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 Holds Stakeholder Meeting on Big Bend Park, Meets with Governor Perry on America's Great Outdoors Initiative
Office of the Secretary
AUSTIN, TX – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today wrapped up a visit to Texas to meet with local leaders about state-led recreation, conservation and restoration initiatives.
Yesterday, Secretary Salazar held a meeting in Austin with stakeholders to discuss conservation efforts in the Big Bend/Rio Bravo region to maintain wildlife corridors and to enhance cooperation with Mexico to promote better management of the unique natural resources on both sides of the Rio Grande River.
“The U.S. and Mexico share a priceless resource in the Rio Grande and we must act hand-in-hand to conserve it,” Salazar said. “Texas has an important seat at the table as we work to ensure that generations to come can enjoy and experience Big Bend's natural and cultural treasures.”
Today, Salazar also met with Governor Rick Perry to explore how the Department of the Interior and Texas can work together to advance the goals of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors initiative, as well as the $1 billion early restoration agreement reached last week with BP that will help accelerate Gulf Coast restoration projects.
The America's Great Outdoors initiative seeks to partner with communities across America to establish a 21st century conservation and recreation ethic that will create jobs, contribute to local economies and reconnect Americans, especially young people, to the natural world.
The meeting was one of a series that Salazar is holding with the nation's governors to discuss potential partnerships in their states, ranging from revitalizing urban parks to restoring rivers to using conservation easements in rural areas to conserve wildlife habitat while allowing ranching and farming to continue.
“The power of partnership is the heart of the America's Great Outdoors initiative,” Salazar said. “Working closely with the state of Texas and communities across Texas we can achieve far more for conservation and for outdoor recreation than the department or the state could achieve alone.”