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.
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS
OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES
CONCERNING S. 853,
TO AMEND THE WILD AND SCENIC RIVERS ACT
TO DESIGNATE ADDITIONAL SEGMENTS AND TRIBUTARIES
OF THE WHITE CLAY CREEKIN THE STATE OF DELAWARE
AND THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
AS COMPONENTS OF THE NATIONAL WILD AND SCENIC RIVERS SYSTEM,
AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
JULY 15, 2009
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to appear before your committee today to discuss the views of the Department of the Interior on S. 853, a bill to amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act by designating additional segments and tributaries of the White Clay Creek in Delaware and Pennsylvania as components of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
The Department supports enactment of this legislation with one technical amendment.
S. 853 would designate nine additional miles of segments and tributaries of the White Clay Creek as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, to be administered by the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary).The additional tributaries will be managed in accordance with the "White Clay Creek and Its Tributaries Watershed Management Plan" (amended Summer 2001) with the Secretary coordinating the White Clay Creek Watershed Management Committee.
In December 1991, Congress directed the National Park Service to undertake a study of the headwaters of the White Clay Creek in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to its confluence with the Christina River in the State of Delaware. The study was also to include the East, West, and Middle Branches, Middle Run, Pike Creek, Mill Creek and other tributaries of the White Clay, as identified by the Secretary, to determine their eligibility for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. The study was to be done in cooperation and consultation with various federal, state, regional, and local governments and affected landowners. In addition, a river management plan was to be prepared that would provide recommendations as to the protection and management of the White Clay Creek and its tributaries. The plan was to outline roles for the state and local governments and affected landowners to play in the management of the White Clay Creek as a designated component of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
In 1998, a watershed management plan was prepared that contained six goals for management of the White Clay Creek and its tributaries. These goals include improving and conserving water quality and quantity, and conserving open space, woodlands, wetlands, and geologic features.The plan was done cooperatively and calls for a management framework for the White Clay Creek and its tributaries that relies heavily on local land use decisions.
In 1999, the National Park Service issued the "White Clay Creek and Its Tributaries National Wild and Scenic River Study Draft Report."In the report, the National Park Service found that the majority of the river segments identified in the study met the eligibility requirements of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act by virtue of their free-flowing condition and presence of one or more outstandingly remarkable resource values.For example, the watershed includes open space and recreational opportunities for hiking, jogging, canoeing and fishing; in fact, the White Clay Creek is the most heavily stocked and heavily used put-and-take trout stream in the State of Delaware. In 2000, Public Law 106-357 designated 190 miles of the White Clay Creek and its tributaries as components of the National Wild and Scenic River System.
The study report also identified additional segments and tributaries, which are the subject of S. 853, that would be eligible and suitable for designation. These segments are eligible and suitable because they are free-flowing streams with outstandingly remarkable values including the Cockeysville marble geologic formation that supports a high-yielding aquifer, a major source of drinking water, and threatened and endangered species including the Muhlenberg's (bog) turtle and cerulean warbler.However, these segments were removed from consideration because the Delaware River Basin Commission was looking at these areas as possible locations for reservoirs under their comprehensive plan.In addition, there was not demonstrated municipal support for such a designation, a requirement under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
In 2007, these segments and tributaries were removed from the comprehensive plan of the Delaware River Basin Commission. In addition, the New Garden Township in Pennsylvania, the only affected municipality, passed a resolution in support of the designation. With these two issues resolved, the Department now supports these segments, totaling nine miles, be added to the National Wild and Scenic River System.
The Department would like to work with the committee to make a technical correction to a map reference in Section 3 of the bill.
This concludes my prepared remarks, Mr. Chairman.I will be happy to answer any questions you or other committee members may have regarding this bill.