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.
Audit Results Once Again Successful for Interior Department
Office of the Secretary Policy Management and Budget
Financial Management Office Racks up 14 Clean Audits in a Row
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, DC – For the 14th consecutive year, the Interior Department has received a favorable audit opinion from KPMG LLP (KPMG), an independent certified public accounting firm and the Department's external auditor.
The welcome news was announced by Interior Assistant Secretary Rhea Suh, who also serves as Interior's Chief Financial Officer (CFO). “This audit opinion is a reflection of the Department's continuing commitment to sound financial management and success. It also reflects our commitment to significant reforms to improve efficiency and services across the board.”
The CFO Act requires completion of the audit within 45 days of the end of the fiscal year, an accelerated schedule over past years. This year's audit included all of the Department's bureaus and reporting components -- the National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Bureau of Reclamation, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement, Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as Departmental Offices. By consolidating the audit at the Department level, Interior reduces costs and achieves improved integration.
The audit was performed by KPMG in accordance with the Comptroller General of the United States of America's Government Auditing Standards, the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Bulletin 01-02 Audit Requirements for Federal Financial Statements, and the Government Accountability Office/President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency's Financial Audit Manual.
The Interior Department manages the Nation's public lands and minerals including providing access to public lands and the Outer Continental Shelf for renewable and conventional energy; is the steward of 20 percent of the Nation's lands including national parks and national wildlife refuges; is the largest supplier and manager of water in the 17 western States and a supplier of hydropower energy; and upholds Federal trust responsibilities to American Indian tribes and Alaska Natives. It is also responsible for migratory wildlife conservation, historic preservation, endangered species conservation; mapping, geological, hydrological and biological science for the nation; and financial and technical assistance for the insular areas.