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 Lauds President's Intent to Nominate Estevan López to Serve as Commissioner of Bureau of Reclamation
Office of the Secretary
Last edited 4/26/2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today praised President Obama's intent to nominate Estevan López, a professional engineer with over two decades of experience in water resource management, to serve as Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation -- the largest wholesale water supplier and second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States. The U.S. Senate confirmed former Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael Connor to serve as the Deputy Secretary of the Interior on February 27, 2014.
“Reclamation provides critically important water and power resources to the West, helping local economies and preserving natural resources and ecosystems that face complex challenges, from the impacts of drought and climate change to the preservation of wildlife,” Secretary Jewell said. “With decades of dedicated public service to the people of New Mexico and five years in private industry, Estevan's professional expertise, water management experience and collaborative approach will be valuable assets as we work to manage, develop and protect water resources for the American people.”
If confirmed by the U. S. Senate, López would lead an agency with a $1 billion annual budget and more than 5,000 employees in 17 Western States. The bureau maintains 476 dams and 337 reservoirs that provide 10 trillion gallons of water for 31 million people. Reclamation also maintains 53 hydropower plants that generate 40 billion kilowatt hours – about 15 percent of nation's hydropower. Reclamation's 289 recreation areas received 90 million visits last year.
Estevan R. López is currently the Director of the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, a position he has held since 2003. From 2001 to 2003, Mr. López served as County Manager of Santa Fe County. Prior to that, he served as the Land Use and Utilities Department Director of Santa Fe County from 2000 to 2001. Mr. López also served as the Utilities Department Director of Santa Fe County from 1998 to 2000 and as Utilities Division Deputy Director of Santa Fe County from 1997 to 1998. From 1990 to 1997, he was a Public Utility Engineer at the New Mexico Public Utility Commission. Previously, Mr. López worked at Arco Alaska, Inc. as an Operations Engineer and then a Well Work Supervisor. He received a B.S. from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.
Lowell Pimley is serving as the Acting Commissioner until the U.S. Senate has confirmed a replacement. Pimley, a civil engineer who joined Reclamation in 1980, was the Deputy Commissioner of Operations for the Bureau of Reclamation before being asked to serve as Acting Commissioner and was previously the Director of the Technical Service Center and has spent his career conducting and coordinating planning studies, design and construction support on a variety of water resources and related projects.