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.
SUBSISTENCE FISHING Under Authority of 50 CFR Part 100.10 and .19, 36 CFR Part 242.10 and .19
Special Action No.: 3-KS-02-14 Issued at: Bethel, Alaska May 16, 2014 Effective Date: May 20, 2014 12:01 a.m. Expiration Date: July 14,2014 11 :59 p.m. unless superseded by subsequent Special Action
EXPLANATION: Kuskokwim River Mouth to Tuluksak This Special Action closes king salmon fishing to all users in conservation sections 1 and 2 on the Kuskokwim River drainage. This action follows the conservation strategy discussed with the members of local Tribes, the public, Kuskokwim Salmon Management Working Group, and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game over the previous 10 months.
REGULATION 50 CFR 100.27(e)(4)(ii) is amended to add: Effective 12:01 a.m., Tuesday, May 20, 2014 Chinook salmon fishing in the Kuskokwim River drainage is closed to all user groups. Gillnets are restricted to set gillnets, 4-inch or less mesh size not exceeding 60-feet in length in Salmon Conservation Sections 1 and 2. Subsistence fishing with dip net will adhere to State fishing schedules (AS 16.05.060). Chinook salmon incidentally caught in gill nets may be retained. Chinook salmon incidentally caught using all other gear types must me immediately released. The area covered by this action is defined as that portion of the Kuskokwim River and its tributaries upstream from the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge border at the mouth of the Kuskokwim, described by a line from a point on the west shore 5.1 miles south-southwest of Popkarniut (approximately 59° 59' 57.8198 -162° 30' 24.47688) across to a point on the east shore 3.4 miles south-southeast of the mouth of Kuskokwak Creek (approximately 59° 59.57.14979 -162° 11' 14.92507), upriver on the Kuskokwim to a line between ADF&G 1101 E Tudor Road, MS 121 Anchorage, Alaska 99503 (907) 786-3888/(800) 478-1456 Fax (907) 786-3898 regulatory markers located approximately half a mile upstream of the Tuluksak River mouth. This section includes the slough (locally known as Utak Slough) on the northwest side of the Kuskokwim River adjacent to the Tuluksak River mouth. Excluded waters are non-salmon spawning tributaries: those portions of Kinak, Kialik, Tagayarak, Johnson and Gweek rivers more than 100 yards upstream from the mouth of these rivers, are open with any mesh size gillnet and are not affected by these closures.
JUSTIFICATION Biological Since 2010, the Kuskokwim River has experienced poor king salmon returns and 2013 was the lowest return on record. The 2014 State of Alaska king salmon forecast is for a return of 94,000 fish (range of 71,000- 117,000). The State of Alaska drainage-wide escapement goal is 65,000-120,000. If the 2014 return is within the forecast then there would be enough fish to meet escapement goals and provide for very limited king salmon subsistence harvest. The majority of escapement goals were not met in 2013 and all weir assessment projects had the lowest on record. Given consecutive years of low king salmon returns and non-achievement of escapement goals conservation measures are warranted. To limit incidental catch and mortality of Chinook salmon, all gear types that target or are likely to target Chinook salmon are restricted. This includes gill nets larger than 4", drift gillnets, and hook and line gear that are designed to target Chinook salmon.