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.
Trustees Open 45-Day Public Comment Period on Draft Restoration Plan for Wildlife Injured by Hazardous Substances Releases from 3 Mine Sites in New Mexico
Last edited 4/20/2016
On January 16, 2013, the federal and State natural resource trustees opened a 45-day public comment period on “Draft Wildlife and Wildlife Habitat Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Chino, Cobre, and Tyrone Mine Facilities.” This Draft Restoration Plan presents 21 natural resource restoration alternatives evaluated by the trustees and identifies 3 priority tiers for funding projects intended to restore wildlife and wildlife habitat injured by the release of hazardous substances from the 3 mine sites in Grant County, New Mexico.
The natural resource trustees in this case include:
State of New Mexico, represented by New Mexico Office of Natural Resources Trustee; and,
U.S. Department of the Interior, represented by Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Chino, Cobre and Tyrone mines are copper mines near Silver City, Grant County, in southwestern New Mexico. Various operations at the mines -- such as tailings, waste rock, ore and leach stockpiles, mine waters and seepage -- released hazardous substances including sulfuric acid, copper and other metals. The trustees found that these hazardous substances caused injury to natural resources and natural resource services including terrestrial resources such as soils and vegetation, surface water resources and associated wildlife habitat, migratory birds and wildlife.
The trustees settled natural resource damage claims with Freeport-McMoRan Corporation and affiliated companies in a Consent Decree entered by the U.S. District Court for the New Mexico District in February 2012. This settlement required Freeport-McMoRan to:
Pay $5,500,000 in natural resource damages;
Pay $59,750.99 for unreimbursed past assessment costs; and,
Transfer the deed to 715 acres of land south of City of Rocks, New Mexico, owned by Freeport McMoRan Chino Mines Co., to the State of New Mexico.
The transferred land, which is adjacent to City of Rocks State Park, is to be managed for conservation by New Mexico State Parks.
In the Draft Restoration Plan, the Trustees propose to use the monetary settlement to fund a diverse portfolio of wildlife-focused restoration projects. These projects include a mix of natural resource restoration actions designed to protect and restore wildlife habitat. Migratory birds were identified as the primary wildlife resource injured therefore preferred projects in the Draft Restoration Plan will specifically benefit migratory birds and waterfowl habitat.
Written comments on the Draft Restoration Plan must be received by New Mexico Office of Natural Resources Trustee by Monday, March 4, 2013.