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.
Salazar Announces $43 Million for Nevada and Lake Tahoe Restoration, Conservation and Recreation Projects
WASHINGTON, DC -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced that Interior will commit more than $43.1 million for a variety of conservation and recreation improvement projects throughout Nevada and Lake Tahoe.
The funding is a result of the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act (SNPLMA), which uses proceeds from sales of federal land in Clark County, Nevada, to fund environmental restoration, conservation and public recreational projects throughout the state.
“Nevada's natural beauty and unique landscapes are economic engines for the state, and these funds will not only help restore and enhance these special areas for future generations, but the projects will create jobs and provide vital resources to hard hit communities for the benefit of all who live in and visit the state,” said Secretary Salazar.
“The BLM is committed to ensuring that the American people benefit from their public lands,” said Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey, who oversees the public land sales. “The BLM values its strategic partnership with the State of Nevada and we are committed to ensuring that our public lands continue to play a central role in the economy of the state and in the lives of its citizens. The projects funded by this program are especially critical during these tough economic times.”
The Round 12 projects will generate more than 645 permanent full-time jobs over nine years, including 125 jobs by the end of 2012.
Funding approved in Round 12 expenditures under the Act includes more than $7.5 million for projects throughout Nevada in the following categories:
Parks, Trails & Natural Areas - $1,319,222
Capital Improvements - $1,109,275
Conservation Initiatives - $1,641,671
Environmentally Sensitive Land Acquisitions - $877,600
Hazardous Fuels Reduction and Wildfire Prevention - $1,496,600
The Round 12 package also includes the Department of the Interior's final obligations under the SNPLMA legislation -- $34,139,397 for Lake Tahoe Restoration Projects; as well as $1.5 million in a special account reserve for emergency or unexpected project expenditures.
The Department has contributed more than $2.6 billion to key restoration projects throughout Nevada, including more than $300 million for Lake Tahoe Basin restoration since passage of the Act in 1998, which completes the Federal share of the Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program. This $300 million, in conjunction with local, state and private donations, has resulted in more than $1 billion to restore Lake Tahoe's water clarity and critical natural resources, and enhance public safety through the implementation of hazardous fuels reduction projects to protect lives and property throughout the Lake Tahoe Basin.