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 for Natural Resource Damages at Morenci Mine, Greenlee County, Arizona
Last edited 4/26/2016
Hazardous substances -- including sulfuric acid and dissolved metals -- released from the Morenci Mine site, an open pit copper mine located in southeastern Arizona, shown here in 2010, have injured and continue to injure natural resources and natural resource services. Photo credit: TJBlackwell.
On April 30, 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice opened a 30-day public comment period on a proposed settlement with Freeport-McMoRan for natural resource damage claims arising from hazardous substances releases at the Morenci Mine, a copper mining site near Clifton, Greenlee County, in southeastern Arizona. The proposed settlement is embodied in a Consent Decree that was lodged with the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona on April 24.
The natural resource trustees in this case include the State of Arizona, represented by Arizona Trustee for Natural Resources and Department of Environmental Quality and U.S. Department of the Interior, represented by Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
In its entirety, the Morenci Mine site includes a large complex of open pits, numerous leach rock stockpiles, development rock stockpiles, ore and solution beneficiation plants, tailings impoundments, uncovered ponds, five historic smelters, historic underground mine workings and surface openings. Surface flows from the site drain into the San Francisco River and Gila River watersheds. After evaluating potential impacts to natural resources, the trustees have determined that releases of hazardous substances from and at the mining site -- including sulfuric acid and dissolved metals such as arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, lead, manganese, mercury, nickel, selenium and zinc -- have caused and continue to cause injuries to natural resources and natural resource services. These injured natural resources include surface water, sediments, soils, terrestrial habitats, terrestrial receptors and migratory birds.
Under the proposed settlement in the lodged Consent Decree, Freeport-McMoRan will:
Pay $6,701,861.30 to be used by the natural resource trustees to plan and implement projects designed to restore, replace and/or acquire the equivalent of wildlife and wildlife habitat inured by the hazardous substances releases; and,
Pay $98,138.70 for DOI’s past assessment costs not already paid.
The natural resource trustees, acting through a Trustee Council, intend to prepare one or more Restoration Plans describing specifically how these funds will be used. These future Restoration Plans will be made available for public review and comment.
Written comments regarding the lodged Consent Decree must be received by the Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division by Wednesday, May 30, 2012.