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.
Secretary Salazar Commends President Obama's Nomination of Kevin K. Washburn as Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today lauded President Obama's nomination of Kevin K. Washburn, a member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, to serve as Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior.
“Kevin Washburn has a keen understanding of the many issues that affect Indian Country,” Salazar said. “His strong professional and academic experience will be a key asset to the Department as we continue to strengthen the integrity of the government-to-government relationship with Indian tribes and empower Native American and Alaska Native communities. He will be an excellent addition to our team.”
Washburn is currently serving as Dean at the University of New Mexico School of Law where he teaches courses in criminal and gaming law. He serves on numerous state boards, chairing the Judicial Selection Commission and the Judicial Compensation Commission for the state of New Mexico. He previously taught courses as a professor of law at the University of Minnesota Law School, Harvard Law School, and the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law.
Prior to his current position, Washburn served as General Counsel to the National Indian Gaming Commission. He also served as an Assistant United States Attorney in New Mexico where he handled prosecutions in the violent crime division. As a trial attorney for the Department of Justice under the Clinton Administration, Washburn litigated affirmative cases on behalf of the United States in its role as trustee for Indian tribes.
Washburn received his J.D. from Yale Law School and his B.A. from the University of Oklahoma.