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 Issues Draft Overview Report on Klamath Dam Removal Studies
Draft overview captures potential economic, environmental opportunities; Public comment on draft sought by February 5, 2012
Washington, DC – The Interior Department today published a draft report summarizing two years of scientific and technical studies conducted to help inform the Secretary of the Interior on a forthcoming decision on whether to remove four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River, per the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA) of 2010. The comprehensive draft report, entitled Klamath Dam Removal Overview Report for the Secretary of the Interior: an Assessment of Science and Technical Information (Overview Report), and each individual study conducted on the environmental and economic impacts of the potential dam removal, are available at www.KlamathRestoration.gov.
The draft report presents in plain language a summary of dozens of peer-reviewed reports that have been prepared by the federal government and made public as part of the effort to fill important data gaps prior to a Secretarial Determination. Many of the findings – in disciplines including economics, engineering, biology, water quality, recreation and real estate – were first published in September.
“The science and analyses presented in these reports are vital to making an informed and sound decision on the Klamath River dam removal,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “As we work toward strengthening the health and economic prosperity of all that depends on the Klamath – including our watersheds, fisheries, and forests - I encourage members of the public to offer their input on this draft overview report and perspectives on the opportunity that lies ahead.”
The Interior Department today also released an updated Economics and Tribal Summary Technical Report and the Klamath River Basin Restoration Nonuse Value Survey Final Report. The Economics and Tribal Summary Report provides an assessment of the economic benefits and costs of dam removal. The Nonuse Value Survey Final Report provides estimates of one important component of the economic benefits, nonuse values.
The economic reports analyzed in the draft Overview Report find that dam removal and implementation of the related watershed-wide restoration program provide an opportunity to bring significant additional jobs to the region and strengthen local economies in the Klamath Basin for reasons that include improved fish populations; additional recreational and commercial fishing opportunities; and increased agricultural output due to more certainty in water deliveries.
A summary of the key conclusions from the scientific and technical reports is available here.
As part of its commitment to openness, transparency and scientific integrity, the Interior Department is arranging for a scientific peer review of the draft Overview Report by a six-member independent panel. In addition, the Department is encouraging the public to review and offer technical comments on the draft report for the peer reviewers to consider during their deliberations.
The peer reviewers were selected based on their expertise to review the technical information contained in the draft report, including engineering, fisheries biology, stream restoration, geomorphology, stream ecology, hydrology, water quality, natural resource economics, and anthropology/tribal history. Atkins North America, a firm with a specialty in overseeing scientific peer reviews, will facilitate the deliberations of the peer review panel and will assist them in the preparation of their report of peer review comments.
The final Overview Report, and the dozens of reports it summarizes, along with the final Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report on Klamath River dam removal, will help inform the Secretarial Determination, which is expected later this spring.
The public comment period on the Klamath Overview Report is open from January 24 through February 5, 2012. Comments received after this date will not be considered by the peer reviewers. Public comments should be emailed to: email@example.com, or mailed to: