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 Jewell Applauds Designation of Poverty Point in Louisiana as Nation's 22nd World Heritage Site
Office of the Secretary
Historic Earthworks Dating Back 3,000 Years Tell the Story of Early Inhabitants of North America
Last edited 4/26/2016
WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today applauded the decision by the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to inscribe the prehistoric Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point, a State Historic Site and National Monument in Louisiana, as a World Heritage Site.
The U.N's World Heritage Committee inscribed it by consensus at its 38th session in Doha, Qatar this past weekend.
“Poverty Point is an extraordinary settlement built by an ancient hunter-gather society more than 3,000 years ago that deserves to be recognized as one of the world's great archaeological sites,” Jewell said. “It is a vital part of Native American heritage and culture, and its inscription as a World Heritage Site will draw visitors from around the world to Louisiana, providing an economic boost to local communities.”
The historic hunter-gatherer settlement joins a list that includes cultural and natural sites of universal importance such as the Grand Canyon in Arizona, the Taj Mahal in India, and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
Jewell praised the efforts of Sen. Mary Landrieu in promoting inscription of the site, which features an extensive collection of prehistoric earthworks constructed 3,100 –3,700 years ago. The vast complex of structures, including an integrated complex of earthen mounds, enormous concentric ridges, and a large plaza, may be the largest hunter-gatherer settlement that ever existed.
“Senator Landrieu raised global awareness of Poverty Point and its Outstanding Universal Value, the hallmark for inscription as a World Heritage site. The Committee members agreed that Poverty Point deserves to be recognized alongside Stonehenge, the pyramids of Egypt and other great archaeological sites,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Rachel Jacobson.
Then-Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar proposed Poverty Point for nomination as a World Heritage Site in January 2013.
Poverty Point is the 22nd World Heritage Site in the United States, and the 1,001st to be inscribed worldwide.
The Interior Department's National Park Service manages all or part of 17 of the 22 existing World Heritage Sites in the United States. It is also the principal government agency responsible for implementing the World Heritage Convention in cooperation with the Department of State.
Inclusion of a site in the World Heritage List does not affect U.S. sovereignty or management over the sites, which remain subject only to U.S. law. Detailed information on the World Heritage Program and the process for the selection of U.S. sites can be found at www.nps.gov/oia/topics/worldheritage/worldheritage.htm.