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.
Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor Appointed to Migratory Bird Conservation Commission
Office of the Secretary
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced that Senator Mark Pryor has been appointed to the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission. The Commission, which is chaired by Secretary Salazar and includes members of Congress and cabinet secretaries, reviews and approves the purchase of wetlands and other areas of vital wildlife habitat for inclusion in the National Wildlife Refuge System.
“Senator Pryor will be a tremendous asset to the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission,” said Salazar. “His leadership and support for conservation throughout his home state of Arkansas is evident, and he will play a major role in helping the Commission preserve America's great outdoors.”
In addition to voting on land acquisition projects for migratory bird habitat at National Wildlife Refuges, the Commission also approves project funding under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA). NAWCA provides Federal funding for public-private partnership projects that protect, enhance, restore, and manage wetlands and other associated habitats across North America.
“I am pleased and honored to join the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission,” said Pryor. “Arkansas' natural resources are a defining feature of our state, and preserving these habitats is important to wildlife, hunters, and the surrounding communities. I look forward to working with the bipartisan members of the Commission and ensuring Arkansas interests are well represented.”
The Commission usually convenes three times per year during the months of March, June, and September, or as needed to approve land acquisitions and easement purchases, NAWCA projects. Since the Commission's establishment, more than six million acres have been acquired by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for addition to the National Wildlife Refuge System. The Service administers the Commission on behalf of the Secretary.
Land projects that come before the Commission for consideration are funded from the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund. There are two major sources of money for the Fund. The most well-known source is the revenue received from the sale of Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps, commonly known as Duck Stamps. The other major source is import duties collected on arms and ammunition In addition to Sen. Pryor, Commission members include:
Chairman - Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior
Thad Cochran, Senator from Mississippi
John D. Dingell, Congressman from Michigan
Robert J. Wittman, Congressman from Virginia
Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture
Lisa Jackson, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency
Secretary - A. Eric Alvarez, Chief, Division of Realty, Fish and Wildlife Service