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 Department Honors 2012 “Partners in Conservation” Award Winners
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes today announced the 2012 “Partners in Conservation” Awards to 17 organizations that have achieved exemplary conservation results through public-private cooperation and community engagement. Together, the 17 award recipients represent more than 700 individuals and organizations from across the United States.
“The Partners in Conservation Awards offer wonderful examples of how America's greatest conservation legacies are created when communities from a wide range of backgrounds work together,” said Hayes, who announced the winners at an award ceremony at Interior today. “These awards recognize dedicated citizens from across our nation who collaborate to conserve and restore America's Great Outdoors, to encourage youth involvement in conservation and to forge solutions to complex natural resource challenges.”
The annual award ceremony is an opportunity for the Interior Department to recognize conservation achievements that include collaborative activity among a diverse range of entities, including federal, state, local and tribal governments, and individuals.
This year's award winners include the Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study, which was nominated as a model of collaboration for future watershed planning across the country. The seven Colorado River Basin States, the Bureau of Reclamation, and water users worked together to establish a common factual and technical foundation for resolving future water supply and demand imbalances.
Interior also recognized two initiatives in Florida working to restore the Everglades. The Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge/Conservation Area Partnership is a partnership of federal, state, and local groups working to establish the 150,000-acre refuge to protect key grassland and savanna landscapes and working ranches. The Everglades Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area is a partnership nominated by the National Park Service that uses innovative approaches to protect the Everglades from the impacts of exotic, invasive plant and animal species.
A list of this year's 17 award-winning partnerships is below. Details about each partnership and the organizations involved can be found here.
Global Explorers- Natural Sounds and Night Skies Partnership, Arizona, Colorado, California Nominated by the National Park Service
Everglades Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area, Florida Nominated by the National Park Service
Southern Nevada Agency Partnership: Interagency Law Enforcement Team, Nevada Nominated by the National Park Service
Glacier National Park Ice Patch Archeology and Paleoecology Project, Montana Nominated by the National Park Service
Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area Partnership, Florida Nominated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Alaska Environmental Literacy Plan Working Group, Alaska Nominated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Friends of Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge Partnership, Wisconsin and Illinois Nominated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Central Umpqua-Mid-Klamath Oak Habitat Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative, Oregon Nominated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Phoenix District Youth Initiative, Arizona Nominated by the Bureau of Land Management
Ute Learning Garden, Colorado Nominated by the Bureau of Land Management
Iditarod National Historic Trail Centennial Partnership, Alaska Nominated by the Bureau of Land Management
Office of Surface Mining/Volunteers in Service to America Teams, Nationwide Nominated by the Office of Surface Mining
Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, Appalachian region Nominated by the Office of Surface Mining
Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network (MARINe), Nationwide Nominated by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Hart Mine Marsh Restoration Project, at Cibola National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona Nominated by the Bureau of Reclamation
Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study, Basin-wide Nominated by the Assistant Secretary – Water and Science
Border Security and Environmental Conservation Partnership, nationwide Nominated by the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Safety, Resource Protection, and Emergency Services.
Photos from today's ceremony are available upon request.