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.
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Proposal Not Adopted After Intense Debate
Office of the Secretary
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The proposal to list Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) under Appendix I of CITES was not adopted today by the Parties. The proposal, sponsored by the Principality of Monaco, and strongly supported by the United States, garnered intense debate by the Parties due to the importance of this migratory fish species for commercial purposes. The final tally was 20 in support, 68 against and 30 abstentions.
“The U.S. is strongly committed to protecting the bluefin tuna and restoring the health of the fishery for the benefit of all nations,” said Tom Strickland, head of the U.S. Delegation. “Today's vote was a setback for the Atlantic bluefin tuna, but we will keep fighting to ensure that the fishery is managed sustainably, so that future generations may see it return to health.”
“The United States remains committed to ensuring that International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas keeps its commitments to science-based, well enforced management of bluefin tuna," said National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco, under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere. "ICCAT took some unprecedented management steps in 2009, but they are not enough. We will continue to work with ICCAT members to conserve and recover the species.”
Spain, speaking on behalf of the European Union, introduced an amendment to the proposal that would have provided for some assurance that the species could be delisted in the future in order to attempt a compromise position. This amendment was also rejected.
“The U.S. calls on all Parties of CITES and those who are also members of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas to fulfill the promises made today to conserve the Atlantic bluefin tuna,” said Jane Lyder, acting Head of the U.S. Delegation. “The responsibility is now on ICCAT to manage the fishery in a sustainable manner. The world will be watching.”