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 Praises President's Nomination of Rebecca R. Wodder for Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks
Office of the Secretary
WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today praised President Obama's intent to nominate Rebecca R. Wodder to be the next Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks for the Department of the Interior.
“Rebecca's extensive experience and notable accomplishments in natural resource management make her an outstanding choice for this key position on our departmental leadership team,” Salazar said. “Her lifelong work to conserve and restore America's lands and waters will be invaluable in carrying out Interior's strategic vision for our wildlife and park conservation programs and initiatives.”
If confirmed by the Senate, Wodder would replace Tom Strickland, who returned to the private sector in February, 2011, after serving two years as the Assistant Secretary. Currently, Interior's Principal Deputy Solicitor, Rachel Jacobson, is serving as Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
Since 1995, Wodder has been president and chief executive officer of American Rivers, directing strategic, programmatic and financial operations. During her tenure at American Rivers, Wodder led efforts to help dozens of communities restore the health of their rivers through innovative conservation measures such as the creation of river trails, the removal of obsolete and dangerous dams, and the implementation of green infrastructure solutions to safeguard clean water.
At American Rivers, Wodder led collaborations with federal, state, tribal, and local governments, business and industry, and grassroots groups to achieve consensus solutions to competing interests in rivers and freshwater resources. In 2010, she was recognized as one of the Top 25 Outstanding Conservationists by Outdoor Life Magazine, and was named Woman of the Year by the American Sportfishing Association in 1998.
From 1981 to 1994, Wodder served at The Wilderness Society in several capacities, including as Vice President for Organizational Development, and Vice President for Membership, Marketing and Development.
Prior to joining The Wilderness Society, Wodder was legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (Wisconsin) on environmental and energy issues, from 1978-1980, participating in negotiations on water and energy resource development programs and projects, and the Alaska Lands Act.
Wodder began her career as an Environmental Planner for the Leo A. Daly Company, Architects, Engineers and Planners, preparing environmental impact statements and developing environmental components of large-scale engineering projects.
A native Nebraska, Wodder holds a B.A. in Biology and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of Kansas, graduating With Highest Distinction. She also holds an M.S. in Landscape Architecture and an M.S. in Water Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.