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.
S. 2443, H.R. 2246, Reno ReTrac, Release of Reversionary Interest
July 9, 2008
Thank you for inviting me to testify on S. 2443, a bill to release any reversionary interest of the United States in and to certain lands located in Reno, Nevada. During consideration of similar legislation on October 23, 2007 before the House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, we testified that we believed the goals of the House bill could be accomplished in a more simplified manner. The House-passed bill, H.R. 2246 and S.2443 are identical bills that address our recommendations. The BLM appreciates the work of the sponsors in crafting these bills and we support S.2443.
In the mid-19th century, the Congress sought to encourage the development of the West by providing incentives for transcontinental railroads. Among those incentives was the Act of July 1, 1862, authorizing a transcontinental railroad to be built by the Union Pacific Railroad and Telegraph Company. As part of that authorization, the railroad was granted a right-of-way across public lands. One small piece of that right-of-way is addressed in S. 2443.
A portion of the Union Pacific rail line authorized under the 1862 Act runs through downtown Reno, Nevada. As an active rail line, there was increasing concern about safety and traffic flow issues. The city of Reno found a creative solution in the form of the ReTrac (Reno Transportation Rail Access Corridor) project, and in late 2005, the first trains began to run on a 2-mile long, 54-foot wide, 33-foot deep, train trench through downtown Reno. Unfortunately, there have been some questions raised about whether the right-of-way given to the railroad under the 1862 Act is affected by the subsurface nature of these two miles of line. In addition, it is unclear whether the Federal government retains a reversionary interest in the corridor.
S. 2443 would resolve these questions by releasing any reversionary interest of the Federal government to lands granted to Union Pacific under the Act of 1862 within the subsurface corridor. This would include portions of sections 10, 11 and 12 of T. 19 N., R. 19 E., and a portion of section 7 of T.19 N., R. 20 E. in Reno, Nevada. We believe this bill applies the correct approach to clarifying any potential land title questions to this 2 mile subsurface railroad corridor.
Thank you for the opportunity to testify. I would be happy to answer any questions.