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.
STATEMENT OFSTEPHEN E. WHITESELL, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, PARK PLANNING, FACILITIES AND LANDS, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS OF THE SENATE ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE CONCERNING S. 302, A BILL TO AUTHORIZE THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR TO ISSUE RIGHT-OF-WAY PERMITS FOR A NATURAL GAS TRANSMISSION PIPELINE IN NONWILDERNESS AREAS WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF DENALI NATIONAL PARK, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to testify and provide the views of the National Park Service (NPS) on S. 302, a bill to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to issue right-of-way permits for a natural gas transmission pipeline in nonwilderness areas within the boundary of Denali National Park, and for other purposes.
The Department has no objection to the bill as written.
The potential owners and operators of such a pipeline have not, at this time, determined whether such a line carrying natural gas to south-central Alaska is financially feasible, nor have they determined the best route for a pipeline. This legislation provides flexibility for the backers of a proposed pipeline, and provides assurance to the NPS that the National Environmental Policy Act analysis will be completed before any permit for work in the park would be issued by the Secretary.
The legislation also provides authority for the Secretary to permit distribution lines and related equipment within the park for the purpose of providing a natural gas supply to the park. We support this provision, but remind the committee that at this time no decisions have been made about the financial or engineering feasibility, nor the exact configuration of equipment needed to facilitate tapping the larger line to allow local use of natural gas in or near Denali National Park.
Thank you for the opportunity to testify and we would welcome any questions you or other members may have.