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 Federal Government’s capabilities are organized into Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) to facilitate and coordinate the Federal response. These ESFs are designed to address the most frequent needs of States, Tribes, Territories, and local communities after a major event. There are currently fifteen (15) ESFs.
Emergency Support Function (ESF) #11 Agriculture and Natural Resources - is one of the fifteen ESFs that make up the National Response Framework (NRF). Federal response is coordinated through the ESFs after a Presidential Disaster Declaration is issued.
ESF #11 Agriculture and Natural Resources consists of five component areas:
Provide nutritional assistance to affected areas
Respond to animal and plant diseases
Ensure the safety and security of the commercial food supply
Provide for the safety and well-being of household pets
Protect natural and cultural resources, and historic properties (NCH)
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the primary Agency for the first four components of ESF #11 and serves as the coordinating agency for the entire ESF, USDA is charged with providing managerial oversight throughout the preparedness and response phases of the incident. The United States Department of the Interior (DOI) is the primary agency for the fifth component - protection of natural and cultural resources and historic properties. USDA and DOI work together to ensure a coordinated and effective response to all emergencies.