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 Interior Department is expanding the tools in the conservation "toolbox" available to private land owners and federal land managers to enhance and achieve conservation. These tools include grant programs that emphasizes local input and cooperative decision making in accomplishing natural resource goals.
Nearly $2.4 billion in grants went to States, private landowners, hunting and fishing groups, and other conservation groups to preserve open space, restore habitat and conserve species from 2001 through 2006. Since 2001, 16 million acres of habitat have been restored, protected, or enhanced using matching funds to establish or enhance habitat benefiting waterfowl and many other wildlife species. In FY 2007, the Department's budget proposes $322.3 million in cooperative conservation programs.
In addition to grants, we are also expanding the use of cooperative conservation tools such as conservation banking, stewardship contracting, enhanced use of Safe Harbor agreements under the Endangered Species Act, and use of consensus-based management for public lands
Through cooperative conservation, we can achieve healthy lands, thriving communities and dynamic economies.
Examples of cooperative conservation at work
Dozens of farmers initiated a project to reclaim 100 miles of streams and riparian areas along Buffalo Creek in Pennsylvania. These farmers engage in conservation as willing partners and participants, not as coerced parties responding to Washington mandates.
Maine's Ducktrap River is being restored by over two-dozen federal, state, local and private partners. The project corrected a substantial threat to cold-water fisheries habitat in a manner that allows natural processes and maintains habitat values.
The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance provides access to all Federal programs available to State and local governments (including the District of Columbia); federally-recognized Indian tribal governments; Territories (and possessions) of the United States; domestic, public, quasi-public, and private profit and nonprofit organizations and institutions; specialized groups; and individuals.
Grants.Gov allows organizations to electronically find and apply for Federal grants. Grants.gov is the single access point for over 1000 grant programs offered by all Federal grant-making agencies.
Technical Assistance Quick Reference
The goal of the Cooperative Conservation Initiative is to empower federal land managers to form partnerships within local communities to better care for the land and its wildlife. By promoting these partnerships, we not only leverage federal conservation dollars with private funds but also tap into the ingenuity and local knowledge of the people who live and work on the land.