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.
Justice Opens 30-Day Public Comment Period on Proposed Settlement with Blacksburg Country Club in Blacksburg, Montgomery County, Virginia
Last edited 4/26/2016
Roanoke logperch (Percina rex) is a freshwater fish listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. An estimated 169 Roanoke logperch were among the more than 10,000 fish killed by the hazardous substances release on July 9, 2007 into North Fork Roanoke River from the Blacksburg Country Club in Blacksburg, Montgomery County, Virginia. Illustration credit: Mike Pinder, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
On March 22, 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice opened a 30-day public comment period on a proposed settlement between the U.S., on behalf of the Secretary of Department of the Interior, and Blacksburg Country Club, Inc. for natural resource damage claims arising from a hazardous substances release at its golf course in Blacksburg, Montgomery County, Virginia. The proposed settlement is embodied in a Consent Decree that was lodged with the U.S District Court for the Western District of Virginia on March 22, 2012.
On July 9, 2007, hazardous substances, including chlorothalonil, were released from the grounds of the golf course when a tank being filled with fungicides and a plant growth inhibitor overflowed. The release entered the North Fork Roanoke River and resulted in injury to the aquatic ecosystem of the River and the mortality of resident fish. An estimated 10,335 fish, including 169 Roanoke logperch -- a freshwater fish listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 -- were killed.
Department of the Interior, acting through U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is the only natural resource trustee participating in the proposed settlement. The proposed settlement calls for Blacksburg Country Club to:
Finance and implement a Restoration Plan, called “River Restoration Plan for the North Fork Roanoke River Fish Kill,” dated December 2011, which is incorporated in the Consent Decree as Appendix A;
Pay $18,964.34 plus accrued interest to Department of Justice for past natural resource damage assessment costs and for future restoration oversight costs; and,
Pay all future travel costs of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for restoration projects implementation and monitoring.
Written comments regarding the lodged Consent Decree must be received by the U.S. Department of Justice by April 23, 2012.