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.
The Departmental Cases Hearings Division serves as the Department's administrative trial court for cases involving lands and resources under the Department's jurisdiction. Through formal hearings conducted by administrative law judges under the Administrative Procedure Act, the Division decides grazing appeals, surface coal mining cases, civil penalty assessments under various wildlife and resource protection laws, certain cases involving the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDA), disputed issues of material fact with respect to conditions and prescriptions in hydropower licenses, and contests of mining claims, Alaska Native allotment applications, and other asserted interests in Federal land.
The Division also conducts hearings on other matters upon request from a bureau or office, an OHA appeals board, or the Director. Examples include adjudications pertaining to oil and gas leases, rights-of-way, and alleged trespasses on Federal lands.
The Division is headed by a Supervisory Administrative Law Judge and is located in OHA's Salt Lake City office. Most of its decisions may be appealed to the Interior Board of Land Appeals. Decisions in cases referred to the Division by the Interior Board of Indian Appeals are appealable to that Board, except that ISDA decisions involving the Indian Health Service are appealable to the Departmental Appeals Board within the Department of Health and Human Services.
Division decisions that are not administratively appealable include those determining issues of material fact with respect to conditions or prescriptions that the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, or Interior develop for inclusion in hydropower licenses under the Federal Power Act. Such determinations are final for the Departments involved.
Departmental Cases Hearings Division Office of Hearings and Appeals U.S. Department of the Interior 351 South West Temple, Suite 6.300 Salt Lake City, Utah 84101 801-524-5344 (voice) 801-524-5539(facsimile)
Harvey C. Sweitzer, Supervisory Administrative Law Judge James H. Heffernan, Administrative Law Judge Christopher D. Helms, Administrative Law Judge Andrew S. Pearlstein, Administrative Law Judge Karl R. Johnson, Senior Attorney-Advisor Elizabeth-Anne Bowman, Supervisory Paralegal Specialist