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 and Vilsack Announce Appointments to Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council
Office of the Secretary
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the appointments of 18 people to the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council, a group created earlier this year to advise the two departments about recreational hunting and shooting sports activities and associated wildlife and habitat conservation.
“Inspired by the legacy of President Theodore Roosevelt, hunters long have taken the lead in the conservation of our nation's wildlife and its habitat, and I am pleased so many of the leaders in our nation's hunting and conservation community have accepted an invitation to serve on the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council,” said Salazar. “At the recent America's Great Outdoors conference, President Obama said that few pursuits are more satisfying to the spirit than discovering the greatness of America's outdoors. I look forward to working with the council to help fulfill my generation's obligation to ensure that the next generation enjoys a thriving wildlife heritage.”
"Maintaining and conserving wildlife habitat and water resources that are so important to America's hunting and angling heritage in the face of today's conservation challenges requires a coordinated effort between federal, state, and local officials and partners in the private sector,” said Vilsack. "The members of Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council will play a crucial role in our ongoing efforts to improve the health and management of America's public and private lands."
The secretaries announced the appointment of the following individuals – whose terms begin immediately – to serve on the council for a two-year term:
• M. David Allen (Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation)
• Jeffrey S. Crane (Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation)
• Robert R. Fithian (Alaska Professional Hunters Association, Inc.)
• John E. Frampton (SC Department of Natural Resources)
• Thomas Franklin (Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership)
• Ron Heward (rancher, Bates Hole/Shirley Basin Sage Grouse Working Group)
• Robert Manes (The Nature Conservancy)
• Frederick D. Maulson (Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission)
• Tommy Millner (Cabela's)
• Robert Model (Boone and Crockett Club)
• Joanna Prukop (Freedom to Roam)
• Stephen L. Sanetti (National Shooting Sports Foundation)
• Larry Schweiger (National Wildlife Federation)
• Christine L. Thomas (College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin)
• George C. Thornton (National Wild Turkey Federation)
• John Tomke (Ducks Unlimited)
• Howard K. Vincent (Pheasants Forever)
• Steve Williams (Wildlife Management Institute)
The council is an official advisory group under the Federal Advisory Committee Act that will help to promote and preserve America's hunting heritage for future generations. It will also provide a forum for sportsmen and women to advise the federal government on policies related to wildlife and habitat conservation endeavors that (a) benefit recreational hunting; (b) benefit wildlife resources; and (c) encourage partnership among the public, the sporting conservation community, the shooting and hunting sports industry, wildlife conservation organizations, the states, Native American tribes, and the federal government.
The new council replaces and improves upon the previously existing Sporting Conservation Council by expanding membership to include the hunting and shooting sports industries, as well as including broader representation from the nation's major hunting organizations. The council's charter also more clearly defines its responsibilities in supporting the public, the sporting conservation community, the shooting and hunting sports industry, wildlife conservation organizations, and the State and Federal governments.
The five federal agencies playing a key role in supporting and maintaining America's hunting heritage – the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, and Farm Service Agency – will appoint organizational members to the council to provide additional support, guidance and coordination.