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 Signs San Juan Navajo Water Rights Settlement at Colorado River Water Users Association Conference
Office of the Secretary
Last edited 4/25/2016
LAS VEGAS, NV — Today, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar joined Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley to sign the historic San Juan Navajo Water Rights at the Colorado River Water Users Association Annual Conference. Secretary Salazar also announced that next week he will be traveling to Mexico City to discuss opportunities for U.S.-Mexico collaboration on water and conservation issues.
“By signing this agreement today, the Obama administration is taking another step toward honoring the U.S.'s promises to Indian nations and helping communities gain access to clean, safe water supplies,” Secretary Salazar said. “This settlement honorably closes a long chapter of litigation and will bring real benefits to the Navajo people and surrounding communities.”
The San Juan Navajo Water Rights Settlement is aimed at resolving more than 20 years of efforts to adjudicate the Navajo Nation's water right owners, it would protect existing uses of water, it would allow for future growth, and it would do so within the amount of water apportioned to New Mexico by the Colorado River Compacts.
It fulfills a U.S. government promise to support the Navajo people by providing a long-term sustainable water supply that will reduce the need for hauling water, improve health conditions on the reservation, and provide the foundation for future economic development in northwestern New Mexico.
At the speech today, Secretary Salazar also talked about how the Colorado River Basin serves as a model for multistate collaboration, but cautioned that the ongoing drought requires that all stakeholders continue to “choose consensus over controversy.”
“We must build a water policy that is inclusive of all interests – urban, agricultural, tribal, recreational, and environmental – and where all parties recognize that the other has an equal stake in keeping the river healthy,” the Secretary said.
Next week, Secretary Salazar will travel to Mexico City to meet with senior leaders in the Mexican government to discuss water, conservation, and natural resource issues of interest to both countries.