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.
Safeguarding America’s Lands and Waters from Invasive Species: A National Framework for Early Detection and Rapid Response: On February 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of the Interior released "Safeguarding America’s Lands and Waters from Invasive Species: A National Framework for Early Detection and Rapid Response." The report, called for by the White House Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, urges the National Invasive Species Council (NISC)—an interagency body created by Executive Order 13112—to provide leadership in early detection and rapid response for invasive species. The report outlines five recommendations to operationalize a national EDRR framework and strengthen EDRR actions from the local through to the national level. The Office of Policy Analysis and the NISC Secretariat co-led the development of the report which involved numerous NISC member departments as well as state and tribal governments and other stakeholder groups. Full Report | Press Release | EDRR Resource Guide
A Strategy for Improving the Mitigation Policies and Practices of The Department of the Interior: On April 10, 2014, Secretary Jewell released "A Strategy for Improving the Mitigation Policies and Practices of The Department of the Interior," developed by the Energy and Climate Task Force to implement mitigation policies and practices at the Department that can more effectively encourage infrastructure development while protecting natural and cultural resources. The report, co-authored by the Director of the Office of Policy Analysis, outlines four priority areas of ongoing and future work, including geospatial assessments, landscape-level strategies, compensatory mitigation programs, and monitoring and evaluation. The strategy also identifies near-term actions that the Department will take to put the report's recommendations into practice. Full Report|Press Release|Video
DOI Economic Contributions Report: Every year since 2009 the Department (led by the Office of Policy Analysis) has released an annual Economic Contribution Report highlighting the current economic impact of Interior’s existing programs and activities, and underscores the impact Interior has on a stateby-state basis. Results can now be viewed visually on a new data visualization site here. FY 2014 Report | FY 2013 Report | FY 2012 Report | FY 2011 Report | FY 2010 Report | FY 2009 Report
Amenity Values of Proximity to National Wildlife Refuges: A peer-reviewed national study released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), shows that in urban areas across three regions of the country proximity to a national wildlife refuge increases home value and helps support the surrounding community's tax base. The study, managed by the Office of Policy Analysis for the USFWS and conducted by economists at North Carolina State University, found thatwithin eight miles of an urban center,homes located within half a mile of a refuge are valued three to nine percent higher than homes located farther from refuges. Full Report
Report to Congress on the Recreation Fee Program (May, 2012):The Office of Policy Analysis led the federal inter-agency recreation fee Working Group in preparing the Triennial Report to Congress on Implementation of the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. The report highlights projects funded by recreation fees, provides budgetary and visitation statistics, describes agency policies to implement the Act, and includes considerations about the future of the recreation fee program. 2012 Triennial Report | 2015 Triennial Report
Wildland Fire Literature Review: In June 2012, the Office of Policy Analysis released a report titled Wildland Fire Management Program Benefit-Cost Analysis - A Review of Relevant Literature. Wildland fire policy is an important issue at Interior. The Office of Wildland Fire develops department-wide policies, and four Interior bureaus have relevant management responsibilities: BIA, BLM, FWS, and NPS. This report provides background information on six key topics: policy, budget trends, measuring performance, the role of economic analysis, wildland fire models, and data availability. Full Report
Managing for the Future in a Rapidly Changing Arctic: On April 4, 2013 the Interagency Working Group on Coordination of Domestic Energy Development and Permitting in Alaska, chaired by the Department of the Interior, released a report to the President, Managing for the Future in a Rapidly Changing Arctic. The report, co-authored by the Director of the Office of Policy Analysis, calls for an integrated management strategy and highlights the need for a coordinated approach – termed “Integrated Arctic Management”– that uses the best available science to integrate cultural, environmental and economic factors in decision-making about development and conservation. Executive Summary | Full Report | Press Release | Video
2012 Report on Unused Oil and Gas Leases: In response to a March 2011 request from President Obama to the Department of the Interior, the Office of Policy Analysis collected data and reported on oil and gas leasing and production for Federal onshore and offshore areas.An updated version of the original report is now available.The report concludes that the Department offered substantial acreage for potential oil and gas development in 2009, 2010 and 2011 that was not subsequently leased by bidding parties. In addition, for areas that are under lease, there are ten of millions of acres sitting idle - that is, not undergoing exploration, development or production. 2012 Press Release | 2012 Report | 2011 Press Release | 2011 Report
The Office of Policy Analysis plays a leadership role in advancing understanding of adaptive management through chairing the Adaptive Management Working Group and coordinating efforts to develop guides for managers. The Adaptive Management Working Group (AMWG) sponsored the development of the Adaptive Management,the U.S. Department of the Interior Technical Guide,first published in 2007 and revised in 2009, to clearly and consistently define adaptive management and describe conditions for its implementation. In April 2012, the AMWG released Adaptive Management, the U.S. Department of the Interior Applications Guide, to provide through case studies, a better understanding of how adaptive management can be implemented in the field.