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.
H.R. 2340, Salmon Lake Land Selection Resolution Act
April 21, 2010
Thank you for the opportunity to testify on H.R. 2340, the Salmon Lake Land Selection Resolution Act. As a party to the Salmon Lake Area Land Ownership Consolidation Agreement, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has supported efforts between the State of Alaska and the Bering Straits Native Corporation (BSNC) to resolve overlapping land selections at SalmonLake.As such, the BLM supports H.R. 2340 because it will ratify the agreement between the BLM, BSNC, and the State of Alaska, and allow for a reasonable and practicable conveyance of lands in the SalmonLake area.
Salmon Lake is located on the Seward Peninsula, approximately 40 miles northeast of Nome.The lake is one of the largest bodies of fresh water on the peninsula, and has long been an important source of food and resources for the Native people.Because the area contains significant fisheries and other subsistence resources, it remains a popular resource and destination for local communities.
The BLM is responsible for expediting the conveyance of Federal lands to Native corporations, including the BSNC, under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), and to the State of Alaska under the Alaska Statehood Act of 1958.
The BSNC, the Native regional corporation for the Bering Straits area, and the State of Alaska each sought to gain title to the SalmonLake area through selection applications filed under respective provisions of ANCSA and the Alaska Statehood Act.However, the land addressed by the two applications overlapped.The BSNC and the State negotiated a resolution to this issue whereby each entity would receive title to distinct lands.The BLM supported this resolution, and the three parties signed the Salmon Lake Area Land Ownership Consolidation Agreement on July 18, 2007.Legislation is now required to ratify the Agreement between the United States (acting through the Department of Interior, BLM), the BSNC, and the State of Alaska.The Agreement would have expired on January 1, 2009, but its term was extended to January 1, 2011 in anticipation of ratifying legislation.
H.R. 2340 represents an opportunity to resolve the overlapping land selections between the BSNC and the State.The bill would ratify the Agreement between the BLM, the BSNC, and the State, and allow for finalization of land conveyances in the SalmonLake area.The lands would be transferred in accordance with the terms of the signed Agreement.
As noted, the BLM supported the efforts between the BSNC and State, and signed the Agreement to recognize the desires of the entities.The bill would also further the intent of the Alaska Land Transfer Acceleration Act of 2004 (PL 108-452), expediting the transfer of title to federal lands to Native corporations and the State of Alaska.
Thank you for the opportunity to testify in support of H.R. 2340.I am happy to answer any questions.