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.
Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands
H.R. 523, Douglas County, Washington, PUD Conveyance Act
May 10, 2007
Thank you for the opportunity to testify on H.R. 523. This legislation directs the Secretary of the Interior to convey certain public lands located wholly or partially within the boundaries of the Wells Dam Hydroelectric Project [Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Project No. 2149-19795] (Project) to Public Utility District No. 1 of Douglas County, WA, (PUD). The BLM supports this conveyance. During consideration of similar legislation in the 109th Congress (H.R. 4789), we raised several concerns. The BLM greatly appreciates the work by Rep. Hastings' staff and Subcommittee staff to address our concerns, as the text of H.R. 523 reflects. We look forward to working with the bill's sponsor and the Committee on the few key concerns still outstanding.
Since 1998, the PUD has expressed a strong desire to purchase all BLM-managed public lands within the Project boundaries. During the 109th Congress, we worked with the PUD to identify precisely which public lands it wishes to acquire, and we worked with the bill's sponsor to develop a map that correctly identifies these lands. Some of the public lands the PUD wishes to acquire are located within the boundaries of the Project. These were reserved for power site purposes by order of the Federal Power Commission (FPC Order dated July 12, 1962, for Power Project No. 2149). Some of the lands requested by the PUD lie outside (but contiguous to) the designated project boundary. We encourage the sponsor and the Committee to provide safeguards to protect the known resource values on these lands, which include Bald Eagle roosts and approximately two miles of Columbia River shoreline currently open to the public.
Section 3(f) of the legislation directs that the proceeds from the sales be deposited into the “working capital” funds of the BLM. We strongly recommend instead that these funds be deposited in the “Federal Land Disposal Account” established by P.L.106-248, the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act(FLTFA).
Thank you for the opportunity to testify. I will be glad to answer questions.