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.
1. When will partners be notified about possible ESF #11 NCH activations?
The ESF #11 NCH partner agencies will be involved during pre event planning and after an incident. They will use their network of contacts to gain awareness of the damage and situation pre and post event. Official involvement with partner agencies will not commence until a Mission Assignment (MA) is officially issued. Next, the National Natural and Cultural Resources and Historic Properties (NCH) Coordinator and others involved will notify partner agencies when ESF #11 is activated and inform them of the possibility that they may be needed for NCH activities and they should be prepared.
ESF #11 NCH relies on the skill sets and expertise offered by their partner agencies. When ESF #11 NCH is activated through a MA assigned through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Department of the Interior (DOI) has a chance to review and refine the request submitted by FEMA. At this point, DOI will review the positions needed to fulfill the Mission Assignment, and if the required expertise can be found only with an ESF #11 NCH partner agency, that agency is then contacted and asked to respond to the disaster under ESF #11 NCH.
2. How are support agencies reimbursed for work performed under ESF #11 NCH?
When support agencies are needed to lend their support and expertise to an ESF #11 NCH activation, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), working with the Department of the Interior (DOI), will issue a subtask mission assignment to authorize their activation. Their reimbursement will work much the same way as it will for DOI volunteers. The salary will still be paid by the home office, but travel and overtime work will be reimbursed by FEMA.
3. How do States Request Aid?
The National Response Framework (NRF) is the authority under which the Federal Government actively responds to disaster. Other authorities, such as the National Contingency Plan, can also be used, but ESF #11 NCH would not be activated. To make sure that the NRF has been activated, visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) homepage.
Before a State can request assistance from the federal government, the NRF must be activated and the area affected must be declared a disaster area through a Presidential Disaster Declaration. Only once that has occurred can the federal government become involved in responding to the disaster.
When a disaster declaration has been issued by the President, the State approving officer must complete an Action Request Form (ARF). This is a standardized form used by the FEMA designed to gather basic information about the type of damage that has occurred and the kind of assistance needed to respond to the damage.
Once the ARF has been submitted, and FEMA accepts it as a legitimate need, FEMA and the Department of the Interior will work together to identify volunteers that can be deployed to meet the State’s request.