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.
Interior Settles Natural Resource Damage Claims Arising from July 2007 Hazardous Substances Release into North Fork Roanoke River in Montgomery County, Virginia
Last edited 4/26/2016
Aerial view of North Fork Roanoke River and associated riparian corridor as it passes through the Blacksburg Country Club in Blacksburg, Montgomery County, Virginia. Photo credit: Blacksburg Country Club.
On April 25, 2012, the U.S., on behalf of the Secretary of the Department of the Interior, settled natural resource damage claims against Blacksburg Country Club, Inc. for injuries to natural resources and natural resource services caused by a hazardous substances release from its golf course in Blacksburg, Virginia. Department of the Interior, represented by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was the only natural resource trustee participating in this settlement. The settlement was embodied in a Consent Decree entered by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia.
On July 9, 2007, hazardous substances, including chlorothalonil, were released from the grounds of the Blacksburg Country Club's 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 darter listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 -- were killed.
The final settlement calls for Blacksburg Country Club, Inc. 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.
Implementation of natural resource restoration projects as specified in the Restoration Plan is to begin soon.