 2369 West Orton Circle, West Valley City, Utah 84119 (telephone 801/ 975–3330; facsimile 801/975-3331. The final rule will publish in the Federal Register on January 19, 2010.
America's fish, wildlife and plant resources belong to all of us, and ensuring the health of imperiled species is a shared responsibility. The Service is actively engaged with conservation partners and the public in the search for improved and innovative ways to conserve and recover imperiled species. To learn more about the Service's Endangered Species program, go to http://www.fws.gov/endangered/.