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.
Subject: Message to all employees from Secretary Jewell
My thoughts are with all of you as we enter our second week of this extraordinarily disruptive government shutdown. You are all professionals who are committed to the diverse missions of the Department of the Interior, and our inability to provide services is having a devastating impact on individuals, businesses, the economy and the people who depend on these services across the country.
For our colleagues who are continuing to come to work to protect life and property, I offer my sincere thanks. You are frequently on the front lines and having to deliver difficult messages to the public. I am grateful for your professionalism and continued dedication to public service.
If you are on furlough, I appreciate that you want to do your jobs and the shutdown may set your work back for a long period of time. I am also aware of the impact of this shutdown on partners, concessioners, communities who depend on us for their business, contractors who are unable to provide services, and tribal governments who rely on us to serve their members.
There are no winners in this situation. I am hopeful that Congress acts swiftly to end this shutdown so that we can all get back to the business of serving the American people.