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, Jarvis Hold Listening Session on Proposal for National Park in Maine's North Woods
Office of the Secretary
MILLINOCKET, ME — Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis today met with community leaders, stakeholders, and citizens to discuss a proposal to donate land in northern Maine to the National Park Service for the potential creation of a new national park.
“Maine's North Woods supply a wide range of vital resources from which we all benefit, from its timber and forest products to its wildlife, fishing, and outdoor recreation opportunities,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “It is important to hear directly from local communities, tribes, and the residents of Maine on the possibility of designating a portion of the North Woods as a national park. We must consider not only the economic benefits that might come, but also how traditional uses of the land and Maine's unique legacy of access to private property would be preserved.”
Roxanne Quimby, founder of the company Burt's Bees, has proposed to donate approximately 70,000 acres of her private land to the National Park Service to form the new national park. Her lands lie to the east of Baxter State Park and are adjacent to the Penobscot River.
Quimby also purchased an additional 30,000 acres that she has offered to set aside for the State of Maine specifically for traditional uses such as snowmobiling and hunting.
“Over the last century, America's 394 national parks have become economic engines for communities across the country,” said Director Jarvis, noting that 281 million people visited the national parks last year, generating $12 billion in visitor spending, and supporting 247,000 jobs. “The North Woods are, without question, a special place, and it is vital that we hear a wide range of views and feedback as we consider the idea that has been put forward.”
Earlier in the day, Secretary Salazar joined Senator Susan Collins for a tour of a wind technology project at the University of Maine that is developing designs for floating offshore wind turbine platforms, and met with state and project officials to discuss potential next steps for offshore wind development in Maine, including the regulatory permitting process.
In the morning, Secretary Salazar, Director Jarvis, and Senator Collins visited L.L. Bean's flagship store in Portland, Maine, to highlight the importance of outdoor recreation and investment in conservation of parks and other public lands.