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.
Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee, I am Robert Johnson, Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation. I am pleased to present the views of the Department of the Interior on S. 175 concerning the Central Oklahoma Master Conservancy District (District) Feasibility Study.
S. 175 would authorize Reclamation to conduct a Feasibility Study of alternatives to augment the water supplies of the District and cities served by the District. S.175 would also require the study to be conducted within one year of the date of enactment, and authorize $300,000 to be spent in conducting the study. The Department does not support S. 175.
The one-year timeframe for the study described in S. 175 is insufficient for a thorough evaluation of alternatives to meet future water needs of surrounding communities not presently served by the District and would be a very aggressive schedule. This timeframe would also make completion of the Feasibility Study, including preparation of the appropriate National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance document, extremely problematic and may prove difficult to achieve with any degree of accuracy.
The Department recognizes that a water need exists for the District. Reclamation is currently preparing a scope of work in coordination with the District, which focuses the plan of study to be completed.However, the Department does not support authorization of a Feasibility Study at this time.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on S. 175. This concludes my statement and I am happy to answer any questions.