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 Honors Partners in Conservation Award Winners
Office of the Secretary Policy Management and Budget
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the 2011 Partners in Conservation Awards to 17 organizations who have achieved exemplary conservation results with community engagement and local partnerships.
This year's awards recognize more than 500 individuals from all 50 states and include representatives from Tribes, local communities and states, other Federal agencies, business and industry, nonprofit institutions, and private landowners. The awards also include 150 outstanding Interior employees who are helping to advance important conservation initiatives are also recognized this year.
San Joaquin River Restoration Program, nominated by the Bureau of Reclamation, was one of the 17 partnerships that received the Secretary's Partners in Conservation Award.(DOI photo by Tami Heilemann)
“The Partners in Conservation Awards demonstrate that our nation's greatest conservation legacies often emerge when agencies and citizens from a wide range of backgrounds come together to address shared challenges,” Secretary Salazar said. “I am pleased to recognize the efforts of dedicated people from across our nation to conserve and restore our treasured landscapes, address water issues and forge solutions to complex natural resource issues through good government and strong partnerships.”
This year's award winners include a partnership working on a large landscape restoration and water resource management in the San Joaquin River basin, California's second longest river that provides water to more than one million acres in the Central Valley. The San Joaquin River Restoration Program partners were nominated by Interior's Bureau of Reclamation.
Secretary Salazar also recognized the Permian Basin Memorandum of Agreement Program, nominated by the Bureau of Land Management, that is working to protect cultural resources and support archaeological research in conjunction with energy exploration and development in the Permian Basin of southeastern New Mexico.
The Fish and Wildlife Service successfully nominated the Wyoming Governor's Sage-Grouse Implementation Team for its work to develop and implement a long-term, science-based cooperative strategy for conservation of the greater sage-grouse, a ground-dwelling bird that inhabits much of the West.
A full list of the Partners in Conservation Award winners is available here.
The awards ceremony for the 2011 Secretary's Partners in Conservation Award was held today, September 21, at the South Interior building auditorium.