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.
Statement from Secretary Salazar on the Passing of Elouise Cobell
Office of the Secretary
WASHINGTON —Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today made the following statement regarding the passing of Elouise Cobell yesterday:
"I am deeply saddened by the loss of Elouise Cobell, who dedicated her life to the betterment of Indian people. She sought justice to address historical wrongs that had weighed on our nation's conscience and was a significant force for change.
"I was honored to work personally with Elouise to reach a settlement that fairly and honorably resolves the long-standing Cobell litigation. Thanks to Elouise's leadership and unwavering focus over many years, we passed the Claims Resolution Act in 2010 and President Obama has signed it into law. For this monumental achievement, and for the attention she brought to the need for a just resolution, Elouise is a hero in every sense of the word.
"As we pause to reflect on Elouise's life and achievements, let us be inspired to do better by the first Americans, and to uphold our nation's promise of justice and opportunity for all."