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.
Interior Awards Contract to Evaluate BIA & BIE Support Services
Policy Management and Budget
Woman-Owned Small Business Bronner Group Selected
WASHINGTON – The Department of the Interior (DOI) has awarded a contract to Bronner Group, LLC, a small, woman-owned business based in Chicago that specializes in consulting with government and the public sector. The contract for more than $400,000 is on behalf of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), and is to conduct an evaluation of their support services. Bronner will assist the Assistant Secretary–Indian Affairs as he oversees a review of functions that support the two bureaus and suggest improvements.
Deputy Interior Secretary David Hayes signs the contract for services with the Bronner Group, a woman-owned small business, as Interior's Assistant Secretary Larry Echo Hawk (L) and Assistant Secretary Rhea Suh look on.
(DOI photo by Gary Garrison)
DOI Deputy Secretary David Hayes earlier this week gathered with Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk and Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget Rhea Suh to sign the notification. “It's vital that we support small businesses and the jobs they create and sustain,” Hayes said. “I'm pleased to report that Interior has a strong record in that regard. We have spent more than half of our contracting dollars this year with small businesses -- almost $630 million. The Interior Department knows the value of small businesses to the nation and to the economy. We support their success in every way we can.”
In 1999, the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) conducted a study of BIA's management, organizational structure and administration to identify and recommend remedies to improve quality, efficiency and cost effectiveness. Subsequent to issuance of the report, BIA was restructured and several support functions began reporting to the Office of the Assistant Secretary.
“I congratulate the Bronner Group, Ltd., on being awarded this contract, and look forward to working with them,” Echo Hawk said. “This will be an important opportunity to see how the management of Indian Affairs' administrative functions can be improved for the betterment of the tribes and communities we serve.”
It has been more than ten years since the NAPA study was issued and the realignment process began. The Bronner Group will assess the current state of operations to evaluate if the changes were accomplished and what effect they have had on regional and field operations, and impact on the tribes that Indian Affairs serves.
“Small businesses are the cornerstone of our economy so it's important that they thrive,” Suh said. “This is an example of the Interior Department's credo that small and disadvantaged businesses should be provided the maximum opportunity to participate in the agency's contracting process.”
With the award, Indian Affairs will begin the process of communicating with employees and tribes to ensure participation in this project.
"As a national woman-owned small business with over 24 years of experience providing professional services in the public sector, we are very pleased to have been chosen to conduct an evaluation of the support functions that service the Office of the Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs," Gila J. Bronner,