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.
Strickland Lauds Agreement on Land Conveyance in Grand Teton National Park
Office of the Secretary
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON -- Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Tom Strickland commended the Wyoming Board of Land Commissioners for approving an agreement to convey approximately 1,400 acres of state-owned land within Grand Teton National Park to the department in exchange for an appraised value of approximately $107 million.
“By entering into this agreement, Wyoming is ensuring the conservation of these lands as part of Grand Teton National Park while providing revenue to support state school systems,” Strickland said. “This is an agreement in which everyone -- the park, the state, and the citizens of Wyoming -- comes out ahead.”
Wyoming has owned the lands within the park since 1890 when it gained statehood and the federal government granted it lands to be held in trust to provide revenue for its schools. Approximately 1,366 acres of these school trust lands were subsequently included as inholdings within the boundaries of Grand Teton National Park when the park was established in 1950. In addition, the State of Wyoming also holds title to 40 acres of subsurface mineral rights within the park.
The state-owned land within the park has not generated much income for the schools, and Congress passed legislation in 2003 to allow the department to enter into a land conveyance agreement with the state.
The completion of the land acquisition is contingent upon congressional appropriations and possible additional authorizing legislation.