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: Repealing the Affordable Care Act Would Set Indian Country Back
Office of the Secretary
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, DC: Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today released the following statement regarding the proposal in the House of Representatives to repeal the Affordable Care Act and the Indian Health Care Improvement Act
“The Affordable Care Act is a vital tool for Native American communities that are working to improve quality of life, overcome health care disparities, and improve wellness and health in Indian Country,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “A vote to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act would only turn back the clock on the real progress we are making toward ensuring that Native Americans have access to quality, affordable health care.”
“The Affordable Care Act included landmark legislation that permanently reauthorizes the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, which is so important to modernizing and improving the health care provided by the Indian Health Service to American Indians and Alaska Natives,” added Salazar. “Without the Affordable Care Act, Native Americans will continue to face escalating costs, deep health care disparities, and growing health challenges.”
In addition to permanently reauthorizing the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, the Affordable Care Act:
Includes important tax exclusions for individual Native Americans whose tribes have opted to purchase health insurance for their members.
Allows tribes who operate programs under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act to purchase federal insurance for employees.
American Indians and Alaska Natives are exempt from tax penalities for not enrolling in an exchange plan.
Expands Medicaid coverage to individual with incomes up to 133% of the poverty level starting in 2014.