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 Commends Senate's Confirmation of Tracie Stevens as Chair of the National Indian Gaming Commission
Office of the Secretary
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, DC – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today applauded the Senate's confirmation of Tracie Stevens as chair of the National Indian Gaming Commission. The President nominated Stevens on April 28, 2010.
“Tracie Stevens brings to the commission a wealth of expertise and experience from a distinguished career working on both tribal government and gaming issues,” Salazar said. “She will be an outstanding chair of the National Indian Gaming Commission.”
Stevens, an enrolled member of the Tulalip Tribes in Washington State, most recently served as Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk.
In this role, Stevens provided policy guidance to the Assistant Secretary regarding tribal issues such as gaming, law enforcement, energy, tribal consultation, economic development, land-into-trust, tribal government disputes, budget priorities, and treaty and natural resource rights. She has also been active in rebuilding the nation-to-nation relationship between Tribes and the Department of Interior.
The National Indian Gaming Commission's primary mission is to regulate gaming activities on Indian lands for the purpose of shielding Indian tribes from organized crime and other corrupting influences. The independent Commission also works to ensure that Indian tribes are the primary beneficiaries of gaming revenue and that gaming is conducted fairly and honestly by both operators and players.
To achieve these goals, the commission is authorized to conduct investigations and undertake enforcement actions, including the issuance of notices of violation, assessment of civil fines, and/or issuance of closure orders. The Commission conducts background investigations and audits and reviews and approves tribal gaming ordinances. Under the legislation establishing the Commission, at least two of the three commissioners must be enrolled members of a federally recognized Indian tribe, and no more than two members may be of the same political party.
For the past 12 years, Stevens worked in various capacities for her tribe in both government and business operations. In her most recent position as senior policy analyst with the Tulalip Tribes' government affairs office, Stevens managed day-to-day operations, including overseeing external public affairs and government relations functions. She also carried out advocacy and networking efforts, and served on state, regional and national Indian gaming-related boards and committees. She had served previously as a legislative policy analyst in the government affairs office, working on tribal sovereignty, treaty rights and tribal governance issues.
Stevens began her professional career at the Tulalip Tribes' casino where she developed expertise in business management and administration. Her work in human resource management, employee recruitment and training, and operations planning and analysis eventually led her to becoming the Tulalip Casino's executive director for strategic planning.
Stevens received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences from the University of Washington-Seattle in 2006.
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