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.
Established by the American Indian Trust Fund Management Reform Act of 1994 (Public Law 103-412), OST was created to improve the accountability and management of Indian funds held in trust by the federal government. As trustee, DOI has the primary fiduciary responsibility to manage both tribal trust funds and Individual Indian Money (IIM) accounts.
The purpose of OST is to provide oversight, reform and coordination of the policies, procedures, systems and practices used by various agencies to manage Indian trust assets. This effort is integrally related to DOI's goal of meeting its responsibilities to American Indians.
The goals of OST include:
to protect and preserve Indian trust assets and collect and accurately account for income due beneficiaries;
to obtain agreement with all tribal and individual Indian account holders on the balances in their trust accounts in a manner that is fair to both the Indian community and the general public, does not impair or impede reform efforts, and does not result in reductions in Indian programs; and
to provide timely and responsive customer services to account holders.